Keeping Score

Keeping score during a round of golf is crucial if you ever want to better your game. Although knowing you just shot a 120 is not critical to developing a better game, having a consistent scorecard will allow you to receive a handicap from the PGA.

Once you have a handicap you can now compete with every other golfer with a handicap or without. This next section will help you learn how to keep score and read a scorecard so that you can receive a handicap from the PGA.

The following scorecard was completed by three golfers. Shawn, Sam and Kevin played a round at Golf Course and posted their scores on this card. Sam is a weekend golfer and shoots in the high 110’s. Kevin is a scratch golfer which means he consistently shoots par which is 36 for the front nine. Shawn is better than scratch and today has shot a remarkable 5 under par on the front nine today.

The first line of the scorecard reads HOLE. This is the number of the hole to be played. Next line reads BLUE. This is the distance to the green measured in “yards” from the blue tee box (pros). The next line is WHITE and this is the distance from the white tee box (mens) and GOLD for senior players.

The line PAR is the recommended amount of strokes to complete a hole. The line MENS HANDICAP refers to the difficulty level of the hole for male players. The first hole on this nine is the 3rd most difficult hole on the course.

The bottom section is for female players and is read just like the men’s section from above. RED is the distance PAR is the number of strokes to finish a hole and HANDICAP is the difficulty level of the hole in play.

Notice the red circles around Shawn’s scores. This is done to signify a player has taken less than the recommended amount of stokes. The following terminology refers to the naming convention used for counting shots:

  • Par – A par 4 hole is completed in 4 strokes.
  • Birdie – A par 4 hole is completed in 3 strokes.
  • Eagle – A par 4 hole is completed in 2 strokes.
  • Double Eagle – A par four hole is completed in 1 stroke.

These names will also apply to Par 5 holes. Simply put it is the completion of a hole in LESS than PAR for that hole.

A Hole in One on a Par 3 is also called an Eagle. A hole in one on a Par 4 is a Double Eagle or finishing a Par 5 in 2 strokes.

In conclusion, make sure to keep accurate score and save your scorecards. Once you have enough to saved submit them to a handicapping company so you can acquire your very own PGA handicap.