Making Use of the Scorecard when Playing Golf

When it comes to playing golf, there is one unique factor in the sport that is not present in any other. I mean this more at the amateur level than anything else, although the importance of this fact also applies to the professional ranks of the PGA and LPGA alike.

Golf is the only sport where we, as players, are responsibly for recording our own score.

This post is not going to talk to you about honesty, and keeping your scorecard accurate, nor is it talking about how to fill in the scorecard and track your progress. Those are valid topics, but will come later.

Today I want to keep it light, and talk to you about how you can use the scorecard, or the majority of the ones I have ever seen, to improve your game. Not in the future, but in the now.

Golf Scorecard

Use the Tools that You are Given

Every course has a scorecard. They are free for you to take, and while I am a fan us studying them, and learning the course inside and out, it is not a requirement and not part of this post.

If you look at the scorecard, you will often see that the course is mapped out on it. Each of the 18 holes is displayed in some way. This is a small detail that many amateur golfers do not use to their advantage. Often times, they will not even notice that they are there.

Yet these diagrams can be a great weapon in your arsenal. They will, if you use them correctly, become an important part of your golfing tools. A piece of golf equipment that can easily put you ahead of the field.

Knowing What Lies Ahead.

Whether you are standing on the tee or stuck in the rough, knowing the hole that lies ahead is a key component. It will help you decide what club to use, and what sort of shot to play. Not every Par 4 needs a driver, and not every shot in the rough needs to be played safe.

Making use of the illustrations on the scorecard gives you the ability to better judge these shots. You can use the cards to judge distances, pick out markers for you to aim at, and judge whether or not the shot you have to play is one worthy of taking a risk on.

While the pin position can never be known until the green is in sight, being able to visualize the size and shape of the green will greatly influence all of the shots that lead up to your arrival at the pin.

 Golfers on the Tee

Invaluable Assistance When On Unknown Ground

As amateur golfers we are used to playing the same course. This has been discussed in many previous posts I have made. We pay a lot of money to be a member of a course, it makes sense that we play that course the most. However, if you are someone who likes playing golf competitions, or with other fellow golfers at different courses throughout the year, being able to have a guide with you, showing you an overview of the hole, is invaluable.

Not only for approaching the green, but from the tee, not ever hole is as simple as it sounds. Sometimes, you stand there and think, man, a good hard drive here and I could be on the green for two. Then suddenly, 300+ yards later, you see a big hazard comes into view, or you find yourself flirting with the out of bounds; something to be avoided at all costs.

Had you made use of the scorecard before teeing off, you would have seen this and could have adjusted your first hit accordingly.

 Golf Ball on the Tee

Be Prepared For Everything

The pace of a game of golf is one that is suited towards preparation. It is a slow, technical sport that is very much conducted inside the mind. While the battle is played out on the course, the real war is a mental one.

In order to succeed and truly play the best round we can play, making use of every piece of golf equipment we have available to us is a must.

You may not start driving more fairways or sinking more putts, but I reckon if you started using the hole diagrams on the scorecard more often, you will be able to shave a few important shots from your 18-hole total.


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