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Betting types

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Stroke Play vs.
Match play

There are various counting and game types in golf. In principle, two basic types of play can be distinguished from one another: stroke play and match play.

In stroke play, the total number of strokes is decisive. Tournaments are mostly based on Stableford stroke play. The Stableford rating is also used to calculate the handicap for betting results.

In match play, two parties play against each other. The player or team that needs fewer strokes on a hole "wins" this hole, ie there is a winner for each hole. If the number of strokes is the same, the hole is considered "halved" or "divided". The party that won the most holes or leads with more holes than can be played on the rest of the round wins a round. In match play, a hole may also be "given".


Below you will find an overview of the most common types of game.

Stroke play

In stroke play, every stroke is counted until the ball is sunk in the hole. There is a net rating and a gross rating. In the gross scoring, the absolute number of strokes counts; in the net scoring, the absolute number of strokes counts minus your own specification. The winner of the gross score is the player with the fewest strokes, the winner of the net score is the player with the lowest score after deducting the handicap.

Stableford stroke play

In Stableford stroke play, the points are counted that were scored in relation to par (gross or net) on each hole.

Gross score

Rating                  Game result   Points

Double bogey     > = 2 via par       0

Bogey                   1 over par           1

Par                                                     2

Birdie                    1 under par        3

Eagle                    2 under par        4

Albatross             3 under par        5

Net rating

In the net scoring, the number of points achieved depends on the handicap, because in Stableford stroke play the full handicap is distributed to the holes according to the handicap distribution key (degree of difficulty of the holes), i.e. a player with a handicap of -23 receives a handicap on all holes and on the 5 most difficult holes a further default stroke.

As a player, you receive 2 points for each "net par" (par according to the respective specification), and one more point is awarded for each stroke that is less required. For an additional shot ("net bogey") you only get one point, for two or more hits above "net par" there are no more points. With a result of 36 Stableford points (18 holes times 2 points = 36) a player has confirmed his handicap.

This counting method was invented by Gordon Stableford (1898) and is based on the principle that a player can more easily catch up on a particularly bad result on a hole during the round. than in classic stroke play.

Match play

In contrast to stroke play, in match play the results per hole are not added up and expressed in a final result, but instead it is settled after each hole. So each hole is played individually.



Let us assume that player A has won 7 holes out of 15 and player B 3 holes. Five holes were divided, ie played in a draw. Player A therefore has a lead of 4 holes. They say: Player A is 4 up. Since there are only three holes left, player A has won the game against player B with the result 4 to 3. If a player wins a hole he is "one up", while his opponent is consequently "one under". After each hole is offset against each other.

Match play ends at the last hole or at the hole where defeat for one of the two players can no longer be averted.

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