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. While the lowest possible score is 18, 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:
|Shigeki Maruyama||58||−13||1/2||2000||PGA Tour||U.S. Open qualifying round|||
|Jason Bohn||58||−13||4/4||1||2001||Canadian Tour||Bayer Championship|||
|John Hahn||58||−12||4/6||T50||2014||European Tour||qualifying school tournament|||
|Gary Player||59||−10||2/4||1||1974||Brazil Open|||
|David Gossett||59||−13||4/6||T68||2000||PGA Tour||qualifying school tournament|||
|Phil Mickelson||59||−13||2/2||1||2004||PGA Tour||PGA Grand Slam of Golf|||
|Martin Kaymer||59||−13||2/3||1||2006||EPD Tour||Habsberg Classic|||
|Harrison Frazar||59||−13||4/6||1||2008||PGA Tour||qualifying school tournament|||
|Will McCurdy||59||−13||2/3||2015||SwingThought.com Tour||Callaway Gardens 3 Day|||
|Robin 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.
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- "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.