Golf Statistics and Fun Facts

Sources:

World Records

nullarbor golf links

European Records

UK Records

Most Golf Courses By Country: World

Most Golf Courses By Country: Europe

Most Golf Courses By Country: Americas (excl. USA & Canada)

Most Golf Courses By Country: Australasia

People Per Course

Taking the top 10 Countries with the most courses what is the average number of people per course.

It’s a good job golf is not all that popular in France or Germany otherwise you would probably struggle to get a game!

Personal Records

Lowest `18 Hole Score

The lowest recognized rounds are 55s by Rhein Gibson at the River Oaks Golf Club and Alexander Hughes at South Lakes Golf Club.

The same scores were also achieved by Steve Gilley at Lynwood G&CC, Homero Blancas in Longview, Texas and E.F. Staugaard at Montebello G.C. These rounds are not considered because the courses were less than 6500 yards long.

Most Rounds in a Year (Walking)

Yancy Methvien played an amazing 911 rounds during 2019 beating the previous mark of 878!

Youngest golfer to score a hole-in-one

Christian Carpenter, 4 years and 159 days.

Most holes played in a day while walking

Eric Byrnes, 420 holes at Half Moon Bay.

carts

Most holes played in a day while riding in a cart

Robb James, 821 holes at Victoria Golf Club, Edmonton.

Longest Serving Club Member

Willie Cuthbert of Kirkintilloch Golf Club, 90 Years!

Golf Participation

USA

According to the National Golf Foundation

  • 36.9 million Americans played golf in some form in 2020 (golf course, driving range, simulators)
  • 3 million people played their first round in 2020, a big increase from previous years
  • 3.1 million junior players during 2020
  • 6 million female golfers, a rise of almost half a million in 2020
  • 502 million rounds played, 14% higher than 2019 despite some courses being closed for covid-19
  • 75% of all golf facilities are open to the general public

Europe

According to the R&A/EGA (2019 report)

  • 4.13 million registered golfers, a slight increase for the year but down from 4.4 million in 2010
  • 0.5% of the population are registered golfers
  • 27% of registered golfers are female
  • Germany had the highest number of registered golfers at 642,240
  • North Macedonia had the fewest with 48
  • Spain added 35,000 registered players from 2018
  • Female participation in England, Scotland and Wales is lower than almost every other European country (as a percentage)

PGA Tour

Leading Money Winners Visualisation (1980-2021)

Bar chart race showing the leading money winners from 1980 to 2021. Highlights how much prize money has changed over the last 40 years.

PGA Tour Earnings visualization

Driving Distance and Accuracy

I’ve put together some information on driving distance and accuracy covering some of the major tours here.

Lowest 18 Hole Scores

The first sub- 60 score on the PGA Tour didn’t arrive until 1977. We had to wait another 14 years for the next one but now we seem to have sub- 60 scores on an almost regular basis.

ScorePlayerVenueYear
58Jim FurykTPC River Highlands2016
59Scottie SchefflerTPC Boston2020
59Kevin ChappellThe Old White TPC, Greenbrier2020
59Brandt SnedekerSedgefield Country Club2018
59Adam HadwinLa Quinta Country Club 2017
59Justin ThomasWaialae Country Club2017
59Jim FurykConway Farms Golf Club2013 
59Stuart ApplebyThe Old White, Greenbrier2010
59Paul GoydosTPC Deere Run2010
59David DuvalPalmer Course, PGA West1999
59Chip BeckSunrise Golf Club 1991
59Al GeibergerColonial Country Club 1977 

Lowest 72 Hole Totals

ScorePlayerVenueRound ScoresRelative to Par
253Justin ThomasWaialae Country Club59-64-65-65-27
254Dustin JohnsonTPC Boston67-60-64-63-30
254Tommy Armour IIITPC San Antonio64-62-63-65-26
256Phil MickelsonStadium Course, TPC Scottsdale60-65-64-67-28
256Russell HenleyWaialae Country Club63-63-67-63-24
256Mark CalcavecchiaStadium Course, TPC Scottsdale65-60-64-67-28
257Michael KimTPC Deere Run63-64-64-66-27
257Jimmy WalkerWaialae Country Club66-66-62-63-23
257Tiger WoodsEast Lake Golf Club64-63-64-66-23
257Mike Souchak Brackenridge Park Golf Club60-68-64-65-27

Making the Cut

Babe Didrikson Zaharias is the only woman to make the cut in a PGA Tour event. She made the cut at the 1945 Los Angeles Open and played all 72 holes at the Phoenix Open and Tucson Open.

European Tour

Most Order of Merit Titles

Colin Montgomerie: 8 (including 7 consecutively)

Lowest 18 Hole Scores

NameYearTournamentCourseTo Par
Oliver Fisher2018Portugal MastersOceanico Victoria Golf Course-12
David Llewellyn1988AGF Biarritz OpenBiarritz Golf Club-8
Ian Woosnam1990Torras Monte Carlo OpenMont Agel Golf Club-9
Darren Clarke1992European Monte Carlo OpenMont Agel Golf Club-9
Jamie Spence1992Canon European MastersCrans-sur-Sierre-12
Johan Rystrom1992European Monte Carlo OpenMont Agel Golf Club-9
Paul Curry1992Bell’s Scottish OpenGleneagles Hotel Kings-10
Bernhard Langer1997Linde German MastersBerliner Golf & Country Club-12
Darren Clarke1999Smurfit European OpenK Club Palmer Course-12
Tobias Dier2002TNT OpenHilversumsche Golf Club-10
Fredrik Jacobson2003Linde German MastersGut Larchenhof-12
Ernie Els2004Heineken ClassicRoyal Melbourne-12
Phillip Archer2006Celtic Manor Wales OpenCeltic Manor Resort Roman Road Course-9
Rafael Cabrera-Bello2009Austrian Golf OpenFontana Golf Club-11
Kenneth Ferrie2011Open de Andalucia de Golf by Turkish AirlinesParador del Golf Malaga Old Course-10
Branden Grace2012Alfred Dunhill Links ChampionshipKingsbarns Golf Club-12
Brandt Snedeker2012WGC HSBC ChampionsMissions Hills Golf Club-12
Peter Uihlein2013Alfred Dunhill Links ChampionshipKingsbarns Golf Club-12
Scott Jamieson2013Portugal MastersOceanico Victoria Golf Course-11
Brandon Stone2018Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish OpenGullane-10

There have been two unofficial 59s scored on the European Tour. They aren’t counted because preferred lies were in operation.

Jorge Campillo and Colin Nel both managed it in the rain-affected Nelson Mandela Championship in 2013.

Cost of Golf

Green Fees of Open Championship Venues

The cost of playing former and current Open Championship venues continues to rise well above the rate of inflation. The laws of supply and demand!

I played Royal Lytham and St Annes in the late 90s and the green fee was £78 and that included lunch and a strokesaver.

I played Royal Birkdale in 2000 or 2001 and I think that was £99 just for the green fee.

Carnoustie was charging just under £100 in 2004 when I played and offered a ticket covering all three of their courses for £113.

Between 2000 and 2020 UK inflation totaled 72%!

The rates displayed are the adult weekday rate for 2021.

Golf CourseGreen Fee (£)Green Fee $ ($1 = £0.72)
Turnberry350486.11
Muirfield285395.83
Carnoustie270375.00
Royal Troon260361.11
Royal Birkdale250347.22
Royal St George’s250347.22
Royal Portrush240333.33
Royal Lytham and St Annes230319.44
Royal Liverpool220305.56
St Andrews195270.83
Prestwick195270.83
Royal Cinque Ports175243.06
Prince’s100138.89
Musselburgh Links16.522.92

Notable Players

Jack Nicklaus

The ‘Golden Bear’ still holds the record of the most major championships. He finished 2nd 19 times and 3rd on 9 occasions.

  • Most major championships: 18.
  • 3rd on the all-time list of PGA Tour victories with 73.
  • The oldest winner of the Masters at 46 years and 82 days.
  • Made the cut in The Open Championship for 23 consecutive years starting in 1962.
  • Has made the most cuts at the US Open, 35.
  • Has won each professional major at least 3 times. (Tiger Woods is the only other player to achieve that)

Tiger Woods

Tiger is one of only a handful of sporting stars to earn more than $1 billion in their careers. Here’s a look at how he did it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find accurate information for 2018, 2019.

  • $120,851,706 PGA Tour earnings. No.1 on the all-time list.
  • 683 weeks as world number one. Greg Norman is second with 331.
  • 41 European tour wins without ever actually being a member!
  • 82 PGA Tour wins. Tied with Sam Snead.
  • 15 major championships, second only to Jack Nicklaus.
  • Held all four majors at one time. The only player to achieve that.

Oldest Player to Win a Major

Phil Mickelson, 50 years of age, PGA Championship 2021, Ocean Course, Kiawah Island.

Youngest Player to Win a Major

Young Tom Morris, 17 years of age, Open Championship 1868, Prestwick G.C.

Fun Facts

  • Celine Dion owns her own course, Le Mirage G.C., Quebec. Her golf will go on!
  • Clint Eastwood owns Tehama G.C., California. I think that has made his day!
  • Justin Timberlake purchased Big Creek Golf Course in Memphis and renamed it Mirimichi.

Golf Statistics and Fun Facts: Summary

I hope you found the statistics interesting. I’ll be adding to this page on a regular basis.

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