Stableford Scoring Explained

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.

1 thought on “Stableford Scoring Explained”

  1. Hi,
    I’m trying to work out the mysteries of the Stableford Rules in golf. Does anyone out there have some idiot-proof calculations, together with an explanation on how they are worked out? My golf card shows a Par & Stroke Index column. How do these fit in with the Rules ? Will be grateful for the easiest of calculations. My handicap is 18 and so it may help if the calculations are centred around this figure. Many Thanks in anticipation
    Mike Cronin


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