How To Work Out Stableford Points In Golf? [Easy!]

It’s one of the most common forms of golf scoring, but how do you actually work out Stableford points when playing Stableford golf?

Perhaps you’re playing in a 4BBB Stableford competition or you’re just out for a quick 9 holes.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what is stableford in golf and how to go about working out the Stableford scoring system when you’re out playing. Or check out our Stableford Scoring Calculator.

How To Calculate Points In Stableford?

How To Work Out Stableford Points?

Stableford Scoring System

A Stableford golf scoring system is a form of golf that calculates a score for each hole that is played and allows a golfer to score points on each hole.

Based on the player’s handicap, a number will be given based on the number of shots that they took on that hole.

The Stableford system differs from a classic medal or stroke play round. This is because in Stableford, even if you have a bad hole, it won’t cost your whole round.

Where, usually, the lowest score is the aim, in a Stableford format, it’s actually a high score and the person with the most points will win.

The worst score you can get on a hole is 0 points and then you can start again on the next hole.

I love playing Stableford because it’s far less stressful than a Medal strokeplay competition. If I’ve had a really bad hole in medal scoring, it can completely ruin my scorecard and round. However, with Stableford, I can afford to hit a couple of bad shots, make a 9 and it’s just zero points rather than a quadruple bogey.

Because of this, it tends to favour the higher handicap golfer as it allows them to make a big score on a hole and not worry that they’re out of the competition. It’s also a quicker format compared to Medal. If you know you can’t score any points on a hole, you can pick up your ball and move on to the next hole, unlike a Medal where every hole needs to be finished.

How To Calculate Stableford Points?

To calculate Stableford points scored, firstly you need to understand your handicap, the par and the stoke index for each hole played.

The par for a hole is the number of shots that a golfer is supposed to take on that hole.

The stroke index of a hole is used to determine the level of difficulty of that hole so that golfers can determine how many shots their handicap allows them on that hole.

For example, a golfer with a handicap of 14 will receive 1 handicap shot on the holes ranked 1-14 on the stroke index. Say they’re playing a par 4 with a stroke index of 10. If they take 4 shots on that hole, it will be a gross 4 and a net 3.

Once you understand the par and the stroke index, you can work out the points for a hole.

Points are determined based on the net score for a hole (shots actually taken minus your allowed handicap shots for that hole).

Stableford Scoring Points

Stableford golf scoring is based on the number of strokes taken on a hole, minus the awarded handicap shots.

Based on a golfer’s net shots, the following list is the allocated point system for a score, as part of golf Stableford rules:

  • Double bogey or worse/2+ over par – 0 points
  • Bogey/1 over par – 1 point
  • Par – 2 points
  • Birdie/ 1 under par – 3 points
  • Eagle/2 under par – 4 points
  • Albatross/ 3 under par – 5 points

Assigning a point or points based on the number of strokes taken on a particular hole, you can then total those points to determine the final amount of points scored.

A round of level par handicap will work out as 36 points.

Therefore anything higher than 36 will mean you’ve played below par, and anything under 36 points will mean you’ve played over par.

Stableford Scoring Chart

Use this chart to help work out scoring in Stableford golf:

Example Of Stableford Scoring

Now we know how to score Stableford and what golf Stableford scoring is all about, how does Stableford scoring work on the scorecard?

The following scorecard is using Stabelford scoring. Here the golfer is playing off a handicap of 14, so he gets an extra shot on holes 1-14.

In column ‘A’, the gross score has been marked down and then in the ‘Nett Score’ column, the nett score and the awarded points for that hole.

how does golf stableford work

On the front nine, he managed to have a mixture of nett birdies, nett pars and nett bogeys. On the hardest hole, the 7th, a 6 scored meant just 1 point. This means a total of 20 points for that nine holes.

Then on the back nine, it’s a similar story, except on the 15th hole the player was awarded zero points for a nett double bogey. This results in a total of 19 points for the back nine and a total combined points of 39.

A score of 39 points in Stableford is 3 under par for the round and a very good score to make.

Final Thoughts

Stableford scoring in golf may seem a little confusing to a lot of people at first. However, once you understand and get the hang of it, it’s a really simple and fun way of playing golf.

One of the main reasons why Stableford is a great format for golf is because a couple of bad holes won’t totally kill your scorecard.

If you end up putting 5 balls in the water and making double figures on a hole in stroke play, it can really damage your overall score (and mentality).

However, if that was in a Stableford event, the golfer is limited to a net double bogey on that hole.

Once they’ve taken more shots than the highest score (net 2 over par), they can pick up and mark themselves down for only a zero-point hole.

It’s a great format for golf and helps keep it fun and entertaining, even if you’re not playing your best stuff.

Stableford Scoring System FAQs

How do I work out my Stableford score?

The Stableford score is the total number of points made on each hole, based on your net shots for each hole.

A net par on a hole equals 2 points. It’s also 1 for a bogey, 0 for a double bogey, 3 for a birdie and 4 for an eagle.

How do you work out Stableford points for 28 handicap?

A golfer with a 28 handicap will receive a shot on every hole on the course, plus an extra stroke on stroke index holes 1-10.

On those harder certain holes, the golfer can make a gross bogey (net birdie) and they will still get 3 points awarded.

What is Stableford 18 handicap?

With a handicap of 18, a player gets a shot a hole.

This means that they are allowed to make a bogey on each hole, which will equate to a net par and 2 points on that hole. If they did this on every hole the number of points awarded would be a total of 36.

Is 35 a good Stableford score?

35 points scored is a reasonably good number in a Stableford system.

If a golfer were to go around in level handicap (18 over for an 18 handicap), this would total 36 points for the round, so getting 35 points would be just below par.

Do they use Stableford system on the PGA Tour?

It’s not very common for professional golfers to play a Stableford format, usually, they will be playing stroke play.

However, the Barracuda Championship is the one and only event on the PGA Tour calendar where the top players in the world are competing in this style of scoring system.

What is Stableford explained simply?

Stableford is a golf format where each hole is awarded a certain amount of points based on a golfer’s net shots played.

How to play Stableford in golf?

Stableford is a golf format where a number of points are allocated for each nett score. A double bogey or worse is worth 0 points, a bogey is worth 1 point, par is worth 2 points, a birdie is worth 3 points, an eagle is worth 4 points and an albatross is worth a total of 5 points on a hole.

What is a good Stableford score?

A good Stableford score is 36 points as this means that the golfer has scored level to their handicap. A nett par on a hole is worth 2 points and this score on each hole gives a total of 36 points.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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