golf scorecard

How do I keep score?

Golf is a sport which requires finesse, patience and a good deal of experience. While many online articles focus upon issues such as the mechanics of a swing or how to negotiate rough terrain, it is just as important to understand how to keep score from hole to hole. What do the experts have to say? Let’s break this topic down into a handful of sections in order to take the guesswork out of the equation.

One, Two, Three and So On…

While this may sound altogether straightforward, the main takeaway point is that you need to count every swing that you take. Note here how we utilised the word “swing” as opposed to “stroke”. In terms of scoring, there is no discernible difference. To put it another way, each time you attempt to hit the ball will with the club will count as one stroke. Assuming that it took you six strokes to finish a par 3 hole, every stroke will need to be recorded. The best way to avoid any mistakes is to write down all swings that were required before moving on to the next hole.

How Does the Term “Par” Come Into Play?

You may have noted that the term “par” was mentioned in the previous section. How does the par relate to golf scores? The par associated with a hole is the number of strokes that are normally required to complete the hole. Let’s imagine for a moment that the third hole was a par 3 and you required five strokes before completion. In this sense, you would have scored “two over par”. On the contrary, those who complete a par-4 hole in one stroke are said to be “three under par”. Assuming that you complete a par 2 in two strokes, you are considered to be “level par”. In order to compile your total par score for the course, simply tally up the sum of all the pars and compare these to your total number of strokes.

A Quick Look at Scoring Formats

You will generally come across three scoring variants when playing golf. These are:

  • Match play
  • Stroke play
  • The Stableford system

Match play scoring will involve comparing your score on each hole with that of your opponent(s). The player with the least number of strokes will win that hole. Stroke play is simply the act of counting the number of strokes taken and entering this number onto the scorecard. The Stableford system involves converting your score when compared to the par for each hole. These figures are then added together as “points” (as opposed to the total number of strokes).

So, it is clear to see that recording golf scores is much easier than you may have thought. Knowing how to keep golf scores is a crucial aspect of the game, so be sure to refer back to this article for additional guidance when required.

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