Golf’s Simple Math

Golf is a sport steeped in the tradition of mathematics. Regardless of your experience, understanding the simple math of golf can improve your ability to shoot lower scores. There are many different take-aways for your golf score unless you have never been taught the proper math. Golfers who are only out for the pure enjoyment of golf likely do not keep score. That is great that they can enjoy their time on the links without any concern about score. Unfortunately, these players are few and most golfers keep score in order to gauge their playing ability. For those players, today’s article is about the simple math of golf.

The USGA and NBC Learn have put together a very simple to follow video that explains everything you want to know about keeping score in golf. If you are new to this amazing sport, you will find it very informative:

I keep score for 98% of my rounds of golf. There are a few times when I am out for fun or practice where I know that my score is not important or required. Because my course does not have a practice area, I use the quiet times on the course to sharpen my game. I do not practice when the course is full because I would only clog up the flow of everyone else’s game. Any way, I do keep score using a scorecard or electronically. I can keep my score in my head, but that is not a smart approach because sometimes mistakes can happen.

I think it is important to note at this time that following Arnold Palmer’s advice about keeping score is might be a fun approach to golf. All joking aside, keeping score is a fundamental part of learning how to play golf.

The amount of data gleaned from your scorecard is invaluable because it can help identify areas that need to be improved.

Additionally, it is important to recorded all your strokes. Sometimes players will ‘forget’ a stroke or two and that happens to everyone; but not on a regular basis. Not counting all your strokes is not acceptable on the links, especially in competition.

Rule 3 – Competition – outlines how to keep score in golf. It specifically talks about the rules and outcomes of keeping score properly. Depending on what format of the competition how to keep score will change.

For the most part, stroke play is the most common scoring method use by the average player. Stroke play is used during most friendly (non-competitive) rounds. For those rounds, the no pressure simple math works best.

For those competitive occurrences, Rule 3.3b is a rule that must be understood:

If the player returns a scorecard with a wrong score for any hole: Returned Score Higher Than Actual Score. The higher returned score for the hole stands. Returned Score Lower Than Actual Score or No Score Returned. The player is disqualified.

So you can see that keeping the proper score is important to golf. understanding the simple math is the first step. Once this process is mastered, then expanding our knowledge about the rules of scoring is the next logical step. Regardless of what your goal is with respect to recording your score, counting every stroke is a key component.

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


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