If you are new to golf or have been away from golf for a long time, then you need to learn or remember how to keep score in golf. It may look a bit confusing at first glance but keeping the score in golf is really simple and straightforward. Why I said confusing is because the scoring system of golf is quite different from most of the games. The least score holder wins in the golf game!
For keeping your score in golf, you have to carry these things besides your golfing equipment. These are-
- A pen.
- Pencil and eraser.
- Clipboard (if necessary).
How to Keep Score in Golf
For keeping score in golf, you have to keep few things in mind. Follow the given guideline to keep score without any error.
For scorekeeping, the most necessary thing is the scorecard. A standard golf scorecard will have the Back tee, Middle tee, and Forward tee columns filled with numbers. These numbers represent average yardage from that tee box to the center of the green, which measured down the center of the fairway. The ninth hole should have two numbers in it. It’s simply because there are two sets of tee boxes on the ninth hole.
You should also see a line that has ‘Out’ written in half and ‘In’ written in another half. The ‘Out’ half is similar to the Forward and the ‘In’ half is similar to the Back column. These are simply a pullover from how golf courses used to be designed, where the first nine holes went out away from the clubhouse etc.
There will be another column name PAR that shows par for each hole. It also gives a detailed par for the out, in, and the total. Lastly, the column ‘Strokes’ is for performance and handicap calculation.
The second thing to determine is who is going to keep track of the score and write on the card. Generally, two scenarios can be found. In a friendly round, there are no rules for who is going to keep score. One person can be selected or anyone can volunteer to keep the score. But in a tournament, the score-keeping rule is, you can’t keep your own score. You have to keep your opponent’s score instead and the opponent will keep yours. At the end of the tournaments, you have to sign the cards to assure the accuracy of the score. Make sure all scores are accurate (especially penalties) before signing the cards.
Normally, there are two types of scoring, for a stroke and for a match.
For Stroke Play
As I mentioned before, you either have to count your score or your opponent’s. But both of the time you must have proper counting of your own score. A purposeful and legal strike attempt should be counted as a stroke. However, if the player purposely tries to hit the ball and whiffs, it will also be counted. There is no counting for a pre-announced practice shot.
The ‘PAR’ column of the scorecard shows the average amount of strokes needed to send the ball in the hole. If you take more strokes than the PAR-number, then the extra shots will be counted as ‘over’. In vise versa, if you take fewer shots to put the ball in the hole, the remain shorts will be counted as ‘under’.
Be Aware of Penalties
Since the golf score system is in reverse, the penalties will add an extra point to your score. Also, penalties have the most possibility of getting tempered by the opponent. So be much conscious about penalties. Some common penalties are-
- If you lose a ball and expect to re-hit from the original zone, you have to add 2 penalty strokes.
- If you drive a ball in the water and put a new one in the expected location, it will cost you 1-stroke addition on your card.
- If you send the ball out of the white stakes boundary and re-hit from the original area, it will cost a 2-stroke penalty.
For Match Play
Score Each Hole
It is a great way to keep score for the beginners in a match. For this, you have to be concern about every round. The task is to count strokes for every single hole and determine who won on that. The person to put the ball to the hole in less shot will have a ‘Hole up’.
You Can Skip a Hole If Necessary
There are certain situations where the ball goes in such areas from where it is impossible to put the ball in the hole. This will only lose your energy and divert your focus. In such situations, you are allowed to give up on that hole and move to the next one with a clean start.
Calculating handicaps helps you to improve your performance and overcome your errors. You can calculate handicap after ten or more rounds in the same course. Moreover, this handicap score is much usable on evaluating your performance and also for some playing style.
- If you are a beginner, never get upset with your score. Rather focus on improving the performance.
- It is always better to look at the scoreboard after every round if the opponent is keeping your score.
- Never get in an argument if it really does not matter on your winning or you are not sure of that.
Though the score keep system of golf is quite different from the score-keeping of other sports, it is much easier to understand it. Simple enough to learn within a day! Keeping score is a vital part of golf and you must know it correctly and keep score fairly to bright your golf career.
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