How to Calculate a Golf Score

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It is relatively easy to calculate your score during and after a round of golf as long as you enter accurate numbers in the appropriate places on your scorecard. Calculating your score is important because it lets you see how you fared in relation to par for the course and can eventually help you earn a handicap.

Things You'll Need

  • scorecard, pencil

How to Calculate a Golf Score

  • Grab a scorecard from wherever you pay your greens' fees for your golf round. The scorecard is free and contains information such as the distance of each hole, boundaries, and par for each hole. This can be of great help, especially if you are new to the course. Many players prefer to attach the scorecard to the clip provided on the steering wheel of the golf cart, if they are renting one.

  • Write your name on the scorecard. Make sure you keep other players' names in the correct column if you are keeping score for the group. You might want to keep an additional scorecard just for your own score.

  • Keep close count of every stroke, including any penalty strokes you may have incurred for hitting the ball out of bounds or other infractions. Ask your playing partners if you have any questions about what transpired on a hole.

  • At each tee, write the number of strokes for the previous hole in the correct space on the scorecard. Don't write your score while still on the green because you can needlessly delay golfers behind you.

  • Total the number of shots you took for the first nine holes (commonly referred to as the front nine). Jot down this number in the box provided, along with how many shots you were over or under par. For example, if par for the first nine holes was 36 and you needed 45 strokes to finish, you would write 45 in the box along with a plus-9 to indicate you were nine strokes over par.

  • Do the same for the next nine holes (the back nine).

  • Calculate your total golf score by adding up the front nine and the back nine scores. Then indicate how many strokes you were over or under par for the entire round. Do this on both scorecards and then sign them. Many golf courses will help you find your handicap if you keep accurate count of your scores.

Tips & Warnings

  • A handicap is given to a player after he's played enough rounds to determine his ability. It basically reflects the number of strokes a player averages over par during a round. It is used to allow players of different skill sets to compete against each other. For example, a player with a 7-handicap will have seven strokes subtracted from his final score.

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