What is Stableford Scoring and How Does It Work?

Date Published: 30/10/2023

Golf can be a complex sport, especially for newcomers, but stableford scoring can help simplify the game and can make it more enjoyable for all skill levels.

Stableford is one of the most common scoring systems used in golf and also the one that most often cause the most confusion. In this blog, we’ll break down what Stableford scoring is and how it works in a way that’s easy to understand.


What is the Stableford Scoring System?

Stableford is a scoring system in golf that focuses on scoring points based the number of strokes taken on each hole rather than counting the total number of strokes taken during a round.

Unlike traditional stroke play, where the goal is to complete the course in the fewest strokes possible, Stableford scoring encourages players to accumulate points based on their performance on each hole.

Stableford scoring for each hole is then calculated using your score against the net par for that hole with points awarded as follows:

– 6 points – Four strokes under

– 5 points – Three strokes under

– 4 points – Two strokes under

– 3 points – One stroke under

– 2 points – Level par

– 1 point – One stroke over

– 0 points – Two strokes or more over


How Are Stableford Points Scored?

The number of points awarded on each hole is determined by comparing a player’s score to the par, with adjustments based on their handicap. To calculate this, you need to refer to the stroke index listed on the scorecard.

For instance, a player with a handicap of six is granted an extra shot on holes with a stroke index of one to six. Whereas a golfer with a handicap of 22, would get two extra shots on holes with a stroke index of one to four and then one shot on holes with a stroke index of five to 18.

For example, if a hole is a par-4 with a stroke index of four, our six-handicapper would get one extra stroke, making it a par-5 for them. The 22-handicapper would receive two extra strokes, making it a par-6 for them.

This adjustment ensures a fair and enjoyable game for golfers of all skill levels.


How To Win a Stableford Competition

Unlike traditional stroke play scoring the objective with stableford is to score as many points as possible over 18 holes.

If you play exactly to your handicap you should finish your round with 36 points, two points per hole.


In summary, the Stableford scoring system simplifies golf by rewarding you with points based on your performance on each hole. It encourages players of all skill levels to enjoy the game without the stress of counting every stroke.

Remember, if you’re new to golf, it’s a great way to ease into the sport and have fun on the course.

So, next time you’re out on the course, give Stableford scoring a try. It might just change the way you experience and enjoy the game.