Under the United States Golf Association’s Rules of Golf, a person other than the player, known as a “marker,” is typically responsible for keeping a player’s score during a competition. At the end of the day, however, the player is responsible for presenting his score accurately to the tournament committee. Signing an incorrect scorecard carries serious penalties.
Computing your golf score is an easy task, in part because the most fundamental rules of golf have remained the same for centuries. The first 13 rules were drawn up in England in 1744. Rules in America were adopted in 1900. In 1951, the R & A, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland, and the USGA, the United States Golf Association, decided to issue a uniform set of rules, which are followed around the world and updated regularly. As far as scoring is concerned, the basic rule -- with a few exceptions -- is to count up the number of strokes you take and write down the total on each hole.
Monitoring your score throughout your round of golf is an effective way to determine how well you're playing, if you're above or below par, or on course for one of your best rounds of all time. This process is especially easy if you're keeping track of your own score. If not, you will need to consult with your playing partner frequently.
Posting your golf scores is a vital part of the United States Golf Association’s handicap system. A player’s USGA handicap index is based on the best 10 of his previous 20 rounds and is updated throughout each golf season. Players must report every 9- or 18-hole score, provided it’s achieved on a course with a USGA slope and course rating, which includes the great majority of courses in the U.S. Posting each score keeps a player's handicap index "accurate and up to date," says the USGA.
The Official World Golf Ranking involves a mathematical formula that rates the world’s top professional golfers. Achieving a high enough ranking assures players of automatic entry into numerous tournaments. Additionally, there’s a major prestige factor -- and plenty of endorsement money -- available to world’s No. 1-ranked professional golfer.