How Scoring Works in Golf



20 Apr 2023

The Basics of Scoring in Golf

Golf is the sport where shouting "fore" makes you sound like a pro, even if you're a complete newbie! It's the ideal pastime for all ages, from grannies to grandkids. With so many courses available, there's no reason not to hit the links on a gorgeous day. But let's be honest, when you're just starting out, keeping score can feel like trying to decode some cryptic ancient text. Forget about those hieroglyphics guidebooks; let me guide you through this score-keeping insanity. Don't worry if you're not a math whiz or a golfing expert. I'm here to help you understand the ins and outs of keeping score in this weird and wonderful game. Let's make it fun and easy, so you can focus on perfecting your swing and enjoying the beautiful scenery around you. So, grab your clubs, and let's get started!

How do Golf Scores Work?

Scoring in golf is as easy as counting your strokes (and penalties, if you're unlucky) and adding it up with your handicap against par. I know what you're thinking - "Wait, what's a handicap?" and "What's par?" Don't worry; I'll break it down for you in a way that won't make your brain explode.

Before you start taking whacks at that ball all over the place, let's ensure you understand how to keep score. Trust me, you want to avoid ending up with a scorecard that looks like it was written in hieroglyphics. So, put down that calculator, and let's dive into the wild and wacky world of golf scoring - Robin Golf style!

photo of golf score card

Understanding Scorecards

If you want to keep track of your game, you gotta get yourself a scorecard. Don't worry; the golf course usually has 'em ready to go. Look for 'em at the front desk of the clubhouse or in a mailbox near the first hole.

The scorecard is like your trusty guide throughout the course. It tells you which holes are easy peasy and which are a total nightmare. Plus, it lists the distances for each tee box, color-coded like a fancy rainbow.

Now, pay attention to this part. Each hole has a number called "par," which is how many strokes it should take to sink that ball. When you add all the pars from the 18 holes, they should be around 72. You add your strokes and penalties for each hole, giving you your score. So you are four over if you shot 76 and the par was 72. Easy peasy, right? Well, not so fast. The golf course likes to keep things interesting by throwing in something called "handicap." It levels the playing field so everyone has a chance to win. You subtract your handicap from your total score, giving you your final score.

Remember to put your name in that long box at the top of the scorecard. Also, signing as the scorecard's scorekeeper is only required when you are in competition. You will be disqualified if you do not sign for your card. And make sure you count every stroke - even if you're just tapping in for a par. Trust me, if you mess up your scorecard in a competition, you'll be disqualified faster than you can say "golf ball." So, keep your eyes on the ball, carefully count your strokes, and have fun!