How to Keep Score in Golf: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners and Pros Alike

By Bob Williams

August 7, 2023


Golf can be a tricky game. Knowing how to keep score is an important skill for anyone who enjoys the game, and it can make the difference between ending your round with a sense of accomplishment or frustration.

Keeping score in golf isn’t as complicated as many people think; all you need is some basic understanding of the rules and an eye for detail.

In this blog post, we’re going to break down exactly what you need to know about keeping track of your progress on the links – from why scoring is so important to how each hole’s stroke count affects your total score. Read on if you want to get better at counting up those pars and birdies!

Understand the Different Types of Golf Scores

Golf is a sport that requires a keen understanding of the different types of scores. Knowing how to calculate these scores can make the difference between a good game and a great one.

For starters, the most common type of score is the stroke play score, which involves counting every stroke made during a round. Another type of score is the match play score, where each hole is scored individually and the player with the lowest score wins the hole.

Finally, there’s the Stableford score, which rewards players on a point system based on their performance on each hole. Understanding these different scoring systems is key to mastering the game of golf and achieving your best performance.

Know How to Count Your Strokes

Golf is a game of precision and accuracy, and counting your strokes is vital to the experience. Knowing how to count your strokes not only helps you keep track of your progress throughout the course but it also enables you to improve your game and become a better player.

By paying attention to your strokes, you can identify areas where you need to improve, such as your drive or putting skills. You can also adjust your game plan based on the difficulty of each hole and the obstacles you encounter.

So whether you are a seasoned pro or a beginner, mastering the art of counting your strokes is an essential skill that will enhance your enjoyment of the game and help you achieve your golfing goals.

Track Your Putts and Other Scores on the Course

Golf is a game of precision, control, and strategy, and every shot counts towards your final score. That’s why tracking your putts and other scores on the course is a must for any serious golfer.

By keeping a detailed record of each hole, you’ll be able to identify areas where you need to improve and adjust your game accordingly. Plus, tracking your progress over time can be incredibly satisfying and motivating, especially as you start to see your scores drop and your skills improve.

So whether you’re a veteran golfer or just starting out, grab a scorecard and a pencil and start keeping track of your shots today. Your game will thank you for it!

Consider the Type of Course You’re Playing on

As any avid golfer knows, the type, of course, you play on can drastically affect your game. From the fairways’ length and layout to the greens’ speed and undulation, each course presents its unique challenges.

For example, a links course requires a different strategy than a parkland course, with its rolling hills and dense woods. And let’s not forget about the weather!

Windy conditions on a coastal course can make club selection a guessing game, while heavy rain can turn the greens into a slip-and-slide. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, taking the time to consider the type of course you’re playing on can help you make better decisions and ultimately improve your score.

Keep Score When Playing With a Group of Friends

Playing games with friends is always a good time – but what happens when there’s no clear winner or loser? That’s where keeping score comes in! Plus, it helps to keep everyone accountable and focused on the game at hand.

So next time you’re playing with friends, consider keeping score – you might be surprised how much more fun it can make the experience!

Track Your Performance Over Time

One of the best ways to achieve your goals is by tracking your performance over time – and doing so has plenty of benefits. By keeping a log of your progress, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come and celebrate your successes.

Tracking allows you to identify areas where you need improvement and adjust your approach accordingly. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, run a faster mile, or achieve a professional goal, keeping track of your progress can help you stay motivated and accountable.

So next time you set a goal for yourself, start tracking your performance and see just how much you can accomplish!


All in all, scoring your golf game is an important step to becoming a successful golfer. Understanding the different types of golf scores, knowing how to count strokes properly, and tracking your putts and other scores on the course are all essential to improving your game and achieving your ultimate goal as a golfer. Effective tracking and monitoring will help you assess how well you’ve played over time, compare yourself against others on the same course or a similar context, and build confidence in yourself and your skills.

Moreover, it helps you stay aware of where you stand with respect to the various courses you’ve played once; this idea applies even more so when playing with friends or competing in tournaments.

So, before you head out onto the links again be sure that you have a good grasp on golf scoring – only then will you be able to use it to become a better golfer!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is the difference between stroke play and match play?

A: Stroke Play is a game in which each hole is scored based on the total number of strokes taken to complete the hole. Match Play is a game where each hole is worth one point for the player who has the lowest score, regardless of how many strokes it took them to get there.

Q: How do I keep track of my putts?

A: To keep track of your putts, you should use a scorecard or other tracking system. All you need to do is make sure that your scorecard includes both pars and birdies so that you can track your progress over time. Additionally, keeping an eye on your putt count can help you identify areas where you need to improve and make adjustments to your game plan.

Q: How do I know which type of scoring system to use?

A: The type of scoring system that is used will depend on the type of round that you are playing, as well as the preferences of the players involved. Generally speaking, stroke play is the most common form of golf scoring, but match play and Stableford formats are also popular alternatives. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual or team to decide which scoring format works best for them.

Q: Is there any benefit to keeping track of my scores over time?

A: Absolutely! Keeping track of your scores over time can help you measure your progress as a golfer, identify areas where you need to improve, and make adjustments to your game plan based on the difficulty of each hole. Plus, tracking your performance can be incredibly satisfying and motivating – especially as you start to see your scores drop and your skills improve!

Q: What other resources are available for learning about golf scoring?

A: There are numerous resources available online that can help you learn more about golf scoring. For example, the USGA offers an extensive library of instructional videos and tutorials that provide detailed information on all aspects of the game. Additionally, many courses offer free clinics or classes that can teach you how to keep score in golf.

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