What Percentage of Golfers Break 100?

*This post may contain affiliate links. We are reader supported and earn affiliate commissions when you buy via links found on our site*

What Percentage of Golfers Break 100? 

Breaking 100 is a big deal in golf. When you break 100, you have to be able to hit a straight shot, make a few two putts, and keep the ball in play. For new golfers, breaking 100 is one of the first and most important obstacles. I’ll show you what percentage of golfers break 100, some tips for breaking 100, and why breaking 100 is such a big deal in golf. 

What Percentage of Golfers Break 100? 

The number of golfers that can break 100 is between 78 and 88%. The percentage varies depending on the age of the population, years since the beginning of the golf career, male vs. female, and of course, these numbers all depend on players following the rules of golf. 

Golfers that can break 100 on a consistent basis probably have a handicap around 26 or less. To be able to break 100, you need the ability to hit a few decent tee shots, get the ball on the green with relative consistency, and make several 1 and 2 putts (not all 3 putts!). 

What Does it Take to Break 100? 

We know that a bogey golfer shoots around 90 and makes about 18 bogeys during the course of a round. Golfers wanting to break 100 can make 9 bogeys and 9 double bogeys. This would give you a score of 27 over par and, on most courses, a 99. 

Making 9 bogeys and 9 double bogeys sounds a lot easier than it is. The problem that many golfers face is penalty strokes and extra swings (2 or 3 to get out of a bunker). All of a sudden, your simple bogey turns into a triple, and then the chance of breaking 100 goes out the window. 

Skills Needed to Break 100 

Now that we know the majority of the golfing population can break 100, let’s look at what it takes to do it. As a scratch golfer, I can tell you that many of the same skills I need to break par are on this list. 

Mastering the skills necessary to break 100 will help your golf career for years to come. 

Related: How To Break 100

A Straight Shot off the Tee

To break 100, you need the ability to hit a relatively straight shot off the tee. If the driver isn’t working for you, find a 3 wood or 5 wood that can get the golf ball in play. 

Players that can’t break 100 are getting penalty shots from the tee box, which makes a double bogey more of a save than a poor hole. This won’t get you into the 90’s. 

Relatively Good Physical Fitness 

An awareness of physical fitness and being physically able to swing a club consistently is another key characteristic. You won’t have to be a marathon runner here, but finishing 18 holes and not being completely exhausted is a great start. 

Let’s face it, as you come down the final stretch and you start to get tired; you probably make poor decisions and club selections costing you a few strokes. 

A Go-To Approach Shot 

Have an approach shot that you can rely on. Whether it’s a hybrid from 160 yards or a 7 iron from 140 yards, have a yardage and an approach you trust. Regardless of how your hole started, if you can get to this approach shot yardage and get yourself on or close to the green, you are well on your way to saving the hole. 

Some Time Spent on the Driving Range

I love to practice. In fact, there are times that I find practice just as enjoyable as playing, which I know is rare. 

Even if you don’t love to practice, you have to put a little time in to break 100. Try to start with one practice session a week, even if it’s only a half hour. Mix in some stretching and swinging at home with training aids or devices. 

The Ability To Mentally Focus on a Task

You would be surprised how many golfers lose their ability to break 100 simply because they stop focusing on the task at hand. It’s imperative to stay focused and stay involved in what you are doing. 

I won’t tell you that you must stay focused for 4-5 hours straight while playing 18 holes. Instead, make sure you give each golf shot all the focus you can for about 30 seconds to a minute. 

Start with a pre shot routine, think about your target, look at the hole, align yourself, take a practice swing, hit the shot, watch it land, and consider your next one. You can then go back to socializing with your friends until it’s time to start the process again. 

Average to Above Average Golf Equipment 

More important than the age of the equipment you own is how good of a fit it is to your needs as a player. If you are playing with grandpa’s old wooden shafted driver, it’s time for it to go. 

Equipment made within the last 7 years will give you the best chance at forgiveness, distance, and consistency in your golf game. Outside of this 7 year range and you may be leaving some shots out on the course. 

Have your swing speed measured, go for a custom fitting, and get some advice about which equipment is best for you. 

What Keeps Golfers From Breaking 100? 

In addition to having the skills to break 100, here are a few things that can keep you from breaking 100. These challenges you may encounter will keep you from breaking 90 and 80 as well, so it pays to start working on them. 

Mental Pressure 

The first time you break 100, you will likely break it by more than one shot. Forget about the mental pressure to break 100; instead, focus on hitting one solid shot at a time. Make sure your shot ends up where you wanted it, and move to the next shot. 

There is something to be said for one shot at a time. 

A Slice 

A slice is a terrible miss. Not only does it end up well right of your target (right-handed players), but you lose distance. 

Chances are you will still slice the ball from time to time, even when you become a better player. However, if you can get rid of at least 75% of your slices, or turn your slice into a fade, breaking 100 becomes considerably easier. 

Three Putting 

Three-putting is just about as frustrating (if not more) than a slice. When you three putt, you are just tacking more shots to your score for small shots that you know you can make. Work on lag putting from about 25 feet and get really good at it. 

Successful lag putting helps the 3 putts disappear. 

The Sand

To break 100, you should be able to get out of the sand trap with a single swing. If you still take 2-4 shots to make it out of the sand, you need to focus the majority of your progress on the sand traps. 

Think about shooting a round of 103 and wasting 6 of your shots in the bunker! That should be enough motivation to get you out there practicing. 


Most of the time, amateur golfers hit their ball in a hazard because of a poor decision. If you have 215 yards to a green that is surrounded by water, it really doesn’t make sense to “go for it.” 

Play the hole smart, and avoid the hazards. 

Remember, all we need is 9 bogeys and 9 double bogeys; this gives you room to get yourself in and around the hazards on the course. 

How Long Does it Take to Break 100?

With consistent practice and mastering some skills like straight tee shots and fewer three putts, golfers should be able to break 100 in a 1 to 2 year period. However, many players take longer simply because they don’t have the time to put into the game. 

It takes some time to be good at golf, even if you are naturally talented. 

Can Beginners Break 100 in Golf? 

It is possible for a beginner to break 100 when they first learn to play golf. However, we see this happen more often with beginner golfers who are strong athletes and play other sports. 

Even though golf may not be as physically demanding as some other sports, it does still take athletic ability. 

Final Thoughts 

With the large majority of golfers being able to break 100, there is no reason you can’t get yourself into that group. Start to work on consistency and set one goal for yourself at a time. Make sure the goals you set are measurable and realistic. 

For even more encouragement, think about some of the best 9 hole scores you have had. 

Chances are if you pair up two of your best 9’s you would easily break 100. Use these thoughts and facts to motivate you to take your game to the next level. 

Picture of Britt Olizarowicz

Britt Olizarowicz

Britt Olizarowicz is a scratch golfer and former PGA Professional. Having picked up the club for the first time at age 7, thirty years later, Britt has yet to put it down.

You May Also Like

Leave a comment