Even though playing disc golf is simple enough, learning how to keep score and total it all up can be a confusing part of it. I remember teaching my friends who were new to disc golf the different names of possible scores and what each meant.
In this article I’ll go over what each score means, and give a step-by-step guide for scoring your disc golf rounds!
Disc Golf Scoring Terms
To understand how to score your disc golf round you need to understand the different types of scores that you can get. The scores that are possible for each hole are an ace, albatross, eagle, birdie, par, bogey, double bogey, triple bogey, and so on.
Now that you know the common terms, let’s go over what each score means and how it adds to your total count.
Here’s an example of the basic rules on how to mark scores for a par 4 hole.
|1 (-3)||2 (-2)||3 (-1)||4 (0)||5 (+1)|
An ace is when it takes only one throw to finish the hole. It’s also referred to as a hole-in-one by many players and is one of the hardest scores to get.
An albatross is when you’re three throws under par for a specific hole. Most of the time an ace could be considered an albatross as well, as long as the par for the hole was 4.
If you finish the hole with two strokes under par, that’s what we call an eagle for scoring terms.
Birdies are one of the more common scoring terms that’s likely to happen during a disc golf round. A birdie is scored if you finish the hole one throw under par.
Par is the score that was set for each hole and is a great goal to achieve for most courses. If you throw the exact number of times as par, you mark down that many throws for your score.
If it takes you one more throw than the par on the hole, that’s called a bogey. One throw over par results in a +1 to your scorecard for the hole.
Each additional stroke after a bogey continues to go up, from double bogey to triple bogey and on. Every throw after par should be scored as +1 strokes until the hole is finished.
Calculating Your Round Score
After the round is complete you should add up the total number of throws on your scorecard to get your final score. Most disc golfers track their score in comparison to the course par.
For example, if the course has a par 63 and you shot a 65, you would say you shot 2 over par for the round, or threw a total score of 65. Scoring a 60 during the round would be throwing 3 under par.
For casual rounds of disc golf, some friends have more relaxed scoring rules and might not count certain penalties. It depends on who you’re playing with and how they want to score a less serious round.
The Professional Disc Golf Association keeps track of even more information during professional tournaments. If you’re interested in seeing how your scores compare for certain courses, their official website goes more in-depth.
How Do You Score Out of Bounds Throws?
Out of bounds shots are considered penalty throws, and results in a one-stroke penalty added to your score.
Some disc golf courses have marked areas that are out of bounds, while others have natural areas such as lakes or getting stuck in a tree that could add to your score. Anyone who throws their disc out of bounds will also have to go to a dropzone, or rethrow from the last spot that the disc crossed out of bounds.
In disc golf there are also areas that are considered hazards which count as an extra throw if your disc lands in the section. The difference between out of bounds and hazards is that for most hazards the disc golfer will still play from that lie, instead of moving to a dropzone or rethrowing from the previous lie.
How to Keep Score in Disc Golf
Keeping score in disc golf is pretty simple, but there are a few common ways that disc golfers keep track of their scores during a round.
Disc Golf Scoring Sheet
One of the most common ways that you’ll see tracking done is by using a scoring sheet. A lot of disc golf courses will give you a sheet to use that has information about each hole and the corresponding par.
This makes it easy to quickly write down how many throws you took on a hole before continuing to the next. Especially since these scorecards are small and can easily be put in your bag or folded in your pocket.
There are also scoring cards that aren’t course-specific, instead just offering a place to keep tally for 18 holes. The benefit is that instead of being a one-time use, these sheets are reusable and can be used for any course that you play.
Disc Golf Scoring App
One alternative to the scorecard and maybe the most popular way to keep score is to use one of the scoring apps available today. UDisc is one of the best disc golf apps I’ve used, and it has plenty of features besides its scoring sheet.
Most of the apps available offer basic scorekeeping, but UDisc and a few others provide course information like distance, par, and average scores. Another great feature is it’ll track your play for each course, so you can see which holes you do well on and which ones are tougher.
Average Disc Golf Score
It’s difficult to find an average disc golf score, considering every course is designed differently and the ratings differ from player to player. One throw on a certain hole might be much more difficult than the next, which makes the range of scores much higher.
For newer players, I believe that aiming for par is a good starting point. Most courses have a couple of shorter holes that don’t require a ton of distance, so beginners should be able to score birdies on those. The longer holes that are par 5 or up will be tougher to score on since they need a great drive off the tee.
The best way to find out your average score is to play 10 different rounds at one specific course. This will give you a decent idea of where you stand and what you need to focus on to improve.
One way to compare yourself to other players is to look at the final scores of local tournaments or to check out the course scoring on UDisc. A lot of disc golfers use the app, so anyone can see the average scores of others as well as the lowest score, for the course and individual holes.