If you are going to play Golf then best you know how to mark your card, there are different games each game has its own way of marking your card.
To save all you low handicap players time, this newsletter is for the beginners. 83% of all the e-mails we receive are from beginners. They are puzzled when it comes to scoring. Handicaps prove a mystery to them. (We all had to learn)
Score Card, how to score, about handicaps, hole index, basics related to scoring.
OK the card tells all –
For example hole 1: Distance from the white tee to the flag is 440 yards. It is a Par 4. Stroke index 11 which means it has been deemed to be the eleventh hardest hole on this course. (When you see stroke index 1 that then tell you at it is rated the hardest hole on the course.)
The handicap system is designed to make all players equal; in fact a high handicap player has even more chance to win.
Introduction to Stableford: The golf game with rules that are often used in club competitions
How handicaps are used in Stableford Competitions. This can at first seem complicated, but once you learn how then it will become easy.
Scoring in golf is sometimes a mystery to non-golfers or those just starting, because golf unlike other sports the golfer with the lowest score wins, (In normal Stoke play) Completive golf is played over 18 holes, if you are a pro golfer you would take 72 shots or lower to complete all 18 holes. That is referred to as a par round.
Each hole you start at the tee box, and finish in the hole on the green. Every time you make a stroke, count it. At the end of each hole, add up your strokes for that hole and write it down. At the end of the round, add up the strokes for each hole and, there you have it, your golf score, your then deduct your handicap which gives you your net score
Score in relation to par is also very easy to understand and you know how well you are playing by the number of shots taken on each hole.
When things go wrong for example your ball lands out of bounds (you will have to take a penalty stroke.)
On your score card each hole is given a number representing “par” – the number of strokes it would normally take a pro golfer to finish that hole.
If the hole is a par is 4 and you take 5 shots, then your score in relation to par is 1-over. E.g. a bogey
If the par is 4 and you only take 3 shots, then your score in relation to par is 1-under. E.g. a birdie
If par for the course is 72 and you finished with a 95, then your score is 23-over = to a handicap of 23.
The handicap system:
With the handicap system, you can play any other golfer on any course and be competitive. For example if your average score is 95, (Handicap 23) and you play a golfer that has an average score of 76, (Handicap 4) in simple terms if you take 95 shots, and he takes 77 you win.
In order to play on the prestigious / international courses you will need an official handicap, when you become club member, you can hand in three score cards, the average of the three scores will be your handicap. Once you play with a handicap of 18 or below you will be permitted to play on any course, including international high prestigious clubs.
Reason the club insist on you showing your handicap cards : To ensure you can play a full round in 4 hours or under, also you will comply with golf etiquette, correct code of dress, will not endanger other players, and for the hard working grounds men take care of the course. You will replace divots, repair pitch mark on the greens.
Match Play and Stableford
Match play is one of the main forms of competition in golf. Players go head to head either as a team as in the competitions like the Ryder Cup or the player team who wins the most holes win the match.
Match play can be played by two individuals, one on one and that is known as singles match play. Or teams of two players can square off, with Foursomes and Four-balls the most common formats for team play.
To learn more about match play
Professional competitions’ ALL PGA tour player’s golf professionals are all ranked equal.
(They do not use handicaps)
Amateur players must have a PGA handicap cap to play in competitions, quite easy to obtain, your handicap is record at your club, based on three score cards, all you need to do when you play preferably with a fellow club member is mark your card showing the correct number of stokes you took on each hole and the total number of strokes for all 18 holes, have the fellow member sign your card to confirm it was your score on that round then hand the card in to the club pro, most club now have a comprised system that allows you to enter your score for each hole it then calculates your score and records it each time once you have submitted 3 cards you will be given you handicap.
For example: If your handicap is 28 and your competitors’ handicap is only 22 then you have a handicap allowance of 6 shots. There are various way of applying the handicap, we think the simple way is to play is for you to be given 1 shot on the 6 most difficult holes on the course: Holes index rated 1 to 6.
Then for example: If you score 5 and he or she scores 4 the hole is even. If he or she scores 5 and you score 5 then you win that hole.
Simple: Win a hole that is one for you; lose a hole that is one for your opponent. Even holes essentially do not count; they are only ticked as even on the score card.
The other main difference is that amateur normally elect to play all 18 holes regardless of who is winning or how many holes they are leading by.
The basics of match play: Score-keeping terms use in professional match play.
The score of a match play match is rendered relationally. Here’s what we mean: Let’s say you’ve won 5 holes and your opponent has won 4. The score is not shown as 5 to 4; rather, it’s rendered as 1-up for you or 1-down for your opponent. If you have won 6 holes and your opponent 3, then you are leading 3-up, and your opponent is trailing 3-down.
Essentially, match play scoring tells golfers and spectators not how many holes each golfer has won, but how many more holes than his opponent the golfer in the lead has won. If the match is tied, it is said to be “all square.”
Match play matches do not have to go the full 18 holes. They often do, but just as frequently one player will achieve an insurmountable lead and the match will end early. Say you reach a score of 6-up with 5 holes to play – you’ve clinched the victory, and the match is over.
What the Final Scores mean someone unfamiliar with match play scoring might be confused to see a score of “1-up” or “4 and 3″ for a match. What does it mean? Here are the different types of scores you might see in match play:
You will note from watching TV sometimes the play does not always go to the 18 hole.
The reason being that at some stage of the game it becomes impossible for one or the other player to win. For instance: If one player has won 7 holes and his opponent has won 4 the score is shown as 3 up – if play had reach the 17 hole it would be impossible for the player two down to win. So they stop and – it is shown as a win 3 and 1
1-up: As a final score, 1-up means that the match went the full 18 holes with the winner finishing with one more hole won than the runner-up. If the match goes 18 holes and you’ve won 6 holes while I’ve won 5 holes (the other holes being halved, or tied), then you’ve beaten me 1-up.
2 and 1: When you see a match play score that is rendered in this way – 2 and 1, 3 and 2, 4 and 3, and so on – it means that the winner clinched the victory before reaching the 18th hole and the match ended early.
The first number in such a score tells you the number of holes by which the winner is victorious, and the second number tells you the hole on which the match ended. So “2 and 1″ means that the winner was 2 holes ahead with 1 hole to play (the match ended after No. 17), “3 and 2″ means 3 holes ahead to with 2 holes to play (the match ended after No. 16), and so on.
2-up: OK, so “1-up” means the match went the full 18 holes, and a score such as “2 and 1″ means it ended early. So why do we sometimes see scores of “2-up” as a final score? If the leader was two holes up, why didn’t the match end on No. 17?
A score of 2-up means that the player in the lead took the match “dormie” on hole 17. “Dormie” means that the leader leads by the same number of holes that remain; for example, 2-up with 2 holes to play. If you are two holes up with two holes to play, you cannot lose the match in regulation (some match play tournaments have playoffs to settle ties, others – such as the Ryder Cup – don’t).
A score of “2-up” means that the match went dormie with one hole to play – the leader was 1-up with one hole to play – and then the leader won the 18th hole.
5 and 3: Here’s the same situation. If Player A was ahead by 5 holes, then why didn’t the match end with 4 holes to play instead of 3? Because the leader took the match dormie with 4 holes to play (4 up with 4 holes to go), then won the next hole for a final score of 5 and 3. Similar scores are 4 and 2 and 3 and 1.
The most common match play formats are singles, foursomes and four-balls.
Match play is second only to stroke play as the most popular form of competition in golf. In fact, match play and stroke play are the bedrock forms of competition. And there are many different ways to play match play, all built around its core principle: players (or teams) compete to win individual holes, with the side winning the most holes claiming the match.
The best-known match play formats are those used in the Ryder Cup. Here is an introduction to those match play formats:
Singles Match Play
Singles match play pits Player A against Player B, hole after hole. If Player A scores a 4 on the first hole while Player B records a 5, Player A wins the hole.
In the Ryder Cup, ties are called “halves” and are not played off (each side scores a half-point for their team). In Ryder Cup-style competitions, this is common. However, in singles match play tournaments – something such as the U.S. Amateur Championship, as an example – a match that is all square (or tied) after 18 holes continues until there is a winner.
Four-ball Match Play:
In Four-balls, each side consists of two players. Each player plays his or her own ball throughout the round. On each hole, the low ball of the two players serves as that side’s score. For example, on the first hole for Team A, Player 1 scores a 4 and Player 2 scores a 5, so the team score is 4. If Team A gets a 4 while Team B scores 5, then Team A wins the hole.
Foursomes Match Play:
Because it is included in the Ryder Cup, Foursomes match play is one of the best-known forms of match play. It’s not very common as a format used among friends during a casual round of golf, however.
Four-ball pits 2-person teams against each other, with each team playing one ball, alternate shot. Example: Player A and Player B are partners. On the first hole, A tees off; B plays the second shot; A plays the third shot; and so on until the ball is holed. The lower of the two teams’ scores win the hole.
We take this opportunity to remind:
On the first tee- you must tell your fellow players the type and number on the ball you are playing. It is important that you can ALWAYS identify your ball BEFORE playing any shot on the course. If you do play the wrong ball it is two stoke penalty
On the tee the player who won the last hole has the honours: He or she plays first, if the next hole is even then he or she retains the honours.
When you have players on the fairway ahead of you ALWAYS make sure they are well clear BEFORE you play your shot, if you do hit / play a shot that is flying off course towards other golfers / people then you must immediately shout a loud warning –normally FORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s before you say OH************
When you ball land in an area which permits a free drop for example ground marked under repair, YES you are entitled to a free drop, however before you pick up or move your ball, you should draw it to the attention of your fellow players.
When a fellow competitor is about to play his or her ball, stand still do not move or get into their line of sight, and do not talk.
Keep a careful check on the number of stokes you take on each hole. To miscounting can often be taken for cheating?
When your ball has gone into the trees or heavy rough, decide quickly if it is out of bounds if it is unplayable, you only have a maximum 5 minutes to find your ball, if it has clearly gone little or no chance of finding it then take a penalty drop and play on. Do not become a player (All clubs have them) no one wants to play with or play behind) If you are delaying the group behind then do the right thing and call them through.
Before starting in any competitions, you should determine respective handicaps. If a player begins a match having declared a handicap that is higher than his officially recorded handicap and this effects the number of stokes he or she is given, and he or she is found out in this deception they are disqualified:
Introduction to Stable-ford
Stable-ford scoring systems are stroke-play formats in which the high total wins, not the low. That’s because in Stable-ford, your final score is not your stroke total, but rather the total points you have earned for your scores on each individual hole. For example, a par might be worth 1 point, a birdie 2. If you par the first hole and birdie the second, you’ve accrued 3 points.
Using Handicaps in Stable-ford Competitions
When those of us who are not pro-golfers are playing Stable-ford, we’ll need to use our handicaps in order to pile up the points. How many gross birdies will a 20-handicapper make per round? Close to zero. Pars will be pretty scarce, too. It would be difficult for a 20-handicapper to earn many points playing Stable-ford at scratch. Players in a Stable-ford competition should use full course handicaps, with strokes taken as they are allocated on the scorecard.
Your handicap comes into play on each hole; if your handicap is 18 then you are given one shot on each hole. So a Bogey = Par and Scores you one point, if you do an actual par that = a birdie and 2 points.
If you have a handicap of say 22 then you are given two shots on the four hardest holes e.g. Index 1-2-3-4 So if the Hole is a Par 5 index 1 and you score 7 (2) = 5 you score 1 point.
The strategy in Stable-ford formats can be summed up in three words: Attacking golf go for it.
Stableford competitions reward aggression and risk-taking on the golf course. In the traditional Stableford, for example, there are no negative points. If you are facing a difficult shot say a carry over water that you normally wouldn’t try, in Stableford you can take a shot at it because if you fail, at worst, you get 0 points. However if you make it? The potential rewards are greater than the potential disaster’s you can have bad holes yet still win. (With traditional stroke play one really bad hole and you have lost)
If you score more than 32 points you have had a good game, if you score 40 plus then you have a good chance of winning the competitions,
If you had an unusually high score of say 48, you handicap would be checked.
Golf is a game of honour do not cheat you will lose the respect of you fellow players.
You need to be competitive but if you are a high handicapper and drawn to play with a good player, do NOT try to match their game, the handicap system will make the playing field equal, play to your handicap and you have every chance of winning.
Do please refer to previous lessons related to being prepared and mind set.
If you found this difficult to understand, and have any questions please contact us by e-mail we will do our best to help. Contact us at:
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We certainly would like more feedback from our members: We try our best, we reply to e-mails , questions , write the blog and lessons from our hotels In my case English is my second language, so for the few school teachers out there who think our English and grammar is not quite up to the mark, that is the reason. (We welcome the constructive criticism really) And will try harder to get it right.
Warm regards Ascharapan LPGA Coach
Ken Senior PGA coach will write lesson sixteen. Chances are it will be a little more advanced. ( For the low handicap players)