Stroke, medal, ambrose, greensome, foursome, four ball, best ball, split sixes, match, par, Stableford, skins….. So many labels, so many ways to make a golf competition.
But what do they all mean and how do you play them? You’ve come to the right place.
Golf straight up, count your shots until you pick your ball out of the hole, lowest total score wins.
Variants include net/medal (stroke minus daily handicap) and medal plus putts (add number of puts to net score)
Not a solid creek crossing, but Future Golf’s favourite competition and also how Golf Australia calculate your handicap.
Unlike stroke play, in Stableford you want to have the highest score possible. The lower your score on a hole is, the more points you get.
Handicaps are used to determine how many shots you get per round and per hole. A 23 handicapper gets two shots on stroke holes 1-5 (the hardest) and one shot on stroke holes 6-18. Where a player gets one stroke a bogey is a stableford par, and where you get two shots a double bogey is scored as a par.
Here’s how we apply points: One point is earned for a net bogey, two points for a net par, three points for a net birdie, four points for a net eagle and so on. And if you've had too many strokes to score any points (i.e. a net double bogey) there's no need to hole out - just pick your ball up. A score of 36 points means you've played to your handicap.
One on one - head to head - win, lose or half each hole. You’re either up, down or round and round, I mean all square…. You want to be up at the end.
When played using handicaps, subtract the lower handicap from the higher handicap, the difference is the number of strokes the higher handicap player will receive on the hardest holes on the course.
As an example a 14 handicapper is playing a match against a 6 handicapper, so there is a difference of 8 shots. The 14 handicapper would get one shot from the 6 handicapper on stroke holes 1-8. So the lower handicapper has to beat the higher handicappers score by two strokes to win those holes.
You verse the course - matchplay style. The player that finishes the most number of shots ‘up’ or, if it‘s a brutal day, the least number of shots ‘down’ is the winner.
Every hole produces a result of either a plus, half or minus - ‘+’ for a net score under par, ‘0’ for net score of par, and ‘-‘ for a net score over par.
Don’t forget to count your strokes & stableford points for handicapping…..
Great for the occasionally brilliant, frequently inconsistent, generally average players amongst us….. As long as your teammate is oppositely inconsistent, your score will be high!
Played in teams of two, three or four following Stableford rules, everyone plays their ball, highest individual Stableford score for that hole counts towards the team total.
The king of the corporate golf day, and a great way to mix it up. Ambrose is a lot of fun and a great way to feel like a tour player by shooting the lights out. Teams of two, three or four; lowest net score wins.
Each player tees off on every hole, the team (or captain to save any on course arguments) nominates the best drive, and the other team members pick up their balls and everyone plays from the best (mark the spot, place within a club-length on the fairway, drop within a club-length in the rough). Continue playing from the best shot until you hole out. The best ball score is recorded for the team.
A team handicap is used, this is calculated by adding all the team members' individual handicaps together and dividing by four for a two-person team, six for a three-person and eight for a four-person. Subtract the team handicap from the gross score for the net score. If there is a ‘minimum drives’ rule in play (e.g. each team member must have at least two drives) note who’s drive is used on the scorecard.
Sadistic tourture if your partner is having a bad day. Foursome’s pseudonym, alternate shot, is fast, but can be brutal. Best played with a partner of similar handicap/skill level.
One ball, tee off on alternate holes (odd and even) and play alternate shot from there. For handicap purposes, halve the combined handicap of the pair.