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How To Keep A Golf Scorecard

Jun 12, 2008
Sometimes as you are beginning to play the game of golf, keeping score for a round may seem daunting at first. After reading this article, you should find scoring for golf can be easy. Many players do not keep score when they first start because they are already nervous and frustrated by their golf swing. Remember no matter what skill level you are at, having fun is the real name of the game.

We will begin with explaining the scorecard. Obviously, not all scorecards are alike. However, they all have some basic components. To start with, every scorecard has a wide column for the names of the players. This is purely for your reference. The order the names (or nicknames) appear on the card does not matter.

Although golf is typically played in foursomes, you may find more than four spaces available for names. Sometimes, a scorecard will have par (we will discuss later) as a colored bar running across the card and this will allow for you to show teams more easily if needed.

Next, par on the scorecard refers to the expected amount of strokes that it may take to complete the hole for a scratch golfer. With exceptions to the rule, par is determined by distance. Par is always determined by assuming it would take two strokes once on the putting surface in regulation. For example a hole that is a "Par 5" should take 3 strokes to reach the green in regulation and two more strokes to complete.

If you can reach a par five in two shots and two putts that would be a four or one under par or also known as a birdie. Conversely, if it takes you four strokes to reach the green on a par five and two putts then you would have made a six or be one over par also known as a bogey for that hole. After the round you may hear someone refer to their round as ten over. This means they were ten over par.

On a course with a par of 72, they would have been telling you that they had shot 82 that day.

Sometimes players will use a handicap for scoring. The handicap is the amount of strokes that can be subtracted from a player's actual score to produce a net score. If your handicap is a 20 for the course you are playing that day and you shoot a score of 85 or thirteen over, 85 would be your .gross score. and 65 or seven under would be your .net score.. This is why sometimes you will see two tournament scores posted by a name at your local club. One is a gross score and the other is a net score.

You will also find a column to record a score for each hole played. Each time you make an attempt to hit the ball it will count as one stroke. The total strokes for each hole are added up and the total is entered on the scorecard. The first nine holes that you play are referred to as the out nine and the last nine holes are referred to as the in nine. Old links golf courses went straight out for nine holes and then turned and came straight back in. Once you have completed eighteen holes you will add you r scores form the front and back nines for your total score.

To properly complete a scorecard, you will sign the card as well. All scorecards have a place to sign as the scorekeeper or to attest the scorecard as well as to provide the date. This will become more important to you as you begin to play tournament golf. Your club may require this for the scorecard to be valid for handicap purposes as well. Check with your local club to make sure.
About the Author
Max Johnson writes golf articles for Wireless Golf Coach. Click to find a golf instruction training aid or a golf instruction book that will work for you.
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