How to ask someone their golf score politely in 20229 min read

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How to ask someone their golf score politely

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where it would be awkward or unfriendly to ask someone what their golf score is? If that’s the case, you’ve got to try these tips of asking someone their golf score without risking being wrong.

As always, feel free to check out our other articles. For example this one with tips for regripping golf clubs, or this one with tips on golfing alone or with your friends.

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Asking their golf score as a friend

1. “Hey [name|friend], what did you shoot today?”

This is a straightforward way of asking someone their golf score without the risk of being incorrect.

By using “shooting” as a verb and using their name in the question, you are making it seem like it’s just a friendly discussion, and they can be honest about how poorly they played.

The [name|friend] part is important so that they feel like you’re asking them in a friendly manner. You don’t want to seem like you’re interrogating them about their handicap.

Here are a few variations to consider:

  • Did you have a good round?
  • How well did today’s round go?
  • How did you do?

2. Ask as you congratulate them for their game

This is a more congratulatory way of asking someone their golf score, which makes it feel natural and friendly.

The danger with this one, though, is that it’s easy to misconstrue the meaning if they didn’t have such a great round. They might feel like you’re, in fact, calling them out on a bad round, which may or may not be the case.

Here are a few variations to consider:

  • Great round today! What did you shoot?
  • I heard you played great today. What’d you shoot?
  • How did you do today?

3. Ask how their handicap is going, are they improving?

This is another great way of asking someone their golf score, and it’s a common question among golfers.

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It shows that you’re both interested in the game and that you know their handicap. The only danger here is that your friend/acquaintance/stranger might not have one or may be embarrassed by their current score.

If you’re asking this question to someone who does have a handicap, here are some variations to consider:

  • How’s your handicap going?
  • Good luck with your golf game. Where do you want to take your handicap to?
  • Come on, don’t be modest. You usually shoot lower than this, right?
  • You really don’t need a handicap card to play golf. What’s your handicap, though?
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Asking their golf score as a stranger

Asking someone what their golf scores are in a manner that isn’t friendly or congratulatory seems weird to people, so I’ve put together a few pointers for asking strangers what their golf scores are. Here’s how it works:

Most people play golf with their friends, so you’re not going to have many opportunities to ask strangers who they play with.

So, the goal of asking someone where they play is to get their score, independent of any other information. It would help if you asked it in a way that’s as direct as possible:

  • Do you play golf?
  • How do you play?
  • How good are you?
  • What is your handicap?

Asking their golf score as a form of humor

These situations are rare and usually unintentional, but they can happen. When you’re having a friendly conversation with someone, and it happens to come up that they shot 12 over on the front nine, it would be awkward for them to tell the truth.

So, you can ask them what their score is in ways that are a little more humorous or satirical.

  • Did you shoot a YT-12?
  • How about your 12 under handicap?
  • I heard you shot a Birdie! What’d you shoot?
  • I love playing with you cause I always know what score to expect! (hint: it’s going to be high)

It can be uncomfortable when someone tells you that they shot a lower score than what you expected. You should follow up with something like – great job or that’s amazing.

Asking their golf score as a competitor

1. Ask the person what their handicap is.

Without trying to be too smart with the calculations, you can simply ask the person what their handicap is. Here are a few ways to ask that question:

  • What is your handicap?
  • What handicap do you usually shoot?
  • Does your handicap differ on different golf courses?
  • How many strokes do you aim for on the course based on your handicap?
  • Where do you want to take your handicap to in the next few games?
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2. Find out who they usually play with/against and then simply ask them if they have terrible scores versus good scores.

It’s always nice to know how your golf game is when you’re playing against someone who’s of similar skill, but it can be tough to guess how you’ll fare if it’s a player who’s completely unknown to you.

So if you’re wondering how well you’ll do against someone with a high handicap, ask them whether they usually play with people with good or bad scores.

Here are some ways to pose this question:

  • How do you usually pick who to play with?
  • I guess your scores can vary greatly depending on who you play with, right?
  • Who’s the worst player you have played against on the course?
  • Who’s the best player you have played against on the course?

Another exciting way is if you’re curious about how well you’ll perform against a low handicap, ask your opponent whether they usually play with people with high or low scores.

3. Ask them how many points they lose in a game.

This tip is pretty much the same as number 2, but you could also ask them how many points they lose to their friends on a typical game. After that, just get the added information from them and use a bit of logic to come up with an estimate of how well you’ll do against this player.

For instance, if they say they lose 4 points per game to their friend, you can assume that they have a handicap of 4 strokes since golfers are often very honest about their exact scores.

Here are a few ways to ask this question:

  • How many points do you usually lose when playing against your friends?
  • I see. Based on your handicap, how many points do you lose when playing a round?
  • What was your best game, and how many points did you lose in that round?

4) Just ask about their scores straight up

If you’re really trying to avoid the guessing game, just ask them “What are your scores?”

This usually works best if you’ve had some previous conversation with the person. If you just randomly meet someone new, it might be awkward for them to answer. But if you have already met them and had a few conversations, that’ll probably be really easy for you.

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Here are a few ways to ask that question:

  • How was the game? What did you score?
  • What were your scores today?
  • Where did you place on today’s round?
  • How good was the course?
  • Do you usually shoot low or high scores (even if you know their handicap)?
  • Do you ever shoot really bad scores or really good ones?

If you have trouble deciding what to say, just ask them how they usually fair. They’ll probably be happy to tell you, and it’ll be easier for them to remember if they’ve already told someone else about it.

Additional tips and tricks for asking someone their golf score

Here are some additional tips and tricks for asking someone their golf score without the risk of being incorrect:

  • If you’re asking someone who’s a stranger to you, then they’ll be able to tell if you have any experience in golf. If so, then just ask them how many strokes they usually lose on the course. They’ll probably be happy to tell you, or else they’ll feel really strange because you know so much about them and it won’t be their fault if something is wrong with your calculations.
  • Just do the math in your head. If someone tells you that their handicap is 6, then just decide how good they are and try to figure out their total score for the round. For example, if based on their handicap, you can estimate the range of their shots.
  • If you know someone’s handicap, but you don’t know anything else about their game, then figure out how difficult the course was for them.
  • If they say that they shot a terrible score and you want to know how bad it was, then ask what their handicap is. They’ll probably tell you if you don’t already know.

Final thoughts on how to ask someone their golf score

If you’re trying to learn how to play golf, you have to tell others what your scores are and gauge your opponent’s scores. And sometimes, that’s going to be awkward if you don’t know their handicap.

I hope this guide will help answer some questions about how to ask someone their golf score without hurting their feelings or coming across as a cheater. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to share this with your friends.

If you have any other ideas or want to give me any feedback, drop a comment below, and I’ll be happy to answer.

Michael G

I love investing in people! Michael is on a mission to help organizations and individuals become better. Michael has had a distinguished 10-year career spanning through non-profit and the corporate world. Michael's life purpose is in helping to simplify complex problems to define actionable solutions, which is why through public speaking, Michael is focused on inspiring and impacting people towards the right personal growth formula and generating sustainable business growth.

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