Keeping Everyone’s Golf Score

Keeping score for most golfers is the benchmark by which they determine if they had a good round or not. Personally, it is only part of how I measure my rounds, but for sure I keep everyone’s score whether they ask me too or not. Having said that of course, during friendly matches I keep a hole by hole score in case I am asked. During competitions, I track everyone’s score, especially mine and the my assigned opponents. It is a habit I formed years ago and have not stopped today.

I realize that not everyone keeps their opponents score (especially given the results of my poll), however I suggest that most golfers should keep their opponents score if nothing else but to practice for competitions.

Marking your opponents score is a fundamental responsibility of all golfers. If this basic task was not important, it would be mentioned in the rules of golf.

Rule 3.3b – Scoring in Stroke Play

The player’s score is kept on his or her scorecard by the marker, who is either identified by the Committee or chosen by the player in a way approved by the Committee.

The player must use the same marker for the entire round, unless the Committee approves a change either before or after it happens.

(1) Marker’s Responsibility: Entering and Certifying Hole Scores on Scorecard. After each hole during the round, the marker should confirm with the player the number of strokes on that hole (including strokes made and penalty strokes) and enter that gross score on the scorecard.

When the round has ended:
•• The marker must certify the hole scores on the scorecard.
•• If the player had more than one marker, each marker must certify the scores for those holes where he or she was the marker.

2019 Rules of Golf

Here is an example from the official rules on the committee, player and marker’s responsibilities:

Now that we have the official requirement for mark someone’s score, I think it is important to outline why I think it is important to mark everyone’s score. It is really very straight forward:

  • it is good practice to track opponents scores to determine if I need to press my advantage or take greater risks
  • it helps to settle disputes on hole by hole scores
  • it helps me understand how to apply penalty strokes
  • it helps of who to beat in my group and help with course management
  • its fun
  • its a habit for years past
  • it is now part of my playing routine

Having said all this, I am a bit lax when playing with Blair and Rick. I generally keep everyone’s score anyway. Not sure how it happened, but I was elected as the official scorer of the group; at least most of the time. I do ask if they want we to keep their score and if they say no, I generally keep it anyway do not tell them the score at the end of the round. This, however, is a rare thing. We like to keep score as a routine, so I just start recording the hole by hole progress.

Keeping score is a basic tenant of golf. It is important to know how to keep score properly and practicing during friendlies is the perfect opportunity. If you do not keep your opponents score, I suggest that you start. You never know when this information will be needed.

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

2 thoughts on “Keeping Everyone’s Golf Score

  1. Jim, so you ask a friend if you can keep their score and they say, “no” you keep it anyway? I suppose that’s a smart move because you can accumulate data on their scoring capability and when it comes time to put a little something on the next game, use to your advantage. Is that the strategy or just your habit of keeping it anyway?



    • Brian

      More out of habit than anything. I generally do not play for money and haven’t for many many years. I scoring is out of habit more than anything else. However, in my younger days where we did have side games all the time, I did use this data to set the strokes players would receive. There was always one player who complained about his game all the time, but seemed to win most days. The haggling would start as soon as we walked towards the first tee. That was all part of the fun as well.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

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