Keeping score in golf is much easier than you may think. All you have to do count the number of times you hit the ball. It’s that simple.
A round of golf is a made up of 18 holes. Your score for that round is an accumulation of the number of shots, or strokes, you took to finish each of the 18 holes. After each hole, you write down the number of strokes you had on that hole, and at the end of 18 holes, you add up your scores from each individual hole into your score for the round.
Your score on each hole is measured against “par” which is the expected number of strokes you should take to finish the hole. Each of the 18 holes in your round of golf has a “par” score, either a “Par 3” or a “Par 4” or a “Par 5”.
The definition of par is different for each hole, generally based on difficulty and yardage length. For a hole that is Par 3, you would be expected to take 3 strokes to finish the hole. You would score a 3 and say that you “made par”. On a Par 4 hole, you are expected to take 4 strokes, and on a Par 5 hole, the expected score is 5.
A typical course is “Par 72” which means you would finish all holes with 72 strokes. That is optimistic. Most of us are not that good. Regardless if you are playing Par 3, Par 4, or Pat 5, if you take the expected number of strokes, then you have made par. If you take one additional stroke, you have scored a “Bogey”. If you take one fewer stroke than par, then you have scored a “Birdie”. We like birdies. If you take two fewer strokes than par, that is outstanding, and you will have scored an “Eagle”. Those are rare unless you are lucky.
To score a birdie on a Par 3, that means you will only take 2 shots to finish, so likely your drive will land on the green and you will one-putt. To score a birdie on a Par 4, you will take 3 shots to finish. You probably won’t drive the green, but you could be on the green in 2 shots and still one-putt for the birdie.
That’s it. These are the basics of keeping score in golf. It’s all you need to know to go out and play a round of golf. Here¡¦s to hoping for many rounds of golf with lots of pars and birdies.