Lou Stagner's Newsletter #34

Birdies and Doubles per Round

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Birdies and Doubles per Round

One of the most common questions I get goes something like this.

“Hey Lou, I made 2 birdies today and I am a 12 handicap. Is that good?”

“Hey Lou, I made 3 doubles today and I am a 9 handicap. Is that bad?”

The chart below, from the Arccos golf database (DATALOU15 saves 15%), shows the average birdies and doubles+ per round by handicap index.

Please notice how the dashed red line (average birdies per round) does not have a lot of change as you go from scratch players on the left, to 20 index players on the right. 20 index players average 1.9 less birdies per round than a scratch player.


The solid black line (average doubles+ per round) has a significant amount of change as you go from scratch to 20 index. 20 index players average 5.6 more doubles per round than a scratch player.

My Thoughts

I have said this so many times, but the key to getting better is NOT via more birdies, it’s less of the big numbers. To drive this home even further:

Percent of rounds where ZERO doubles or worse were made:

  • Scratch: 50.0%

  • 5 Index: 22.9%

  • 10 Index: 6.5%

  • 15 Index: 1.3%

  • 20 Index: 0.2%

A scratch player makes zero doubles (or worse) in one out of every two rounds they play.

A 20 index makes zero doubles (or worse) in one out of every 500 rounds they play!!!

Limit the big numbers and watch your handicap drop!


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    Have a great week!

Lou Stagner