How to Keep Score in Golf

I have to admit, I was finding it hard to write about golf for today. I seem to have a mental block or something, but I finally decided on the following topic. How do you keep score when playing golf. It seems like a strange topic, yet I assure you there is a plethora (nice word) of ways to determine your score. They all have their advantages and depending on the day, I will choose from any of them.

I use the following three methods when keeping my own score during none tournament rounds.

If you like math, the easiest way is to write your exact score of each hole on the score card. It is simple, but sometimes the numbers become challenging as adding up numbers between 5 and 8 have never been my strong suit. However, it offers the truest form of score keeping and you cannot go wrong by capturing the raw data.

Second is writing the number of strokes under, at, or over par. So, if I shot a eagle, I would write -2, par is 0 and bogey is 1. Think you get my drift. At the end you add all these smaller numbers; the challenge is being able to add positive and negative numbers. At the end, you add your score to whatever par was and that is your final count.

Third, and the method I usually use, is to keep a running score. I use the second method and add it up along the way. This method provides me an instant snap shot of how my score relates to par. I find it useful if I need to press a hole when assess risk reward.

I use the first method if I am keeping score for a group of 3 or 4; playing in tournaments; or any other competition. There is one exception though and that is during Match Play events.

Match play events do not require an actual score capturing the number of strokes each play made; the only requirement is to count the number of holes won or lost. There are two methods, straight score or accumulative. Either works. What I mean by that is for straight score I write a -1 if I lost, 0 for a tie and +1 if I win the hole. I add these up after and if the number is positive I won. Next is accumulative (this is my favourite method). I keep the actual score per hole in relation to being up or down at that moment. This is helps, as I stated earlier, to determine if I need to take more chances or play more defensively. Again match play requires a slightly different system of scoring, but the principles are the same for stroke play.

There are other formats that require slightly different scoring methods, but I do not play in those events as they are not popular in my area. Regardless, keeping score is the fundamental method to create a baseline of information to help improve your golf game in the future.

Tomorrow, I will show how I keep my stats with a scorecard. You might find it interesting.

How do you keep score?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

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