How To Keep Score

Wouldn’t it be fun if golf had a feature like bowling, where your score automatically popped up on the scorecard? Unfortunately, you’ll have to handle that part yourself -- although there’s no shame in playing for the fun of the game instead of a score. But if you do decide to mark down a number, here’s how to do it the right way.

What You Need to Know

• When recording a score, count all the times you tried to hit the ball -- even if you didn’t move it far.

• The two most common scoring methods? Stroke play, where you add every stroke up at the end, and match play, where you compete hole-by-hole.

• Whichever you choose, be sure to count carefully—even if you aren’t playing in a tournament or a money game with friends. Why? Because you won’t know if you’re getting better unless you know what you’re really shooting!