Pars and Pencil Marks

Volume 1 Issue 1

The Well Designed Scorecard


It’s in our nature to design a beautiful, well-structured but user-friendly scorecard. After all, we’ve been doing it for over 50 years. We’ve seen certain trends come and go, ideas fall flat and ideas spring to life out of thin air. We’ve rivaled our competitors by creating ANY custom design our customers can think of and pushed the conventional to the edge. But often we are met with the question, “What makes the perfect scorecard?” 

Well, is there a perfect scorecard? There are so many factors that play into building a scorecard from each of our unique customers that it’s really hard to say any one particular design is “perfect,” but we have come to know what works best for the majority of our customers. Getting feedback they get from members and players on what they love vs what they could do without. We’ve gathered all those positive points together to create a near-perfect scorecard that will bring joy to all the players of your course. 


The Goldilocks Zone: Finding the Perfect Size

The Goldilocks Zone: not too big, not too small but just right. As many golfers know, the scorecard usually makes its way into a pocket at some point during the round. Finding the ideal size to fit into a pocket can be hard but it’s feasible. The standard scorecard size unfolded measures 6” x 8”, so folded it’s roughly 6” x 4” or the size of a standard photo. This size fits neatly into most pockets, front or back, without much trouble. But pocket-portability isn’t the only reason why this size works well. The 6” x 8” size provides enough space for all the essential details any course wants to provide, from a spacious scoring grid, rules, contact information, golf pro details, and even a well-detailed map. 

All this to say, a smaller or larger scorecard isn’t bad either but each can lose a little something that pulls it away from that middle-of-the-road perfect category. Smaller loses space for information, including the grid for scoring. Larger loses the appeal of pocket-portability and usually needs to be folded which then creates another layer of frustration for the player as they need to pull out and unfold multiple layers of paper.

The size decision is much more about what you, as the course, want to show and share on your scorecard. What are the preferences of the majority of our players? Are you public, or private? Do you have a board that is involved in the design? Are you a more walking-friendly course? Are you a tourist destination or a well-known course so the scorecard is treated like a souvenir? All of these answers contribute to the size that is ideal for your course and players but the ideal size for any of these usually ends up being that 6” x 8” size.


The Perfect Composition: The Layout that Tells a Story

As the game of golf evolves, so does the scorecard. Over the years we’ve seen trends take over the scorecard world like fire. In the 90’s and early 2000’s, it was adding a photo to the cover of your scorecard. The introduction of UV coating to scorecards, made the scorecard resemble a postcard that any golfer could take home. Jumping into the last 10 years, we’ve seen a decline in photos to the front and an increase in looking at the scorecard more like a piece of art with a well-tailored and professionally designed logo on the front, with simple or little other design elements. Which ultimately, circles back to the earlier days of scorecards with 1 color print and a simple image on the front.

The inside grid design can vary so greatly based on each course but overall the opinion of most golfers stays the same. The hole number precedes everything and then yardages are listed by the tee box. The next few lines get even more varied opinions on what is better. If the scorecard has other parts to it like, pin locations, combo tees, or even advertisements, the par lines and handicaps can get lost in the mix. Taking all the various opinions and card designs over the years, we’ve seen that the most favorable list after the yardages, are Men’s Handicap, 4 grids of scoring, Par Line, 2 more grids of scoring, Women’s tee yardages, lastly Women’s Handicaps. If you include a +/- or bet line, the best place is directly under the par line. Additional lines to this make the grid boxes smaller (on a 6×8) and thus stretch you into a larger-sized card.

The back panel generally is reserved for Local Rules, Club Information such as personnel, the course architect, and any pertinent information that the individual golfer might need while out playing his round. This is also a great place to insert a beautifully rendered 3D map of the entire course. It can add color and dimension to an otherwise flat-looking surface. 

A more unique feature we’ve been adding to the back of a scorecard is a QR Code, which can link to many different website pages including social media, and digital newsletters for the course but more frequently we’re seeing it connect to the menu for the clubhouse. 


The Finesse Finale: It’s all in the details

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect size, and designed a perfectly formatted grid space, the finesse of the details is what turns it from a scribbled-on piece of paper to a work of art. Many times these details are overlooked or made generic, which is fine, but to make this marketing piece stand out and be memorable the details put the cherry on top. Look into a beautiful and possibly custom font, but remember to keep it legible and transferable to other printed pieces across your course marketing. Think about the psychology of color and how you want your golfers to feel during their rounds. Although, many times this is subconscious – color can affect mood in various ways. 

Another small factor to think about is the spacing between information. Giving the eye time to rest in between the information you’re providing helps the golfer digest and provide clarity as to what they’re reading. If you’re finding that you want to provide more information than the space allows – think about using a temporary insert, a QR code, as mentioned above, or even a placard insert for the golf cart. Keep the noise to a minimum on the scorecard and utilize other spaces for general information. 

Lastly, although it seems like paper is just paper, in our world of printing, paper is everything. Paper comes in different colors of course but it also comes in different weights; think about your standard computer printer paper compared to the heavier weight of a greeting card. This weight is achieved from the paper itself. Now that can be an entire blog post itself but to put it quickly and simply – paper weight changes based on how close the fibers are woven together, flattened, and/or fluffed and are measured by how many grams per square meter or GSM there is. A more fun option to discuss with paper is coated vs uncoated: this is where gloss, silk, textured, and various finishes come into play. The options can be overwhelming at times but we’ve narrowed down the best papers, finishes, and weights for scorecard printing and stock them for our customers to choose from. 


The Best Golf Companion: A Scorecard with “Wow” Factor

A scorecard can be a golfer’s best companion on the course. It guides to each hole and records the triumphs and challenges for each swing of the club. You want your scorecard to represent your course in the best way possible. Next time you’re at another course playing a round, pull out the scorecard and see if it has a wow factor that you’d like to copy or if it sparks ideas. Then take a look at your course scorecard, are you representing any of the above-mentioned popular traits on your scorecard? If you are, great! If you’re not, we’re here to help you enhance your scorecard through our 50+ years of experience to give it that WOW factor your players are looking for. May your scorecard always be a masterpiece!

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