Detailed Analysis On The Scoring System Of Golf


Method of Keeping a Score Record in Golf

Golf has a scoring system completely different from other sports. In golf lesser the score better, it is. A score of 70 is far better than 100. It is very easy to keep the score in golf. You strike the ball, trace it, strike again and like this at the end add all the shots. Before you start playing golf, you should understand the finer points of correct score keeping.

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Method 1 – Counting Number of Strikes as Score

1. Keep Up a Scorecard

Playing over 18holes completes one round of golf. You should record your score after each hole on a scorecard. It is important to keep a scorecard as some time even an experienced golfer can forget to record a shot. You should keep a watch on your score as well as on the score of your fellow players in the group.

Normally you are accountable to keep the score of your opponent and in turn, your opponent is accountable to keep score of you. At the end of each round, you should check the card of your opponent and agree that he has recorded your score correctly and signed on it for your approval. You have to do it at the end of every round and. If by chance your opponent makes a mistake in keeping score, which makes your score inferior, you will have to take the responsibility of this.

In some groups, before starting a game, one person is made in charge of recording the score of all individuals.

2. Every Shot Taken to Strike the Ball is Counted as Score

Generally, in 99.9% cases, a player strikes the ball. But if during the strike he or she misses touching the ball it will still be counted as a shot. On the contrary, during practice swing if by mistake you strike the ball it will not be counted as a shot. So whenever you take a shot at the ball, it is counted as a score whether it hits your aim or not.

For each hole, some strikes required reaching there are known as “Par.” This is an average number of strikes you should take to put the ball into the hole. If par is 4 and you have taken five strikes to reach there, your score is counted as 1-over. Similarly, if par is 75 and you finished the round at 90, then your score would be 15-over for that hole.

You should keep a count of strikes taken to reach a hole to know your performance. You should also know that if you finish the hole with one stroke less than par it is known as “Birdie,” two strikes below par is called “Eagle” and one strike above par is “Bogey.” A “Double Bogey” is finishing the hole with two strikes more than par.

3. Beware of Penalties

Strikes that results in charging you some extra points are called penalties. Your target should be to keep your score as low as you can and avoid penalties as they jack up the score. Some of the penalties are as listed below:

  • If your ball goes into the water, you are required to take a new ball and start playing from the earlier spot. This will cost you one-strike penalty point.
  • If the ball goes beyond designated boundary, you are required to take a re-hit from the same position and take a 2 point penalty.
  • If the ball is lost, you take a new ball and start from the same spot, and it will cost you two strike penalties.

4. Addition of Points

At the end of the game add up all points scored on each hole for a total. Do not miss any count and do not forget to check it twice. If you are participating in a tournament, your competitor will be maintaining your score. Thoroughly check it and sign it to accept it as an official score. Person having lowest score wins the tournament.

Players settle the score in midway after 9th hole to ease the final calculation at the end of the game after the 18th hole.

5. Keep Track of Your Handicap 

After playing many rounds on the same golf course, you would know the maximum strikes you had to take for completing full 18 holes game. This will be your handicap. Whenever you play, the next game keeps in mind this handicap and try to achieve the better score.

Another method of using handicap is playing the game with Stableford method. In this score is not based on the number of strikes made to reach each hole, but net points you gain per hole. For example, if your score is equal to par you gain 2 points. If you score is 1-over par (bogey) you gain only 1 point. In case, you score 1-under par( birdie) you gain 3 points. If you score 2-under par (Eagle), you gain 4 points.  In this counting system player who gets maximum points is declared winner.

Method 2 – Match Play Score Keeping

1. Counting Score as “Holes Up” or “Holes Down.”

This is a very good scoring system for beginners. In this method, you do not have to keep a very accurate account of some strikes you took to reach a hole. One has to score more holes than the opponent in this method. Suppose you score 6 in reaching the first hole, and your opponent scored four on the same hole then your competitor is “one up” as he is ahead by one hole.

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2. If Inevitable Concede the Hole

In case you are finding it impossible to reach a hole during a round, you can leave that hole to save the energy and wisdom and you can start afresh on the next hole.

3. Record Correctly, who has Won, Each Hole

You can continue to play and keep noting down who has won on each hole after completion of each round. Write +1 if you have won that hole and -1 if you are behind on that hole. If your opponent and you take the same number of strikes to get a hole, you will write “AS” for that hole, and it will be considered as a draw.

4. Finish the Appropriate Game

Finish the game when one player has some “holes up” than the holes remaining.

After 15th hole(out of 18 holes) if one player is ahead by four holes, he will be considered as winner, and there will be no need to play further game as not enough holes are left(only three holes left) for the second player to come back in the game

5. Do Not Worry about Number of Strikes Taken to Reach a Hole

For the beginner, it is advisable to concentrate on putting the ball in the hole rather than getting worried about some strikes which are taken to reach that hole. By following this, you will concentrate more on getting the ball in the hole than analyzing how many strikes you took to reach that hole. Once you gain experience and become a good player, you can concentrate on improving your score by reducing the number of strikes to reach a hole.

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