In golf, a perfect round is a round of eighteen holes where all holes were played on average at one under par (average of birdie on every hole) resulting in a score of 55 on a par 73 course, 54 on a par 72 course, 53 on a par 71 course, and 52 on a par 70 course. The term 'perfect round' is used for a 54 as the lowest score generally accepted as being in the realm of possibility among professional golfers on a par 72 course. This has remained the standard and has never been achieved by a professional golfer in a professional event.
Lowest scores overall
The lowest officially recorded score is 55 by Rhein Gibson and this score is recognized by the Guinness World Records. Four other rounds of 55 are documented, but these are commonly discounted due to the quality of the course or the nature of the round (e.g., a non-competitive round).
Lowest scores in professional golf
In official golf tournaments on major tours:
In unofficial tournaments or on minor tours:
|Maruyama, ShigekiShigeki Maruyama||58||−13||1/2||2000||PGA Tour||U.S. Open qualifying round|||
|Bohn, JasonJason Bohn||58||−13||4/4||1||2001||Canadian Tour||Bayer Championship|||
|John HahnJohn Hahn||58||−12||4/6||T50||2014||European Tour||qualifying school tournament|||
|Player, GaryGary Player||59||−10||2/4||1||1974||Brazil Open|||
|Gossett, DavidDavid Gossett||59||−13||4/6||T68||2000||PGA Tour||qualifying school tournament|||
|Mickelson, PhilPhil Mickelson||59||−13||2/2||1||2004||PGA Tour||PGA Grand Slam of Golf|||
|Kaymer, MartinMartin Kaymer||59||−13||2/3||1||2006||EPD Tour||Habsberg Classic|||
|Frazar, HarrisonHarrison Frazar||59||−13||4/6||1||2008||PGA Tour||qualifying school tournament|||
|McCurdy, WillWill McCurdy||59||−13||2/3||2015||SwingThought.com Tour||Callaway Gardens 3 Day|||
|Kind, RobinRobin Kind||59||−13||2/3||1||2015||Pro Golf Tour||Sparkassen Open|||
- Rnd is the round in which the score was shot, i.e. 2/4 means the round was shot in the second of four rounds.
- Finish is the final tournament finish of the player
Comments and quotes about achieving the perfect round
Annika Sörenstam has commented on many occasions about her desire to shoot the perfect round saying,
"I believe I can hit 18 greens, hit every fairway, you know—Vision 54, which means you birdie every hole, that's in the back of my mind. I want to putt better, chip better. That day when I hit 18 greens and one putt, I'll know I'm a complete golfer. Will that ever happen? I'm not sure, but it's possible. The 54 vision is always in the back of my mind."
In another interview she said,
"How do you shoot a 54? Hit one fairway. Hit one green. Make one putt. Do that 18 times and you have achieved golf perfection."
She even has a knitted blue and yellow head cover in her bag with the number 54 on it.
Cecilia Ekelundh, of the Ladies European Tour keeps the perfect round on her mind by drawing a 54 on the ball she plays in competition. "There is no reason why you can't birdie every hole," Ekelundh said. "I got the idea when Swedish speed skater Tomas Gustafson came and spoke at one of our national team days. He said he wrote his ultimate lap time on his shoe so that every time he put his shoes on he visualised making that time. Now every time I pick up a ball I have that vision."
There is an emerging philosophy among top rated golf schools popularized by Pia Nilsson's Vision 54 that concentrates on achieving the perfect round, the basic ideology being that striving for perfection results in better scores even if the goal is not met.
- "Lowest golf score 18 holes (male)". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
- Kelley, Brent. "What Is the Lowest 18-Hole Golf Score Ever Recorded?". About.com. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
- "Ishikawa's 58 sets major-tour record". ESPN. Associated Press. May 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- "Stephan Jaeger shoots the first 58 in Web.com Tour history". Golf News Net. July 28, 2016.
- "Traveler's Championship Scorecard: Jim Furyk". PGA Tour. August 7, 2016.
- "David the Goliath". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. December 2, 2000. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- "Al Geiberger Becomes First Pro To Shoot 59 In U.S. Golf Tournament". Gettysburg Times. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. June 11, 1977. p. 14. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Beck's 59 Ties Pro Golf Record". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sarasota, Florida. October 12, 1991. p. 1C. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Burns gets first Nike Tour victory". TimesDaily. Florence, Alabama. May 18, 1998. p. 2D. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Nike Tour's Dunakey becomes fourth to shoot 59". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. June 6, 1998. p. 6C. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Brown, Clifton (January 25, 1999). "A Round for the Ages: Duval wins With a 59". The New York Times. New York, New York. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Sorenstam Shoots LPGA Record 59". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sarasota, Florida. Associated Press. November 30, 1974. p. 1C. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- "Kuramoto Shoots a 59 in Japan". Golf Channel. September 26, 2003. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Gore Shoots 59 on Nationwide Tour". Los Angeles Times. August 6, 2005. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- "French golfer shoots European Tour's first official 59". ESPN. Associated Press. May 26, 2006. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- "Goydos shoots fourth 59 in tour history". ESPN. July 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- "Stuart Appleby shoots 59 at Greenbrier Classic". Sports Illustrated. August 1, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-01.[dead link]
- "Will Wilcox bags 4th 59 on Web.com". ESPN. July 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- Shain, Jeff (July 26, 2013). "Knox makes 'nearly everything' to shoot magical 59". PGA Tour. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- "Jim Furyk hits golf's magic mark". ESPN. 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- "Kevin Sutherland shoots first 59 on Champion's Tour at Dick's Sporting Goods Open". ESPN. Associated Press. 2014-08-16.
- "Ravano shots second official 59 in European Tour history". PGA European Tour. July 15, 2016.
- "Maruyama hits record low of 58 in qualifying". The Independent. London. June 7, 2000. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
- Hunter, Rory (September 18, 2001). "Bohn's round of 58 earns place in history". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2010-05-09.
- "John Hahn Fires 58 at European Tour Qualifying Tournament". Golf.com. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
- "Player fires 59". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Daytona Beach, Florida. Associated Press. November 30, 1974. p. 3B. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- "'99 Am Champ Gossett Shoots 59". CBS News. December 2, 2000. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Magic Mickelson fires 59 in Kauai". BBC Sport. November 24, 2004. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- "59 shots! Martin Kaymer writes golf history with a fabulous round". EPD Tour. June 21, 2006. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
- "Harrison Frazar shoots a 59 to seize Q-school lead". The Seattle Times. Seattle, Washington. Associated Press. December 7, 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- "McCurdy shoots 59 in SwingThought.com Tour event". Golfweek. July 16, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
- Langer, Christian (August 11, 2015). "59! Robin Kind and the round of his life". Pro Golf Tour. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
- Cutler, Bethan (June 10, 2004). "Cecilia Ekelundh: What's In The Bag?". Ladies European Tour. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
- "Ever-busy, multi-talented Nilsson dedicates time to teaching, traveling, forming friendships.". LPGA. February 3, 2003. Retrieved 2010-05-04.