how to play stableford golf

Mastering the Game: A Guide to Playing Stableford Golf

Last Updated on May 25, 2023

Do you want to take your golf game to the next level? Play Stableford Golf. This unique scoring system has become increasingly popular in the UK, offering a more relaxed way of playing while still challenging players with different strategies. Whether you’re looking for an alternative format or just trying something new, learning how to play Stableford golf is definitely worth considering. Join us as we dive into this exciting sport and discuss its scoring system, strategies for success and benefits that come from playing Stableford golf.

Table of Contents:

What Is Stableford Golf?

Stableford golf is a type of scoring system used in the game of golf. It differs from traditional stroke play, which awards points based on the number of strokes taken to complete each hole. In Stableford, players are awarded points based on their score relative to par for each hole. This makes it easier for players with different levels of skill and experience to compete against one another without having an unfair advantage.

Stableford golf is an enjoyable and competitive way to play the game, and understanding the scoring system is essential for any golfer looking to make the most of their round. Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

Key Takeaway: Stableford golf rewards players for accuracy rather than distance off the tee box. Strategies such as focusing on accuracy and club selection can help maximise a player’s score.

Scoring System

Stableford golf is a popular form of the game that utilises an alternate scoring system to traditional stroke play. In Stableford, each hole is assigned a point value based on the player’s score for that hole. The goal is to accumulate as many points as possible throughout the round.

The most common point values are

a nice golf field with white sand

Double bogey or worse = 0 points; bogey = 1 point; par = 2 points; birdie = 3 points; eagle or better = 4 points. For example, if you make a double bogey on one hole and then shoot par on the next, your total would be two points (0 + 2).

Your total score at the end of 18 holes can range from zero to 72, depending on how well you played each individual hole. To calculate your final score in Stableford, simply add up all of your individual scores for each hole and subtract any handicap strokes received prior to beginning play. This will give you your net total for the round, which will be used to determine who won or lost in match-play scenarios or what place players finished in tournament settings.

Strategies for Playing Stableford

Stableford is a popular golf format that rewards players for their performance on each hole. It’s an excellent way to keep track of your score and compare it with other players. To maximise your score in Stableford, you need to understand the basics of the game and use strategic approaches.

Know Your Handicap

Before playing a round of Stableford, it’s important to know your handicap so you can adjust accordingly. A higher handicap means more points are available per hole; however, if you have a lower handicap, then fewer points will be awarded per hole. Knowing this information beforehand can help you plan out how aggressive or conservatively you should play each hole.

Play Conservative on Difficult Holes

When playing difficult holes, such as those with water hazards or long distances between tee boxes and greens, it’s best to play conservatively rather than taking risks that could lead to costly mistakes like lost balls or double bogeys. If there’s no chance of getting par on the hole, then aim for bogey instead and take what points are available without putting yourself at risk for worse results.

Take Risks on Easier Holes

Conversely, when playing easier holes where par is achievable with minimal effort or risk-taking involved, go ahead and try for birdie by taking calculated risks off the tee box or green depending on how comfortable you feel about them given your skill level. This approach may not always work out but even if it doesn’t result in birdie every time at least give yourself a chance at earning extra points compared to just settling for par all the time.

Key Takeaway: Stableford is a great way to keep track of your score and compare it with other players. To maximise your score, understand the basics and adjust according to your handicap: play conservatively on difficult holes but take risks on easier ones for birdie chances.

Benefits of Playing Stableford

a man playing golf

Stableford golf is a great way to enjoy the game of golf. It’s an alternative scoring system that rewards players for their performance on each hole, rather than simply tallying up the total number of strokes taken. This makes it easier to keep track of your progress and have more fun during a round.

One major benefit of playing Stableford is that you don’t need to worry about shooting over par or under par on any given hole. Instead, you’re rewarded with points based on how well you play each hole, which can make for some exciting competition between friends and family members who are all trying to outscore one another.

Another advantage is that it allows players to focus more on their individual shots instead of worrying about what their overall score will be at the end of the round. With this scoring system, even if you hit a bad shot or two, as long as your other shots were good enough to earn points, then your overall score won’t suffer too much from those few mistakes.

In addition, since Stableford scores are calculated using net scores (the difference between actual score and handicap), it’s easy for players with different skill levels to compete against one another without feeling like they’re at an unfair disadvantage due to their handicaps or lack thereof. This means everyone can have fun regardless of whether they’re just starting out in golf or already consider themselves pros.

Finally, playing Stableford encourages creativity when approaching each shot since there’s no penalty for taking risks, such as going after tough pins or attempting tricky recovery shots around hazards. This could potentially lead to higher point totals if executed correctly, so why not give it a try next time you head out onto the course?

Key Takeaway: Playing Stableford golf allows players to focus on individual shots, compete against others regardless of skill level, and encourages creativity when approaching each shot. It’s an exciting alternative scoring system that rewards performance on each hole rather than the overall score.


Playing Stableford golf is a great way to challenge yourself and have fun on the course. With its unique scoring system, you can really test your skills and see how well you fare against other players. By understanding the rules of play, developing strategies for success, and taking advantage of the benefits that come with playing Stableford golf, you can make sure every round is an enjoyable one. So why not give it a try? You may just find that playing stableford golf is exactly what your game has been missing.

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