I enjoy different games but it’s meant to be played as stroke play. Even if I’m playing a different format I finish up and have a score.


I played in Australia around New Year’s, and was surprised everyone there played Stableford. It’s so unheard of in the USA, that I had no idea how the scoring worked. That’d be an interesting thread.


I mostly do the same out of curiosity, albeit I know in my head that my “score” is really an approximation based on:

a) gimmes

b) if I;m out of a hole or not going to score I’m picking my ball up.No interest in grinding out a 9 holding the group up for the sake of my card. I’ll mark it down is a triple; and

c) the knowledge that I’d be playing differently if it was stroke play. For example, 1 down with 2 to play and I’m taking on the water/bunker/sucker pin that I wouldn’t do in stoke play. Ditto in fourballs if my partner melts one down the middle.

Interesting that you say its meant to be played as stroke play; why is that? The Amateur and US Am/Mid Am all end with match play. The Ryder Cup is match play, foursomes and fourballs. Wasn’t the US American Open and/or US American PGA match play as well at some point?


Usually points are awarded based on a players net score. So:

Eagle - 4
Birdie - 3
Par - 2
Bogey - 1

Nothing in this game for a double or above.

Playing to handicap is therefore 36 points.

There are obviously modified versions where minus points are available, but this is the normal UK club format. Advantage is that you can pick up after you eject 2 off the tee and save yourself the indignity of pounding balls into the shite ad infinitum.

I played Muirfield the Thursday of the Masters this year and had 0 points thru 9. Boy was I glad we wern’t playing stroke play…


Yeah it made sense after learning how the scoring worked. I’d have appreciated the group in front of me today picking up in some spots. Stableford, along with everyone taking a pull cart were fairly eye opening coming from the USA.


Handicaps are based on stroke play, 90+% of tournaments are based on stroke play. Almost all record keeping is based on stroke play etc…

I’m not condemning match play at all, I enjoy the hell out of it. Just pointing out that the majority of the golf world, when competing, uses stroke play.


This sort of eased my mind that my handicap is too low. I’m sitting at an 8 right now but feel like a 15 based on my most recent rounds. But I know that any given day I can go out and shoot in the 70s even though I don’t do it often. It would make sense that 90% of my rounds end with me walking off 18 green with a 82 and thinking that I “left a few out there”.


Quick update: I got set up with a GHIN number through a local course that I have played a few times and am official as of the revision today. Coming in hot at an 11.3. Thanks for all the input here, much appreciated!


Looking for insight. For all our betting games we’ve always just given guys shots based on their course handicap, relative to 0. This has worked fine since our usual 5 for Wolf typically included three 0s, and maybe a 5 and an 8. But now one guy is a solid +2 that is likely to shoot under par at least every other round (last three have been 66, 72, 69).

The time has come to play off his handicap. So how should we do it? Does he start with “1” on the two easiest handicap holes, or does everyone else get two additional shots?


The higher handicap guy should give up shots on the hardest handicapped holes, not the easiest holes. So move him from a +2 to a 0, and then move everyone else back 2 from there.


Okay, so let the +2 play straight up and the 0s each get shots on the two hardest holes, the 5 now gets 7, etc.?


Yea. Exactly.

It makes sense to give up a stroke on the #1 handicapped hole, maybe a par 5 or long par 4 where there is a likelihood of high scores with a lot of variance. In the other way you suggested it, that +2 would be really screwed giving up a stroke on the 18th handicapped hole, likely a simple par 3 where he would almost immediately be drawing dead.


I agree with the sentiment…but I’ve been told by the pro the alternate method is actually the “correct” way to do it. I kind of see that side of it now as well; because now the 8 handicap is playing two scratches straight up on the two hardest holes (handicap-wise) on the course. Seems like you either screw over the worst guy or screw over the best guy, if that makes sense.


Well if that’s the correct way, then its just idiotic.

If you are a +1 playing against a 2, then the strokes should be allocated the same as if you are a 0 against a 3, or a 10 against a 13.


I 100% agree - idiotic. But now just confirmed in the USGA decisions section. However, if it’s match play, the +2 plays to 0 and the other guy gets 2 extra shots. Leave it to the USGA…


the idiotic way is the way we do it at our club, guy is hitting two of the tee on all our par 3s


Haha exactly - but that’s the “correct” way, assuming those are the easiest handicap holes on the course.


Unless I am just out there practicing or playing 2 balls late in the day, I almost always post incomplete rounds. If I play 7-12 holes, I’ll post a 9-hole score. If I play 13+ holes, I’ll post an 18-hole score.

IMO, the more scores I post, the more accurate of a gauge I’m getting on my current H.I., regardless of the number of holes I play that day.

I feel like this is especially true when it’s 100+ degrees in Texas these days, and getting in 9-13 holes in the evening over the course of a month is doable. I’d rather have an idea of my handicap movement over that month than not having any posted scores.


I had this very thing happen to me when I played in a Saturday morning group where I used to play many years ago. Back then I was a low single digit because I was playing all the time, 10 years later I’m married with 2 kids and a crazy schedule job and only play a handful of times a year, I keep my handicap and play to about a 10, I can shoot anywhere from 75 to 90 depending on my feels for the day. Well, that day the good golfer shows up and I shoot 75 with birdies on the hardest holes, win skins and the overall game. A few of the guys remember me from 10 years ago and instantly start calling bs, I can’t help that was the day I decided to remember how to play, but the beer I bought with their money sure tasted better…


In the US do you not need to declare in advance that you will be submitting a card for handicap if it’s a non competition round? That’s how it works in the UK, so you can’t just decide not to submit if you play poorly.

Having read the thread all the way through the US system sounds ridiculous. Appears to be entirely open to abuse. Sounds like people just make it up as they go along.