Scoring In Golf: How Does It Work? [2019]

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Scoring in golf is something that all new golfers want to ensure that they know the ins and outs of before they step out onto the golf course.

This can range from the different scores for each hole to the different scoring formats in golf and these can range from simple to more complex formats.

No matter which type of scoring in golf you want to know about you can be sure that this guide has you covered as we cover all of the details that you need to know to ensure that your golf scoring is 100% perfect.

See Also: Golf Scorecard Explained

Scoring In Golf: Overview

Although many golfers play just for fun and don’t count their strokes or play in a competitive format. The vast majority of golfers do.

This means that scoring in golf is important and knowing all of the different types of scoring. Not only can golf be scored per hole but also there are different types of golf formats which affect how golf scoring works as well.

Scoring ranges across different types of golfers too and can change depending on the difficulty of the golf course. However, the ultimate aim is to score your round in as few shots as possible.

Golf Scoring Average

The golf scoring average on the PGA Tour is roughly 69 for the top players thru to 71 for a solid PGA Tour golfer. (PGA Tour)

This remains consistent with the scoring average on the LPGA Tour too. (LPGA)

However, the golf scoring average changes when it comes to amateur golfers. This is especially true when it comes to determining average scoring for different ages in golf.

The Grint found that an between 20-30 an average golf score is 89 while an average golf score for a golfer over 70 is 93.

This means that an average golfer will score roughly 30% higher than a PGA or LPGA professional.

Golf Scoring Terms

Hole In One

A hole in one is as the name suggests, when the ball goes into the hole in only one shot. This is most commonly found on a par 3 due to the length of this hole being the shortest. It is also possible for a hole in one to occur on a par 4 however and there have been several of instances of this happening on the PGA Tour.


An albatross occurs on par 5’s when a golfer gets the ball in in only two shots. Again, this is a rare occurrence and is a special occasion whenever it happens in professional golf.


More common than a hole in one and an albatross is an eagle and happens reasonably often for most professional golfers. Most eagles occur on a par 5 golf hole when a golfer gets the ball onto the green in two shots and then makes their first putt. However, it can also occur on a par if the golfer drives the ball onto the green and makes their putt or their approach shot lands in the hole.

An eagle will be a score of two under par for the hole.


A birdie can occur on any golf hole. Typically they come about by reaching the green in regulation and making the putt in one shot to make a birdie.

A birdie will be a score of one under par for the hole.



Double Bogey

Triple Bogey

Quadruple Bogey

How Does Golf Scoring Work: Scoring Methods

Stroke Play

Match Play


Scoring Records

In Summary