Different Golf Games To Play On The Course

Golf features plenty of different scoring options you may have never thought of, but there are some unique formats worth considering in your next golf outing.

Golf can be about as straightforward from a rules standpoint as it gets, but there are plenty of scoring options to choose from outside of the traditional stroke play system you likely already play at your local course or watch on TV.

There are a number of different ideas and formats to try out, and some golf outings you attend could feature some of the more unique ways to score events. Below is a look at some of the major scoring formats to consider in your next golf adventure.

Stroke Play

Stroke play is certainly the most popular form in which golf is played. In stroke play, all of the competitors play each hole in an effort to have the lowest total score at the end of the round. At the end of the round, everyone totals up the number of strokes they finished with, and the player with the lowest total is determined the winner.

Match Play

Match play is a little more complex than the more common stroke play, but it’s fairly easy to understand. In match play, two players will compete against each other in each individual hole. For example, there will be a winner and a loser for each individual hole, unless of course there is a tie. At the end of the round, the competitors count up how many holes they won to determine the winner.

Best Ball

A best ball format is a team-based system that can be done utilizing match play or stroke play. Everybody on the team will play their own ball throughout the entirety of the round. After each hole, the best score among the members of the group is the team’s score for the hole. The team with the lowest score at the end is the winner.


A scramble is also a team-based event in which every member of the team will tee off, and the group decides which shot was the best and play that ball for their next shot where everybody gets to hit from again. The team will continue this process until the ball drops into the hole.


The Stableford format can get a little more complex, but it’s a stroke play tournament that can be played by individuals or teams with a unique scoring system. Forget everything you’ve learned about golf because the highest point total is the winner in this format. Here is how points are scored per hole in the Stableford:

  • Four strokes under: 6 points
  • Three strokes under: 5 points
  • Two strokes under (eagle): 4 points
  • One stroke under (birdie): 3 points
  • Par: 2 points
  • One stroke over (bogey): 1 point
  • Two-plus strokes over (double bogey or worse): 0 points.

Whether your group decides to continue on with the standard stroke play or wants to mix it up with a best ball or Stableford format, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your next golf outing.

Photo Credit: Courtney Cook, Cristina Anne Costello, Pixabay

Related Posts