Stableford is a very common scoring system in golf whereby points are awarded on each hole according to how the player does against their own handicap.
This scoring system is widespread in competitive social golf, such as on society days and corporate golf day as it speeds up play.
It allows you to not to have to play out each hole – no need for a long embarrassing trudges back to the tee to play three off the tee when a drive is unexpectedly lost. No grinding it out to record an 8 or 9 on the scorecard as can be the case in medal play.
The idea is very simple. Make par on a hole, based upon your handicap, and you get 2pts. A handicap-adjusted score of one over par is 1pt, 1 under par is 3pts, 2 under par is 4pts and so on.
(The most you can score on any one hole would be 10pts, but that would require making a hole in one on a par five on which you were receiving two extra strokes.)
In order to work out which holes you get the extra holes you need to look at the stroke index. Thus a handicap 12 player gets an extra shot on stroke indexes 1 to 12; a 28 handicapper would get two extra shots on holes with a stroke index and an extra shot on those with a stroke index 11-18.
Thus is a hole is par 4, stoke index 10. For our 12 handicapper it would be, in effect, a par 5; for our 28 handicapper a par 6. (And for anyone with a handicap of 9 or less it would be a par 4.)
So if the both our players holed out in 5 shots, the 12 handicap would score 2pts and the 28-handicapper, 3pts – or “five for two” and “five for three”.
So there you have it, only one thing to do know is book a round and put it in to practice!