How To Keep Score In Golf

Written by Michael O'Brien
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If you're new to the game of golf, you may be curious as to how scoring is determined. Unlike most games, you want to get as low a score as possible in golf. More is definitely less and sometimes things can get a little complicated. Let's see if we can't simplify it a little and get into the basic mechanics of golf scores.

Pars, Birdies, Bogeys, and Aces

Let's start with the concept of pars. Every time you play a hole, that hole is assigned a par. This means that you need to get the ball into the hole in a certain number of attempts. Every attempt is called a stroke. When you get the ball in under par, that means it took you less attempts to get the ball into the hole than the par assignment for that hole said.

Now, what are we talking about when we use terms like birdies, bogeys, or aces? These are simply expressions for how well someone scores. An ace is a hole in one. When you score an ace, you get one point for that hole. A birdie is when you score one point below the par of the hole in question. If the hole is a par four and you get the ball in the hole in three strokes, you've gotten a birdie. A bogey is when you get the ball in the hole one stroke over par.

Now let's get into handicaps. If you consistently score a certain way, a handicap can be added to your score to make things more even between you and other players. If you consistently get birdies, we may add one point to your score to make things more fair. If you always get bogeys, we may subtract a point from your score on every hole. These are handicaps.


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