Scoring Your Golf Game


Author: Charlie Palmer

Who keeps an accurate score?

You go to the golf course to play your round of golf today. They provide you with a scorecard to show you the golf holes, course layout and distances. You also probably like to keep your score to measure your success or failure during your round played today.

Scoring your round of golf is part of the game.  It is you against the golf course or it could be you versus your golf opponent or even a team effort of you and partner versus two other golfers. The game of golf comes with many rules to govern play and how your score is affected. Rules can either help you or hurt you on the golf course. But how many amateur golfers actually know many of the rules of golf? The United States Golf Association is the governing golf authority in the USA that publishes a book annually with all the rules of the game and major decisions on the rules.

Golfers that know the rules may or may not score their round of golf according to the rules and how if any rules effect their round. The Golfer that hits their tee ball out of bounds off the tee where it is clearly marked Out of Bounds, should incur a one stroke penalty if they have to hit another tee shot to put a ball into play. This would mean that the second ball played would have the golfer lying three strokes and not two. However, unless you have an opponent monitoring your score, how many golfers actually add the penalty stroke?

I have coached college golf and supervised as well as monitored hundreds of junior golf tournaments over 20 years. I was very surprised how young golfers, even knowing the rules, do not play according to them and will if not detected take the opportunity to score incorrectly. They do not grasp the integrity of the game and how it is to be played as a game of honor and honesty. The golfer monitors themselves and should score their scorecards according to the rules of the game.

I recently have been once again approached by two young golfers on this matter of other golfers cheating and not accurately reporting their correct scores. The two golfers scored and turned in accurate scorecards. The other golfers that were clearly cheating and not counting all strokes turned in on their score cards. The two young golfers missed the cut for their high school golf teams because their true score was slightly higher than the couple of young golfers that decided to cheat to make the team.

These are valuable lessons learned at an early age that may carry on into adulthood and many future rounds of golf as well as other aspects of life. The golfer that cheats on their score is only cheating themselves. They will never truly know their abilities in the game.  If the score is the best means to measure your success or shortcomings, how will they ever honestly know how good they are?

So take it to heart when you write down that next bogey on your scorecard. If it’s a double bogey, write the true number. You are not only cheating yourself, but you might be sending the wrong message to some younger golfers who need to learn to record the correct score and strive to work harder at their golf game in order to achieve to those lower scores.

Richard W. Nagle
Contributing Writer