Stroke Play

How does stroke play work? The benefits of Stoke play. Stroke play refers to a round of golf where the stokes taken over the course are added together to form a cumulative score.

How does stroke play work? The benefits of Stroke play

Strokeplay means that the total strokes taken during the round or rounds are added together to give a cumulative score.

At the end of the round, the golfers handicap is subtracted from the total stroke play scores to give each golfer a nett score.

  Calculation
Strokes taken 93
  18
Nett Score 93 - 18 = 75

Strokeplay is used in most golf tournaments and on the professional tours, all golfers are regarded as equal and have a zero handicap.

For them, it’s the cumulative score over four rounds which decides the winner, with the lowest total taking the prize. In the event of a tie there is usually a playoff over a pre-determined number of holes, or until one of the competitors beats the score of his opponent/s on any given hole.

Within golf clubs, strokeplay is used for ‘medal’ competitions, usually held once a month, but in these, unlike the professional tours, handicaps are applied and it is nett scores that are counted. So if a 10 handicapper shoots gross 81 over a par 72 course, his nett score is 71 (81 minus 10). If his fellow competitor with a one handicap shoots a gross 73, his nett score is 72 (73 minus one) and he loses to the 10 handicapper.

The benefits of Strokeplay

Strokeplay is by far the most popular scoring system in golf and almost everyone who has ever played the game will have recorded their total scores during the round. It also provides the basis of handicap calculations because it allows golfers of different abilities to play against each other – an advantage that is almost unique to golf.

One drawback is that one particularly bad hole can destroy your round. If you normally play off an 18 handicap, which would give you a stroke a hole, and take 10 strokes on a par four (six over par), then you will have to play the 17 remaining holes with only 12 strokes left in your handicap.

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