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How I Score My Golf

scorebox.pngWhen I golf, I always keep my own scorecard. I keep track of more than just the score, though, by documenting every shot so that I can later translate the results into a cohesive whole. This guides my practice, my focus, my swing thoughts, and course management in later rounds.

Pars result from one good shot and birdies from two. While I believe it's important to focus on the score and not the shots, I also believe that quality shots tend to lead to lower scoring and sound course management always leads to better scoring.

Documenting each shot in a round, particularly on a course you play frequently, also helps me build my own risk/reward tables and provides personalized "what club do I need" distances to the necks of doglegs, water hazards, fairway bunkers, and more.

My scoring technique is illustrated to the right. Alphabetically, we have:

  1. Score for the hole. Nothing fancy here - this is my score. Birdies get a circle, bogeys a square, and "others" get a square with a thick border.
  2. Putts for the hole. I count every time I use the putter, even if it's from the fringe. If there's a significant break or hill, I draw an arrow near the number to illustrate the break.
  3. Putt distances. If the first putt is from the fringe, I'd write something like "32f, 1" instead.
  4. The club used. The boxes below the score I use for each of my non-putter shots. In this example, I hit a driver from the tee.
  5. Shot pattern and results. You can see that I drew my driver a little bit too much. As you can see in the next shot with the 8I, I'll also write things like "F" for fat ("T" for thin, "t" for toe, "h" for heel) and "Sh" for short ("Lo" for long). I don't need to write the lateral direction, because the arrow takes care of that for me.
  6. The lie and any other conditions worth noting. I'll write "W" with a down arrow to note the wind into my face, or so on. Here, with "LR," I was in the light rough. "FW" is fairway, "FB" is fairway bunker (or "B" for bunker), "GB" for grass bunker, "R" for rough, "HR" for heavy rough, "HP" for hardpan, and so on.

Going over this hole, I can accurately tell you what happened: I hit a driver off the tee and started it a bit too far left to allow for the draw I was hitting that day. From the light rough I hit an 8-iron a little short and left because I caught it a tad fat. I was still on the green, though, and hit a fairly flat 32-foot putt to tap-in range for a par.

3 Responses to "How I Score My Golf"

  1. That definitely makes more sense than just recording the strokes, especially for a lousy golfer like me. Have you tried charting these?

  2. How I Score My Golf

    interesting technique for scoring your golf game.

  3. I'd welcome your input on a program ( ). It offers a way to focus on the game by keeping the ball in play and how well you finish the hole in 3 shots or less. It is a simpler approach but gets the job done in a positive and fun way.