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How To Fill Out A Golf Scorecard

how to fill out a golf scorecard
how to fill out a golf scorecard


If you are new to golf and picking up a scorecard for the first time it can look more complicated than learning a foreign language. What do all the numbers mean? What should I fill in and when?

Well don’t worry at Weekend Tour Pros we’ve got you covered. After all no one wants to get disqualified from a competition over a bit of paperwork!

The first thing to know is that when you are playing in a competition; you have two jobs:

1. Play brilliant golf, have loads of fun and hopefully clean up

2. Accurately mark the score of one of your playing partners by filling in a scorecard.

You’ve heard the phrase ‘you shouldn’t mark your own homework’ – this is the golf equivalent. By marking someone else’s scorecard, you are saying you witnessed them play that round of golf. Hopefully it was good, but just not as good as your own round!

The person you are marking for can be disqualified if the scorecard is not filled in correctly (strange rule I know!) so its important to fill it in correctly. You don’t want to be the person who makes a silly mistake and costs your mate a handicap cut!

Below is a picture of the most commonly seen type of golf scorecard. Whilst there are many variations of this, most are near identical in terms of content and terminology.

  • How to Complete a Golf Scorecard: Blank Scorecard

Before Your Round:

In this paragraph we will show you what to do before you even tee off. Shown in our example with a blue box around it, you’ll want to complete the top part of the scorecard. Here’s how you should complete each box:

During Your Round:

This is when you fill in most of the scorecard (shown in the red box). Here’s what each column means and how you should fill it in:

Hole – This is the number of each of the holes on the golf course and helps you to clearly identify what row you need to use to mark the score. Some golf courses give each hole a name as well as its number. This will be shown next to the hole number.

Markers Score – This is where you would enter your own score for each hole. During competition play the reason you would do this is so that you have a record to cross check against the scorecard your marker has completed for you to ensure it is accurate. An 18 hole round of golf can take approximately 4 hours. This makes remembering what your partner scored on the 1st hole almost 4 hours later a bit difficult.

White Yards, Yellow Yards and Red Yards – This column details the length of each hole dependent on each set of tees. Whilst other colours are used it is most common to see white, yellow and red within the UK. Sometimes a course will have more options and these will be shown in a different colour such as blue or black and will have their own column.

Par – This column tells you the ‘Par’ for each hole. The Par is the number of shots you should be aiming to take on each hole. Occasionally this will differ dependent on the tees used. When this happens there is often a separate column next to the relevant column for the white, yellow or red yards.

Stroke Index (sometimes called Handicap) – This column tells you how difficult the hole is. You use this to identify how many additional shots on top of the par that a player is expected to take based on their handicap. This is quite a key concept to learn and is covered in more detail in our beginners guide to golf terminology by clicking here.

Scores A/B/C – This is where you enter the score for each hole for your playing partners. This should match to whichever box you put their name against before the round. In our completed example I have listed ‘Ben’ as Player A and his scores are then entered in Score A.

Nett Score – There is usually only one column for this meaning you would normally only be marking the score of one playing partner if you were required to use it. Here you would list the score the player took for each hole minus any additional shots they were allowed due to their handicap.

Points – If playing in a competition that uses the Stableford format (click here for more information on playing Stableford) then you need to convert the score on each hole into a points value. You would enter the points value in this box.

Out/In – There is a row after the 9th hole called ‘Out’ and after the 18th hole called ‘In’. These rows show the total yardage for each 9 holes and have a space in the Player A/B/C/D and Nett Score column. Here you input the total scores for each 9 holes.

After Your Round:

After you walk off the final green there is a final bit of admin to do before you hit the bar! This is shown in the green box. This will make sure the card is ready for submission and no silly penalties or disqualifications happen:

1. Underneath the ‘In’ row will be a space to repeat the ‘Out’ score completed during the round, enter this. There is also a ‘Total’ row to enter the total score from all 18 holes.

2. Below that you repeat the players playing handicap. This is the same value you entered in the Strokes Received box before the round.

3. Next you calculate the Nett Score by taking the Total score and deducting from it the handicap. If you are playing a Stableford format competition you would also enter the total number of points in the relevant column.

4. Finally, you sign the card next to where it says ‘Marker’s Signature’ and hand it over to your playing partner .

Your playing partner will then check that the scorecard is accurate and sign it. It is their responsibility to return it to the correct place at your club.

…And That’s It!

You’ve just correctly filled in a golf scorecard. Now wait for the competition results to be posted and go collect your prize!

We’ve also included an example of a completed scorecard (see below). This will show you how this should all look when complete. Use it as a reference guide, if required!

If you’d like to learn more about any of the golf terminology used on this page then click here for our Ultimate Guide to Golf Terminology.

  • How to Complete a Golf Scorecard: Completed scorecard ready for submission!