The vast majority of golfers are score-obsessed. We want to shoot lower scores, break through scoring barriers, and drop our handicap. This is fine, but we need to acknowledge that your score in golf is not a perfect measure of your performance or your ability. In this lesson, I’ll explain why your score isn’t everything and how you can better measure your game.
This Lesson Is For You If
You aren’t enjoying the game as much as you should
You aren’t scoring the way you’d like to
Why Your Score Doesn’t Matter
Your final score, whether it’s 68 or 108, is a combination of things you can control and things you can’t. You hit the shots, but you don’t control the wind, the turf conditions, the bounces, or any number of other factors that can influence your score. If it’s a course you’ve never played before, a lack of information and knowledge can lead to higher scores. This unpredictability is part of the charm of golf, but it can also be a source of major frustration. Here’s how you can be rid of it.
A Better Way to Keep Score
If you’re looking for a better way to keep score, focus on smaller things. You can pick the things that you care about most or the things that you want to work on in your game. Here are some examples:
Missed putts inside 4′
Missed greens inside 50/100/150 yards
Lack of plan for or commitment to your shot
By keeping track of small things like this, you shift the focus from this one big, abstract picture to a couple small, clear ones. When you walk off the course, you’ll have clarity knowing that you struck the ball well, made your short putts, or committed to your shots.
Keeping track of these “little” stats is also a great way to learn more about your game and break through scoring plateaus. If you keep track of your 3-putts and driving accuracy for a few rounds, you may find that your total score is directly correlated to driving but not 3-putts, or vice versa. You may find they’re equally important. In any case, you’ll have learned something that you can use to improve your practice habits which should, in turn, improve your score.
Or Forget Score Entirely
My dad is a lot smarter than most people, and the golf course is one area where he proves it: he hasn’t kept score in years. He has simply learned something that I’ve tried to explain to hundreds of golfers:
If you’re not going to practice, you shouldn’t worry about your score, and the best way to not worry about your score is to not keep it.
Einstein famously defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This is exactly what most golfers do: they don’t practice, don’t exercise, and don’t eat well, then they expect to shoot the round of their life on Sunday morning when they walk directly from their car to the first tee. It’s madness!
Golf is supposed to be fun, something we do for enjoyment. If your score is keeping your from that enjoyment, the quickest fix is to put the scorecard in the garbage.