Golf scoring methods can be split into two categories, individual and team play.
Individual scoring methods include:
Stroke Play:- The player with the least number of strokes required to complete
the course is considered the winner. See artical Scoring Explained for more information about stroke play.
Match Play:- In match play each hole is contested individually. The player
who takes the lowest number of strokes on that hole wins the hole. If the number
of strokes are even, the hole is considered to be halved. The player who wins the
most holes wins the game. Should there be less holes left to play than are required
for a player to lose the lead, the game is considered over and the remainder of
the holes are not played. Dormie is used to refer to the situation where the number
of holes remaining is equal to the leading player’s lead.
Stableford:- In Stableford play, players are awarded points for each hole.
The number of points received is based on the number of strokes taken to finish
the hole compared to the par of that hole, which is adjusted up or down depending
on the players handicap. Unlike most scoring systems in golf, the player with the
most points wins the game.
The UK points system is as follows:
Number of points
Strokes over / under par
If a player takes more than two strokes over par they do not need to complete the
hole and take a score of 0.
Team scoring methods include:
Foursomes:- This is played between two teams of two players. Each team only
has 1 ball and the two team members take turns hitting alternate shots using it.
Player A tees off on the first hole, then player B takes the next shot. Player A
then takes the third and so on. Irrespective of who putted the ball, player B will
tee off on the second hole, player A the third, etc. Foursomes can be scored using
either stroke play or match play.
Four Ball Better Ball:- This is also played between two teams of two players.
Each player has their own ball and the team takes the score of the lowest scoring
team member for each hole.
Greensomes:- This method is similar to Foursomes, except both players tee
off and the best shot from the two is chosen. The player with the weaker first shot
takes the second and play alternates from there.
Bloodsomes:- This is a variation of Greensomes where the opposing team chooses
which tee shot play should continue from. The player whose tee shot was not chosen
plays the second and play alternates from there.
Scramble:- This is a method whereby each player in the team (usually 4 players
per team) tees off. The best shot is chosen and the location of the ball is marked.
All team members then take their next shot from the marker. This allows the team
to take the best shot from 4 everytime, resulting in much lower scores. For this
reason the handicap for the team is 1/10th of the total combined handicaps of the
players. Scramble is scored using stroke play.
Texas Scramble:- Texas Scramble uses the same rules as Scramble, but adds
an extra requirment. The team must take at least 4 tee shots from each team member.
This stops the issue of always choosing the player who has a significantly better
tee shot, over the weaker players.
Some team games use a Shotgun Start whereby each team starts on a separate
hole and a shotgun is fired to start the competition. This reduces the time required
for the competition as all holes can be played simultaneously.
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