How to Keep Golf Scores for a Beginner

By William McCoy
When learning to keep score, consult a fellow golfer for help.
When learning to keep score, consult a fellow golfer for help.

Keeping track of your score during a game of golf helps you see how well you're playing, the holes on which you struggled and the holes on which you excelled. Although beginners might want to just get out and play, learning how to score correctly is an important skill to develop. When playing in an official event, the scorekeeper, also know as the marker, is responsible for ensuring that the scores are accurate.

Write the name of each golfer in the designated spots on the scorecard. If you are playing in an event, you will receive an official scorecard with the name or names already imprinted on it.

Keep track of each stroke that for the golfers on the scorecard, as well as your own score if you are playing. Each attempt to hit the ball counts as one stroke, even if the golfer swings and misses. Add any penalty strokes to the score. If you have trouble recalling each shot, mark a tick on a scrap of paper or the back of the scorecard for each shot. To track your shots in a more organized fashion, purchase a manual or digital golf scorekeeper.

Mark the score for each hole in the designated box immediately after playing each hole. The score for the hole should be located on the same horizontal line as the player's name and below the appropriate hole number on the scorecard.

Add up each player's total score for the first nine holes and mark this number under the "Out" column header.

Repeat the standard scoring process on the back nine. Add up the scores over these holes and mark the total in the column titled "In." Add up the "Out" and "In" numbers for each golfer and write the sum in the "Total" column.

About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Valueline/Getty Images
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