The Stableford format is a popular format as it allows an individual golfer to play the course on his/her own merits but, in the event of a bad hole, allows the golfer to pick up the ball and move onto the next hole. This can help to speed up the round and reduce frustration in a golfer who is not playing very well.
Example of Format
Stableford is a competition which can be played as an individual competition, a team competition or a combination of both. Golfers are allocated a certain number of points on a hole depending on the net score of the player (or team). The aim of Stableford is to accumulate the most number of points over the course of 18 holes. Depending on a players handicap a certain number of strokes are allocated on each hole. The table of points is based on the net score of the individual player (after handicap adjustment) or the best team score as follows:
Double Bogey or worse – 0 points
Bogey – 1 point
Par – 2 points
Birdie – 3 points
Eagle – 4 points
Albatross – 5 points
Example—Golfer off 22 Handicap
If a golfer plays off a 22 handicap then they will receive 22 shots during the course of the round – 1 on each of the 18 holes and 2 strokes on those holes which are rated in difficulty of 1, 2, 3 and 4.
In this case a par 4 hole which is rated number 3 in difficulty will ensure the golfer receives 2 shots on the hole thus making the hole a Par 6. So if this golfer then scores a 5 on the hole this equates to a net birdie thus scoring the person 3 points (refer above table)
Example—Golfer off 14 Handicap
If a golfer plays off a 14 handicap then they will receive 14 shots during the course of the round – 1 on each of the 14 hardest holes. No strokes will be received on the holes rated 15, 16, 17 and 18 in difficulty.
In this case a par 4 hole which is rated number 11 in difficulty will ensure the golfer receives 1 shot thus making the hole effectively a par 5. So if this golfer then scores a 5 on the hole this equates to a net par thus scoring the person 2 points (refer above table).
Key Features of Stableford
- Each player plays their own golf ball and records points based on their net score
- Points are awarded according to the above table and reflect the difference between the Net Score of the golfer against the par of each particular hole
- Once a player has reached a certain number of strokes the ball can be picked up without penalty and move onto the next hole
- Each hole has a difficulty rating (as noted on the scorecard) which helps the golfer to determine if they receive an extra shot relative to the par of that hole
- Points, once awarded, cannot be taken away. This means that a player who has played a good first 9 and then faded may still be in the running to win a prize for the good holes they played
Positives of Stableford
- It allows each golfer to feel as though they have played the golf course with their own ball. This is often important to participants especially if they have not played a particular golf course before
- Once a player has reached a certain number of strokes the ball can be picked up without penalty. This helps a player who may have been struggling on a given hole simply move onto the next hole
- Good scores on individual holes are rewarded with a greater number of points allocated. Other formats (particularly Par) may not always reward good play fairly
- Stableford can be a fast format if the standard of golfers is intermediate or higher
- Points, once scored, cannot be taken away. This helps to relieve pressure on a player who may have started well but faded badly
Negatives of Stableford
- Stableford is a format most suited where the standard of players in your field is intermediate or higher. Beginner golfers may feel intimidated (even though they can pick up their ball after a certain number of strokes) playing with better golfers
- Stableford can be a slow format if the standard of golfers is beginner or thereabouts
As the name would suggest, a stroke competition requires each golfer to count every shot they take during the course of the competition round. Because of this the scores can be quite high as there is no option to pick the ball up after a certain number of shots have been reached (as is the case in the stableford and par). Additionally stroke is an individual game so there is no-one else to blame but yourself for a bad score! Stroke is easy to record on the scorecard as well. You simply write down the number of strokes that you had on a particular hole.
Key Features of Stroke
- It is a true test of a golfer’s ability to play 18 holes
- Most golf courses do not allow corporate days to involve stroke competitions (because they take too long)
- Play can be very slow due to every shot counting. This can affect the whole field who may be hindered by a slow golfer
Positives of Stroke
- It is a true reflection of a golfer’s score because every shot is counted
Negatives of Stroke
- Because every shot counts it can be a very intimidating format for most golfers. A golfer must play every shot until the ball is in the hole
- Stroke is very much a slower format as every shot counts leading to golfers being more careful, spending more time looking for golf balls and spending time playing provisional golf balls when the original ball cannot be found
- Intensifies the pressure of the day as every shot counts and a good round can suddenly turn into a bad one
- Corporate Golf Days generally consist of a number of different standards of golfers. Beginner to Intermediate is generally the normal and the use of stroke as your format will significantly reduce the enjoyment element for the golfers in the competition
Overall Comment on Stroke
A tough and unforgiving format where “every shot counts”. Rarely used in Corporate Golf Days as often causes speed of play to slow down considerably.
Is similar to an advanced form of greensomes. Partnerships can be made up of two groups of two, three or four players. Each player in the group tees off on every hole and they choose the best drive. The player of the ball that has been selected always plays first. The other players place their ball within 6 inches, no nearer the hole, from that spot each person hits a second shot. The partnerships then decide on the best position from which to play their third shots and so on until one player holes out.
NOTE: If a ball that has been played is played again, before the other balls have been played, then this ball is now in play (i.e. do not tap in putts before the other players have played).
With each golfer having a go at every shot the handicap allowance is far from generous – one eighth of the combined handicaps being the number of strokes received.
Texas Scramble is played in a strokeplay format. It gives club golfers an opportunity to record the sort of scores they often see on television, but only dream about achieving themselves.