4.1 Alternative Scoring Methods
A player’s or side's score for a hole is based on points awarded by comparing the number of strokes to a fixed target score for the hole, and the competition is won by the player or side who scores the most points. The target score is usually Net Par:
- Net Bogey 1 Point
- Net Par 2 Points
- Net Birdie 3 Points
- Net Eagle 4 Points
- Net Albatross 5 Points
To help pace of play, players are encouraged to stop playing a hole when they cannot score any points.
Scoring is as in match play where a player or side wins or loses a hole by completing the hole in fewer strokes or more strokes than a fixed target score for the hole. The target score is usually Net Par:
- Net Birdie or better Win
- Net Par Half
- Net Bogie or more Loss
The winner is the player or side with the highest number of wins less the number of losses, e.g.
- 5 wins and 3 losses equals 2 up (+2)
- 6 wins and 9 losses equals 3 down (-3)
To help pace of play, players are encouraged to pick up when their hole score exceeds Net Par.
A player’s or side's score for a hole is capped at a maximum number of strokes set by the Committee, such as two times par, net double bogey or a fixed number.
A player will get the maximum score if their actual score exceeds the maximum or if the player does not hole out. To help pace of play, players are encouraged to pick up when their score has reached the maximum or it becomes apparent that they will not be able to hole out in less than the maximum.
It is recommended by CONGU that when setting the maximum score in a competition that counts for handicap purposes, the maximum score should be at least equal to the value of the highest Net Double Bogey Adjusted Gross Score for the field.
The round is split into 2 halves. The first half is played as a medal with handicap strokes taken in accordance with the Stroke Index. The second half is played as a stableford with handicap strokes taken in accordance with the Stroke Index. The stableford points are subtracted from the medal score with the lowest score winning.
4.2 Team Formats
Two partners (in either match play or stroke play) play one ball in alternating order. Player A takes the tee shot on all the odd numbered holes and Player B takes the tee shot on all the even numbered holes.
See Rules of Golf, Rule 22 for further information.
A variation of Foursomes where both partners play from the teeing area and one of the two tee shots is selected. The partner whose tee shot was not selected plays the next stroke and each subsequent stroke is made in alternating order until the ball is holed.
Also known as Pinehurst or Chapman. A variation of Greensomes where both partners play from the teeing area, then switch golf balls, meaning Player A hits Player B's ball and Player B hits Player A's ball. After the second shots, they select which ball they will continue to play. The partner whose second shot was not selected plays the next stroke and each subsequent stroke is made in alternating order until the ball is holed.
Variations to the regular American Greensomes format include:
- On par 3s, each player hits one shot before the pair select one ball to carry on with, as in a normal greensome, and on par 5s, the two balls remain in play for 3 shots, alternating strokes from each player, before they select which ball they will continue to play with, or
- On par 3s, each golfer plays their own ball in Four-ball format. This is a suitable option to use when there is a “Twos” competition in operation.
Also known as Better-ball. Two partners (in either match play or stroke play) play their own ball. The side's score for a hole is the best score of the two on that hole.
See Rules of Golf, Rule 23 for further information.
Best 2 from 4
Also known as AM-AM, Four players each play their own ball. The side's score for a hole is the sum of the 2 best scores on that hole. An alternative format in Best 2 from 3, played in teams of 3.
Played in teams of 2, 3 or 4. All play from the teeing area on each hole, one of the tee shots is selected and all play their second shots from that spot. One of the second shots is then selected, and all play their third shots from that spot, and so on until the ball is holed. A minimum number of tee shots of each team member must be used, usually 3 or 4 in teams of 4.
There are several variations on the scramble format, e.g. Florida Scramble and Texas Shamble. See Appendix L for guidelines on running Scramble competitions.
A variation on the Best 2 from 4 (or 3) AM-AM format. Before starting each team member is designated as player A, B, C or D. On the 1st hole one of the 2 scores to count must be player A, followed by player B on the 2nd, player C on the 3rd, player D on the 4th and so on for each set of 4 holes.
On the 1st hole the best score of the team is recorded. On the 2nd hole, the 2 best scores and on the 3rd hole, the 3 best scores. This pattern is repeated over subsequent sets of 3 holes.
An alternative is the 2-3-4 waltz where 2, 3 and 4 scores count in each set of 3 holes.
Although the Bisque format can be used in individual competitions, it is better suited to team competitions.
Players choose at which holes they wish to receive their handicap strokes. The suggested explanation to be used when all Playing Handicaps are less than 36 is:
Before playing, you and your partner/team should decide at which holes you wish to receive your handicap strokes and mark this on your card before giving it to the marker. Each player may opt to take 0, 1 or 2 strokes at any hole. For example, if you receive 14 strokes you could opt for
- 1 stroke on 14 different holes, or
- 2 strokes on 7 holes, or
- 2 strokes on 5 holes and 4 strokes on 4 holes, or some other combination.
If playing Piggy in the Middle, the Piggy should use the same stroke selections with both partners to lessen any likely confusion.