How to Keep Score When Playing Golf

Posted by Irulsid99 Sunday, April 1, 2012 0 comments
Golf is one of the few games where the lowest score wins in stroke play. It's also a game where players of diverse skills can compete against each other. Each golfer earns a handicap. That handicap is subtracted from the gross score in stroke play. Handicaps aren't considered in match play or in skins games. Signing the card when the score is wrong results in disqualification from tournaments if the score is lower than actually played or being stuck with a higher score if the error adds strokes.

Stroke Play
Count every stroke the player hits from the tee box on the first green to the last putt on the 18th green. A stroke is when the club makes contact with the ball or when the player intends to hit the ball. Strokes where the player intentionally misses the ball or alters his downward swing to intentionally miss the ball do not count. Practice strokes do not count. However, if the player intends to hit the ball and misses or duffs the
ball, the stroke counts.

Mark the number of strokes for each hole on the scorecard. In a recreational round of golf, each player keeps and marks their own scorecard. In competition tournaments, your playing partner keeps your score and you keep his.

Add in any penalty strokes if they're incurred on each hole. Penalty strokes are awarded for an unplayable lie, lost ball, hitting another player's ball, improving the ball's lie, having more than 14 clubs in your bag and quite a few other mistakes.

Total the scores for each hole. This is the gross score. Subtract your handicap from the gross score. This is the net score.

Attest to your score kept for you by your playing partner if you're in competition play.

Match Play
Play the first hole from tee to holing out the ball on the green.

Award one point to yourself, if you took fewer strokes than your opponent. Give your opponent one point if he had the fewest strokes on the hole.

Play the next hole. The player with the lowest number of strokes wins the hole and one point. The total number of possible points for an 18 hole round of golf is 18 points.

Give one-half point if both players had the same number of strokes on a hole.

Give the hole and the point to your opponent, if you incur certain penalties. This is different than in stroke play where additional strokes are assessed.

Total the number of points. The player with the most points wins. In some match play, the round is over when one player has won more points than there are holes left to play. In other matches, especially tournaments which continue over several days, all 18 holes are played.

Penalty strokes in golf can get confusing. Keep the rule book with you when you play. Even professional players have questions about certain situations. For example, Dustin Johnson, playing in the 2010 PGA Championship, grounded the club behind his ball. That's a two-stroke penalty when in a bunker and resulted in Johnson missing the playoff.
Title: How to Keep Score When Playing Golf
Written by Irulsid99
Rating Blog 5 out of 5
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