The R&A - Working for Golf
Other Forms of Individual Stroke Play and Match Play
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21.1
a
b
c
d
e
21.2
21.3
21.4
21.5
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Rule 20
Rule 22

Purpose: Rule 21 covers four other forms of individual play, including three forms of stroke play where scoring is different than in regular stroke play: Stableford (scoring by points awarded on each hole); Maximum Score (your score for each hole is capped at a maximum); and Par/Bogey (match play scoring used on a hole by hole basis).

21.1
Stableford
a
Overview of Stableford

A form of stroke play where:

  • Your score or your side’s score for a hole is based on points awarded by comparing your number of strokes or your side’s number of strokes on the hole to a fixed score for the hole set by the Committee, and
  • The competition is won by the player or side who completes all rounds with the most points.
b
Scoring in Stableford

You are awarded points for each hole by comparing the number of strokes you have taken (including strokes made and penalty strokes) to the fixed target score for the hole. See the following chart for how you are awarded points in relation to the fixed target score:

Hole Played In
More than one over fixed target score or no score returned - 0 Points
One over fixed target score - 1 Point
Fixed target score - 2 Points
One under fixed target score - 3 Points
Two under fixed target score - 4 Points
Three under fixed target score - 5 Points
Four under fixed target score - 6 Points

If you do not hole out under the Rules for any reason, you get zero points for the hole.

To help pace of play, you are encouraged to stop playing a hole when your score will be zero points.

To meet the requirements for entering hole scores on your scorecard:

  • If you hole out and the number of strokes would result in points being awarded, your scorecard must show the actual number of strokes.
  • If you hole out and the number of strokes would result in zero points, your scorecard must either show no score or any number of strokes that results in zero points being awarded.
  • If you do not hole out under the Rules, your scorecard must show either no score or any number of strokes that results in zero points being awarded.
c
Penalties in Stableford

All penalty strokes are added to your score for the hole where the breach happened.

Exception 1 – Excess, Shared, Added or Replaced Clubs.

Exception 2 – Time of Starting.

Exception 3 – Unreasonable Delay.

For each exception, you must report the facts about the breach to the Committee before returning your scorecard so that the Committee may apply the penalty. If you fail to do so, you are disqualified.

See Full Rules For more information on these three Exceptions.

Disqualification Penalties. If you breach any of these four Rules, you are not disqualified but you get zero points for the hole where the breach happened:

  • Failure to hole out,
  • Failure to correct mistake of playing from outside the teeing area in starting a hole,
  • Failure to correct mistake of playing a wrong ball, or
  • Failure to correct mistake of playing from a wrong place when there is a serious breach.

If you breach any other Rule with a penalty of disqualification, you are disqualified.

d
Exception to Rule 11.2 in Stableford

See Full Rules For information on when Rule 11.2 does not apply in Stableford.

e
When Round Ends in Stableford

See Full Rules For information on when a round ends in Stableford.

21.2
Maximum Score

A form of stroke play where your score or your side's score for a hole is capped at a maximum number of strokes set by the Committee, such as two times par, a fixed number or net double bogey.

See Full Rules For more information on the Maximum Score form of play.

21.3
Par/Bogey

A form of stroke play that uses scoring as in match play where:

  • You or your side win or lose a hole by completing the hole in fewer strokes or more strokes (including both strokes made and any penalty strokes) than a fixed target score for that hole set by the Committee, and
  • The competition is won by the player or side with the highest total of holes won versus holes lost (that is, adding up the holes won and subtracting the holes lost).

See Full Rules For more information on the Par/Bogey form of play.

21.4
Three-Ball Match Play

A form of match play where each of three players plays an individual match against the other two players at the same time, and each player plays one ball that is used in both of his or her matches.

See Full Rules For more information on the Three-Ball match play form of play.

21.5
Other Forms of Playing Golf

See Full Rules For more information on other forms of play.

Stroke Play

A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition.

Side

Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play.

Side

Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Side

Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Holed

When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to "holing out"or "hole out", it means when your ball is holed.

For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c (your ball is treated as holed if any part of your ball is below the surface of the putting green).

Scorecard

The document where your score for each hole is entered in stroke play.

Holed

When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to "holing out"or "hole out", it means when your ball is holed.

For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c (your ball is treated as holed if any part of your ball is below the surface of the putting green).

Scorecard

The document where your score for each hole is entered in stroke play.

Holed

When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to "holing out"or "hole out", it means when your ball is holed.

For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c (your ball is treated as holed if any part of your ball is below the surface of the putting green).

Scorecard

The document where your score for each hole is entered in stroke play.

Holed

When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to "holing out"or "hole out", it means when your ball is holed.

For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c (your ball is treated as holed if any part of your ball is below the surface of the putting green).

Scorecard

The document where your score for each hole is entered in stroke play.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Scorecard

The document where your score for each hole is entered in stroke play.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Holed

When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to "holing out"or "hole out", it means when your ball is holed.

For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c (your ball is treated as holed if any part of your ball is below the surface of the putting green).

Teeing Area

The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

  • The front edge is defined by the line between the forward-most points of two tee-markers set by the Committee, and
  • The side edges are defined by the lines back from the outside points of the tee-markers.
Wrong Ball

Any ball other than your:

  • Ball in play (whether your original ball or a substituted ball),
  • Provisional ball (before you abandon it under Rule 18.3c), or
  • Second ball in stroke play played under Rules 14.7b or 20.1c.

Examples of a wrong ball are another player's ball in play, a stray ball, and your own ball that is out of bounds, has become lost or has been lifted and not yet put back in play.

Wrong Place

Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

Serious Breach

In stroke play, when playing from a wrong place could give you a significant advantage compared to your stroke to be made from the right place.

Stroke Play

A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition.

Side

Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Stroke Play

A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition.

Match Play

A form of play where you or your side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds.

Side

Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Side

Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play.

Match Play

A form of play where you or your side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds.