Golf Scores
By: Brent Walter

Golf Scores: Counting strokes is just one form of keeping score. There are many other methods that can add a twist to the getting the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes.

    Golf purists are feeling nausea at the thought of what's to come in this article. A list of variations for golf scores isn't for everyone, but if you're the adventuresome sort, you might want to give one of these a try. You have nothing to lose except another round of golf. And if you do lose playing with one of these different scoring methods, you can blame it on the fact that it's not "real golf."

Stroke of Medal Play

    In case you didn't know, stroke and medal play are the names for the standard way most golfers keep score. Whoever finishes 18 holes in the fewest strokes wins (Wood). When people say they are playing golf, they most always mean that method of scoring.

Match Play

    Match play is commonly recognized as the scoring format of the Ryder Cup. The victor is the person or team that wins the most holes (United States Golf Association). A hole is won by holing out in the fewest strokes. For example, if it took you three strokes to complete a hole and four for your competitor, you would win the hole and receive one point. At the end of the 18 holes, or the predetermined number, whoever has won more holes wins the match.


    Stableford golf scores look rather odd compared to the standard method of counting strokes. You actually earn points for each hole depending on how well you played. So, one bad hole won't ruin your entire day, which makes Stableford scoring great for beginners (Taylor). You are awarded no points for two over par, one point for one over par, two points for par, three points for one under par and four points for two under par (Wright). Whichever player has accumulated the most points at the end of the round is the winner.


    Greensomes must be played in teams of two. How it works is that both team members drive from the tee (Wood). Then, they select one of the tee shots to play from. The team member whose drive wasn't chosen has to play the next shot, and then the team members continues to alternate turns until they hole out. Whichever team finishes the round in the fewest strokes wins.

Low Ball - Low Total and Low Ball - High Ball

    Those two types of golf scores both use points rather than strokes, and they both are played in teams of two. Low Ball - Low Total awards two points per hole (Faber). One point is given to the team of the player who holed out in the fewest strokes. The second point is awarded to the team that has the lowest combined score. Low Ball - High Ball, on the other hand, awards one point and subtracts one point per hole (Faber). The awarded point goes to the team of whoever holed out in the fewest strokes. The subtracted point penalizes the team of whoever had the highest number of strokes for a given hole.


    Scramble golf scores look just like standard stroke scores; however, they are produced in a very different way. A scramble is played in teams of four (Taylor). All team members tee off, and then they have to choose which shot to use. Then, all team members take a shot from where the chosen tee shot landed. That process is repeated until the team holes out. The foursome that completes the round in the fewest strokes wins. The game can be played in teams of two, but foursomes are more common.


    Nassau golf scores are simple. There are three points up for grabs during a round. One point is awarded to the winner of the first nine holes, one point for the second nine holes and one point for the overall leader for 18 holes (Curtis). That format is frequently used for betting because it offers a gambling man multiple chances to win a wager while only playing one round of golf.

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