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Beginners to the game of golf often get a bit confused about what they’re supposed to be doing. Looking at a golf scorecard without having things explained to you will likely lead to a bit of head scratching. Thankfully, you’re going to be able to figure things out by looking at the tips below. They’ll make it easier to get your golf scorecard right so that you can just play the game. 

Scoring a Basic Stroke Play

The basic scoring system when you’re playing stroke play is easy to understand. You simply count the number of strokes, or shot attempts, that you’ve taken during the hole. After nine holes, you’ll mark your front nine totals and will do the same thing for the back nine once those holes have been completed. After this, you add those two numbers and you have your overall score for all 18 holes.

Understanding Birdies and Bogeys

Now that you know about basic stroke scoring, it’s time to explain birdies and bogeys. You see, each hole that you are playing has a certain par score associated with it. If a hole is said to be a par four, then that means that you’re expected to complete the hole in four shots to stay at par. Completing the hole in fewer shots or taking more shots will lead to a change in your score. 

If you are one shot under par, then that is considered to be a birdie and one shot over par is considered to be a bogey. When it comes to scoring these shots, you don’t necessarily have to keep writing numbers. Many golfers use circles to represent birdies and squares to represent bogeys. You can use two circles or two squares to represent an eagle or a double bogey.


Many beginning golfers are given a handicap on certain holes. This will allow you to reduce your score, but many get confused about what the handicap means. If you have a handicap of two, you’ll be taking a stroke on holes that are marked with a one or two. If you have a higher handicap such as a seven, then you’ll be taking strokes on holes that are marked one through seven.