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Stroke Play

Stroke Play Competition

Stroke Play is form of competition and scoring system in which the total strokes taken during the round (or rounds) are added together to give a cumulative score. In stroke play, every side (player or team) competes all holes² and counts the total number of strokes and the side with the lower total score wins.

In a handicap competition the side with the lower net score (Stroke Play gross score minus the handicap allowance) wins.


Stableford Scoring

Stableford and Modified Stableford are the scoring systems of Stroke Play which take into account the amount of strokes taken at particular holes. The points are awarded in relation to the par at each hole as follows:

Stableford points table


The side with the highest total number of points scored on all holes wins.

Stableford system avoid golfers giving up after a terrible hole and also increases the pace of play as golfers can simply pick up there ball and proceed to the next hole.


Scoring of Par and Bogey Competitions

A Par Competition is a form of Stroke Play where the scoring is made as in 18-hole Match Play. The golfer plays a match against par on every hole (a virtual scratch golfer who plays pars at all holes). The opponent is the player’s potential and there are only three outcomes for each hole: Win, Halve or Loss. The points are awarded in relation to the par at each hole as follows:

Par Competition points table

A Bogey competition is the variation of the classic Par competition. The only difference is that the golfer plays against “bogey” on every hole. In this competition “bogey” does not necessarily mean one over par and its value is determined by Committee for each hole. It is normally the same as the par score, occasionally it is a shot higher. Some more traditional clubs have par and bogey scores for each hole on their scorecards.

In Par and Bogey competition the winner is the player who wins the most net holes, so players have to know and allocate their handicap strokes to each hole.


The Stroke Play and Stableford score calculator is available on next page.


Useful links:

Web-page of European Golf Association (EGA)
Web-page of R&A
Rules of Golf 2016 (online)

back to: Scoring

update: January 2017

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