Who Started the Stableford Scoring System

The Stableford system was invented by Dr Frank Stableford in 1931. He created it to prevent golfers from quitting after a bad start to their game. (Cheers Frank! We’ve all experienced this.)

The points system, first used informally in 1898 at The Glamorganshire, was developed and officially used on May 16,1932 at Wallasey.

Since then, Dr Stableford is known as the Patron Saint of Golf Clubs. He was credited with creating a system that allows all players to compete on an equal basis. Stableford is used all over the globe, but especially in the UK, where it’s the preferred scoring method for club competitions, charity events, and social matches.

Have you ever played Stableford?

This guide will cover all the information you need to get started with Stableford!

What is Stableford scoring system?

Stableford” is a golf scoring system that gives points based on the number of strokes you take per hole in relation par rather than counting strokes as in stroke play. Stableford scoring differs from stroke play in that the goal is to get the highest score.

Standard Stableford point values are:

  • 0 Points Double Bogey (two strokes over par or worse)
  • 1 Point – Bogey (One stroke over par)
  • 2 Points – Par
  • 3 Points – Birdie (One stroke under par)
  • Four Points – Eagle (2 strokes below par)
  • 5 Points Albatross/Double Eagle (3 strokes below par)
  • 6 Points – (Four strokes under par)

The above scoring is a typical Stableford, but the points can be adjusted to suit the needs of a golfing group or event organizer. Modified Stableford is the name of scoring with adjusted points values.

The PGA’s Barracuda Championship 2019 was a modified Stableford tournament with the following points values:

  • 3 Points Double Bogey (Two strokes over par or worse)
  • -1 Point – Bogey (One stroke over par)
  • 0 points par
  • +2 Points – Birdie (One stroke under par)
  • +5 points Eagle (2 strokes below par)
  • (+8 Points – Albatross/Double Eagle (3 strokes below par)

Modified Stableford scores, like the example above encourages more aggressive play as there are more points for better scores and fewer points for bogeys.

Stableford System: Golf Handicaps Are Taken Into Account

Handicaps are also a factor to be considered when playing Stableford events to help players with different skill levels compete on a level playing field.

The five hardest holes on the course would be worth one stroke to a golfer with a 5-handicap. The “par” on the five hardest holes will increase by one shot. This golfer would receive par points for a 5, if one of the five hardest holes was a 4 par.

A player with a handicap of 14 will receive 14 extra shots on each hole 1-14. Don’t forget your scorecard.

After the handicap adjustment, if the Stroke index 1 hole is par-5 and a player records a Par, this will be recorded as a Birdie and three points.

A player with a handicap greater than 18 is entitled to 2 extra shots on certain holes. A 20 handicapper, for example, gets two extra shots at the Stroke Index 1 and 2 holes. You can earn four points for a par.

What Is a Good Stableford Score?

As many golfers can attest, anything over 32 points is a respectable score.

You’ve played a fantastic round if you reach the 40-point threshold. Congratulations!

What is Modified Version of Stableford?

A slightly more difficult version of Stableford is also available, as the name implies. The modified Stableford offers more points to players who score below par.

Modified Stableford penalizes players for bad play more harshly than traditional Stableford by removing points if they score above par. Modified Stableford scoring is as follows:

Albatross (3-under-par) = 8 points

Eagle (2-under-par) = 5 points

Birdie (1-under-par) = 2 points

Par (level = 0)

Bogey (over-par) = 1 point

Double Bogey (2-over-par) or worse = -3 Points

This points system is used by the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship.

Stableford Golf Scoring Questions and Answers

What is Stableford score?

Stableford, a golf scoring system, awards points to players based on how many strokes they take on each hole in relation to the par of the hole. The goal is to collect the most points in a round rather than the fewest strokes, as with traditional stroke play.

What is stroke index?

The stroke index (SI), or relative difficulty of a golf hole, is determined by its position on the course. The hole with SI 1, is the most difficult hole on the golf course. Meanwhile, the hole with SI 18, on an 18 hole course, is the easiest. The stroke index is used to determine the number of handicap strokes that are allocated on each hole. If a player is handicapped 10, he will get an extra shot for the holes that have stroke indexes from 1 to 10.

What's a good Stableford Score?

The “good” Stableford can be subjective, and it depends on the player’s handicap as well as the difficulty of the course. In general, however, if the golfer scores 36 Stableford, then they have played according to their handicap. A score of 36 or more indicates that the golfer has played better than his handicap for the day.

Does handicap affect Stableford scores?

You can earn Stableford points by using your handicap to get extra shots on certain holes. If you have a 15-stroke handicap, you would get an additional shot at the 15 hardest holes. On a hole that you would normally get 2 points for a par, your handicap stroke could give you 3 points, which is basically a bogey.

What is the difference between Stableford and traditional stroke play?

The goal of traditional stroke play is to finish the round with the fewest strokes as possible. Each shot counts towards your total. The goal of Stableford is to accumulate points. Stableford doesn’t punish a bad hole as much as stroke play. It can be more enjoyable and forgiving for some golfers.