Why Reducing Double Bogeys Is The Key To Lower Scores… Here's The Data That Proves It!

Using Arccos data, we take a look at the damage double bogeys cause to your scorecard... and it's worse than you think

Double Bogeys Data
Limiting double bogeys could help you to quickly cut your handicap
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you are a scratch golfer or a high-handicapper, double bogeys are never good news. It seems logical that limiting those big numbers on your scorecard should help cut your handicap, but with the help of Arccos data we can share just how costly those dreaded doubles are...

Double Bogeys By Handicap - How Do You Compare?

As you might expect, the number of double bogeys scored on average each round increases with your handicap. Surprisingly, however, the correlation isn't as consistent as you might think.

According to data from Arccos, the difference in scoring between a scratch golfer and a 20-handicapper is around six doubles bogeys per round. While those figures may seem fairly logical, the intrigue develops when you explore the discrepancy between a 10- and a 15-handicapper.

Double Bogeys By Handicap

(Image credit: Getty Images/Future)

The five-shot difference in handicap terms also equates to a difference of 1.6 double bogeys in favour of the 10 handicapper, who makes 2.9 in comparison to a 15-handicapper's 4.5 average.

When you consider there is an average difference of just 0.2 in the number of birdies between a 10- (0.7) and 15-handicapper (0.5), the data truly highlights the damaging impact double bogeys are having on your scorecard and your handicap.

Interestingly, a 15-handicapper makes nearly as many double bogeys (4.5) as a scratch player makes bogeys (4.6). Saving a shot twice a round on those double- bogey holes brings a 15-handicapper's scoring more in line with a 10 handicap, further accentuating the need to be frugal with your strokes.

Tour Pro vs Amateur - How Do I Compare?

Rory McIlroy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Have you ever wanted to know how you compare to the best in the game? Thanks to Arccos data, we are able to give you some insight... but you might not be pleased with the numbers.

The average tour pro makes just 0.1 double bogeys per round. Clearly that figure encompasses a broad spectrum of players, with the top double-bogey scorer on the PGA Tour last season averaging closer to 0.5 per round.

When comparing those figures to an amateur golfer, the quality level at the top of the game is truly emphasised. While a 5-handicapper makes 1.6 doubles on average per round, one more than the top double-bogey scorer on the PGA Tour, that number reaches an average of 6.6 by the time you reach the 20-handicappers.

It may feel unachievable to scratch six doubles off your scorecard each round, but checking out the tips from our Golf Monthly Top 50 Coaches is not be a bad place to start on your journey to better scoring.

Barry Plummer
Staff Writer

Barry Plummer is our Staff Writer, joining in January 2024 after seven years as a PE Teacher. He now writes about instruction, working closely with Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches to provide hints and tips about all aspects of the game. As someone who came into golf at a later age, Barry is very passionate about supporting the growth of the game and creating opportunities for everyone to access it. A member at Sand Moor Golf Club in Leeds, he looks forward to getting out on the course at least once a week and making up for lost time in the pursuit of a respectable handicap.

Barry is currently playing:

Driver: Ping G425

Hybrid: TaylorMade Stealth 4 Hybrid

Irons: Mizuno JPX 921 4-PW

Wedges: TaylorMade RAC 60, Callaway Jaws MD5 54

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour