In contrast to traditional strokeplay golf scoring, where your aim is to achieve the lowest score, the objective when you are playing the stableford golf scoring system is to achieve the highest score possible.

When you are playing stableford golf rules, points available for the hole you are playing are allocated as follows:


  • 5 points - 3 strokes under your adjusted par (albatross)
  • 4 points - 2 strokes under your adjusted par (eagle)
  • 3 points - 1 stroke under your adjusted par (birdie)
  • 2 points - Your adjusted par (par)
  • 1 point - 1 stroke over your adjusted par (bogie)
  • 0 points - 2 strokes or more over your adjusted par (double bogie)

To calculate the stableford points you have scored, you need to use a combination of your golf handicap alongside both the par and the stroke index allocated to each hole you are playing. The stroke index of the hole can be found by viewing the scorecard of the golf course you are playing.

The number of strokes a scratch player should take to complete the hole is known as the par for the hole. The degree of difficulty of each of the holes on the golf course is known as the stroke index. Stroke index 1 is deemed the most difficult hole to play, with stroke 18 being the easiest.

If you are a golfer with a golf handicap of 18, you are allocated 18 additional shots during your round, one per hole. A golfer with a golf handicap of 6 would receive 6 shots, one on each hole with a stroke index of 1 to 6. If your golf handicap is over 18, you receive additional shots. A golfer with a 28 handicap receives a shot on every hole in addition to a shot on every hole with a stroke index of 1 to 10.

If you are playing stableford golf, you are entitled to pick up your ball if you score 2 over your adjusted par as you cannot do any better or worse, and you can resume play on the next hole. Once you have completed the 18 holes for the round, all the points you have scored are added for each 9 holes and totaled for the 18. If you have more points than the other golfers you are playing with, you are declared the winner.