Golf 101: What Are the Different Golf Scoring Formats

Different Golf Scoring Systems

In the previous article, we covered how to track your score in golf which also exposes you to a number of terminologies related to golf scoring. But there are specific golf plays or match ups wherein tracking of your golf score may be different.

Below, let’s examine the different golf scoring formats you may encounter as you progress in golf.

Stroke play

Stroke play is a golf game where each stroke used is accounted for. This is basically the type of play that is being described in the “how to track your scoring guide” article. In this type of play, you are to take note of the strokes you’ve committed in each hole using the scorecard. At the end of the game, the player with the lowest strokes wins.

Match play

Match play also takes into account the number of strokes used in each hole the same way in stroke play. The difference is that a winner is defined in each hole – that is by comparing your number of strokes against your opponent’s. The player with less strokes wins the hole. At the end of the game, the player who won most of the holes wins.

Stableford system

In this scoring format, which was named Dr Stableford, what is taken into account to decide a winner is how well a player plays against his own handicap. This is done by converting under, even and over strokes into points against par adjustment based on handicap. For example, a par-4 hole was made into par-5 in consideration to your handicap. Attaining par in this adjustment would earn you 2 points. Completing it 1 under would earn you 3 points, 2 under makes 4 points, while completing it 1 over par is 1 point. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins.

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