My make-your-own-scorecard game is a fun way to lower your scores

January 31, 2020

Are you constantly disappointed by the scores you shoot? It could be due to unrealistic expectations. So many of my students walk off the golf course unhappy no matter what they shoot. Sure, it’s good to want to get better and working to shoot lower scores, but obsessing about it isn’t good for anyone. I want you to enjoy golf when you get to go out and play.

So next time you’re out there, take a break from the grinding and try my make-your-own scorecard method. It’s very easy to do, and it’s the best way to create realistic expectations, based on your handicap or the score you are trying to shoot. Shooting even par is meant for experienced, elite players. So why are you shooting for the same score they are?

Instead, if you are a 20 handicap, take those 20 extra shots above par during every 18-hole round. Using the make-your-own-scorecard method allows you to change the way you play holes based on the “new” par you are giving yourself. Maybe a par 4 is now a par 6 for you. This would allow you to change your strategy for playing the hole. On your par 6 your new goal is to hit the green in three shots or less, and then have three putts or less.

If you can use this method to create instead of focusing on par, it takes so much pressure off your game and start breaking through barriers in a more fun, productive way.

Let’s look at three example scorecards I have made for The Militia Hill course at The Philadelphia Cricket Club. Each one is tailored to someone trying to break through a certain score.

The first is someone trying to break 100, the second is someone trying to break 90 and the third is someone trying to break 80. Notice I have them shooting 3 shots lower than the actual goal. This is to give some wiggle room in case you make a bogey on your new par.

Breaking 100


Breaking 90


Breaking 80


In each of these scorecards you can see the newly written in par. For each course, this might differ. You can use the handicap at your golf course to determine where to distribute the extra shots if you are unsure how to do this. I distributed shots based upon my knowledge of Militia Hill, but either way, you get the point.

Next time you go out there and play, take a good look at the scorecard, and rejig it so it matches your goals. Quickly you’ll see how much less stressful it is to play when you have realistic expectations of your game.

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