This weekend’s International Tournament is going to produce some funny golf scores. Instead of winning by -11 or some such, the winner is going to have a score that looks more like +22. No, it’s not because the course is so difficult. It’s because of a unique method of scoring called the “Stableford System.”
The Stableford System was invented by an Englishman named Barney Stableford, who was attempting to devise a scoring system that rewarded risk taking. In regular stroke play, players often will avoid risky moves because they can quickly balloon a score. Under the Stableford system, the cost of taking a large number of strokes on a single hole is minimized.
Here’s how it works:
The winner of a Stableford Tournament is the player who scores the most points.
Players get no ponts for a par, 2 points for a birdie, 5 for an Eagle and 8 for a double eagle. On the down side, you lose a point for a bogey, and lose three for a double bogey or worse.
The effect of this is that if you blow up on any single hole, the worse you can get is a -3. Also, note that a birdie is worth two, while a bogey costs you just one. With that kind of calculus, it pays to “go for it.”
Stableford Scoring is often used in club tournaments for precisely reason. And it’s a reason to pay attention to the International. It could be a pretty exciting weekend of golf.