30 Year Olds versus 60 Year Olds. What’s Changed in Your Game?

Key Takeaways

  • Golfers, on average, lose 30 yards of driver distance from age 30 to age 60.
  • Older golfers have a better putts-per-round average than younger golfers.

Improved Performance Through Data

Big data is a powerful tool. Not only does it allow golfers to assess individual parts of their game but it provides an opportunity to examine performance from a variety of perspectives.

Golf stat tracking and performance management companies like Shot Scope help golfers better understand their on-course performance. However, by aggregating data from golfers around the world, we get a more complete picture of the realities of amateur performance.

So, as we delve into a relatively straightforward topic, think about where you find the most difficulty on the course. Does age matter when it comes to handicap?

Driving Performance Average Distance By Age

Shot Scope driving distance


  • You lose nearly 30 yards of driving distance if you’re in your 60s compared to when you were in your 30s.
  • Handicaps from age 30 to age 60 are nearly identical despite an ever-increasing distance gap.

While there is close to a 30-yard gap in driving distance, that difference doesn’t always equate to a lower handicap. The phrase “drive for show and putt for dough” may still have some merit at the amateur level.

Number of Putts Per Round by Age

Shot Scope putts per round


  • Ages 19 and under have the same number of putts per round compared to golfers who are 70-plus, give or take .1 of a shot.
  • The highest number of putts per round is from golfers in their 20s with 35.3 putts per round on average.
  • The lowest average number of putts per round comes from golfers in their 50s with 27.9.

The youngest and oldest golfers in this data set have the same putts-per-round average. It is yet to be determined why the lowest putts-per-round average comes from golfers in their 50s but it could equate to them missing the green in regulation a lot and then chipping the ball close to the hole. It could also be the opposite, whereby they hit the green in regulation more than any other age.

Number of 3 Putts Per Round by Age

Shot Scope 3 putts


  • The average number of three putts per round is 2.7 across all ages.
  • The lowest average of three putts per round comes from golfers in their 50s with 2.1 3-putts per round on average.
  • Golfers in their 20s three-putt 3.4 times per round on average.

The trend continues with golfers in their 50s averaging the lowest in handicap, putts per round and three-putts compared to other golfing ages. Could the older generation be playing more and therefore have more practice on the greens or could this be that the older the golfer becomes, the wiser they become?

Make Percentage From Six Feet by Age

Shot Scope make percentage from 6ft

  • The “make percentage” from inside six feet is 42 percent across all ages.
  • Golfers in their 50s hole out 51 percent of the time from six feet and in.
  • The lowest “make percentage” comes from golfers in their 20s.

Being young might show that you hit the ball farther than the older golfer but the money is getting it on the greens and taking the fewest number of shots possible to get it in the hole.

Granted, the number of shots recorded from each age group isn’t the same, so you can expect the data to change when more shots are recorded. It could also be surmised that more older golfers use GPS watches or could that they have more time to play golf and record this data.

How Do You Compare?

Do you score better or worse than the Shot Scope database averages?

What’s your biggest takeaway? Where is there room for improvement in your game?

Post a comment below!

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