Medal (Stroke) Play in Golf [Plus Other Tournament Formats]

Medal (Stroke) Play in Golf [Plus Other Tournament Formats]

For those who’re new to the sport of golf, chances are you’ll be shocked to know that there are a number of methods to maintain rating. I admit that I used to be clueless earlier than my first spherical when one among my taking part in companions requested the group if we wished to play stroke or match play.

Most folk are accustomed to normal stroke play in golf (AKA medal play). Nevertheless, there are many different event codecs that may add a bit of additional pizzazz to your expertise on the golf course.

On this article, we’ll do a deep dive into Stroke Play, Match Play, Stableford, Skins, and extra.


What’s Medal (Stroke) Play in Golf?

For those who flip in your TV to observe a bit of golf on the weekend, you’ll seemingly see skilled tournaments utilizing stroke play. Stroke, or medal, play is golf’s hottest scoring system. Utilizing this format, every golfer information what number of strokes it takes them to complete every gap.

After the complete spherical, every competitor tallies up their complete variety of strokes from every gap. The golfer with the fewest strokes is said the winner. That’s the gist of the principles for fundamental medal play.

The opposite sort of stroke play works the identical method however with handicaps. What’s a handicap? It’s a scoring system that’s used to stage the taking part in discipline between superior golfers and people who aren’t fairly so expert. For those who’re accustomed to soccer betting, it really works like the purpose unfold.

Right here’s a fast instance:

Let’s say you’re a +18 handicap and taking part in in opposition to a extra gifted golfer who’s a +9. After the ultimate gap of the spherical, your opponent has to present you 9 strokes. Which means your opponent has to beat you by 10 or extra strokes to be declared the winner.


Stroke Play vs. Match Play

Although stroke play is the preferred golf format, match play will be the most fun to observe. For those who’ve ever watched Crew USA tackle Crew Europe within the Ryder Cup, that’s an instance of match play.

In match play, the golfer should nonetheless sustain with their strokes on every gap. Nevertheless, the general variety of strokes for the complete spherical doesn’t issue into who wins the event.

In match play, every golfer is just making an attempt to win every gap. On the finish of the spherical, every competitor tallies up what number of holes they gained to find out the winner. Match play tournaments are enjoyable as a result of golfers usually take riskier pictures to outduel their opponents.


Different Forms of Golf Match Codecs

Stroke and match play are the two most typical golf event codecs. Nevertheless, there are just a few different scoring techniques that you just and your taking part in companions can check out throughout your subsequent spherical of golf. Right here’s a short listing of three different event codecs.


For those who’ve ever performed in a charity golf event, you’re in all probability accustomed to the very best ball scramble format. It’s one of the crucial pleasing methods to play golf. Every foursome acts as a workforce, which makes issues simpler when including up scores.

Every competitor within the foursome will tee off like regular. Nevertheless, as a substitute of every golfer taking part in their very own drive, the complete group will play from whichever drive was deemed the very best. The cadence goes on like this for the complete spherical of golf.

Scramble takes the strain off and permits of us to have time on the golf course as a result of there’s little or no probability for penalties. That’s why it’s fashionable for charity occasions and firm team-building outings. We extremely suggest the very best ball scramble if you happen to and your pals are new to golf.


In conventional stroke play, the purpose is to have the bottom complete web rating. Stableford works the precise reverse as a result of the golfer with the very best precise rating wins.

With Stableford, as a substitute of counting complete strokes and penalty strokes, every golfer is awarded factors primarily based on how they carry out on every gap.

Right here’s a breakdown of how factors are awarded in Stableford:

  • Bogey – 1 Level
  • Par – 2 Factors
  • Birdie – 3 Factors
  • Eagle – 4 Factors
  • Albatross – 5 Factors

Any rating worse than a bogey will get zero factors. Stableford is a enjoyable sport as a result of golfers get rewarded for his or her actually good holes. Additionally they don’t get severely penalized for the actually unhealthy holes, which is one other bonus!


Right here’s one other event format that was fashionable on the PGA Tour. Every gap is value a predetermined amount of cash in a skins sport. The competitor with the bottom web rating for the outlet wins that pores and skin.

Skins video games get much more thrilling when there are ties on holes. When that occurs, the pores and skin for that gap carries over to the following gap.

For instance, let’s say that gap #1 is value $10. If participant A and participant D each birdie the outlet, that $10 is transferred to gap #2, making it value $20.


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