Golf competitions and how they are played at NBS Waahi Taakaro Golf Club

These notes are only intended to assist in the general concept of how various competitions are played. They must be read in conjunction with the Rules of Golf and in particular the committee must lay down the conditions under which a competition is to be played (Rule 33-1)

STROKE/NET – The score at each hole is entered on the scorecard, totalled and the player’s full handicap deducted. The player who completes the stipulated round in the lowest total will be the winner.

PAR – In par play the score is entered on the card in the same way as in stroke play with the exception that where the score exceeds par for the hole, after allowing for handicap stroke (If the player is in receipt of one or more) the score need not be written in. It is the custom that when a player is beaten by par, the ball should be picked up. This helps speed up play. After entering the stroke score on the scorecard, the result is marked in the column provided with a ‘+’ sign for a win, an ‘o’ for a half and ‘-‘for a loss. At the end of the round the plus and minus signs and the nett result written in as so many up or down or all square. A player is allowed his full handicap and the strokes are taken at holes as indicated by the shot holes on the card. Where there is a handicap of 19 or more, two strokes will be allowed on the appropriate holes. These strokes will be taken in the same manner.

BISQUE PAR – Played and scored the same way as Par except that the player elects on which hole they will decide to take the strokes allowed by their handicap. They must advise their marker prior to teeing off on the next hole.

STABLEFORD - This system of scoring by points was introduced by Dr Stableford of the Liverpool Golf Club in 1931 and has become very popular. The correct method of playing a Stableford is for the player to take strokes at holes as in a par competition using handicap and to score points on the nett result at each hole.

At the end of the round all points scored are added up and the player having the highest number of points is the winner. In scoring without allowing for handicaps a player who scores par receives 2 points, or 1 over par, 1 point, for a birdie or 1 under par, 3 points, for an eagle or 2 under par, 4 points and so on. For example, a player receiving a stroke on a par 4 hole scores 4 giving him a net 3, for this he receives 3 points. A player at a par 3 scores a 4 but does not receive a stroke, for this he would receive 1 point.

FOUR BALL PAR – Two players play as partners each taking strokes at holes as in a par competition. If one of the partners wins a hole and the other halves it, only the win is counted. If one halves a hole with par and the other loses it only the half is counted and so on. Plus, half and minus signs are added at the end of the round and recorded as in an ordinary par competition.

FOURSOMES – Two players play as partners and play only one ball. The partners tee off on alternate tees and thereafter play alternate shots during the play of the hole until the ball is holed out. If either player incurs a penalty shot this does not alter the order of play. In a foursomes stroke competition the side’s gross score is then deducted by half of the combined handicaps of both players. Should a foursome stroke competition consist of more than one stipulated round, the order of play (from the tee) may be changed between rounds unless the committee decides otherwise.

All the foregoing competitions are forms of stroke play and subject to the rules governing stroke play. Special rules for par and stableford competitions are set out in Rule 39. Rule 41 covers the special provisions for four ball stroke play competitions.

In addition to the competitions mentioned above, many clubs conduct competitions, which are not specifically covered in the Rules of Golf. Some of the more popular types of play are listed below together with suggestions regarding the conduct of these events.

CANADIAN FOURSOMES – Played as foursomes except that both players tee off at each hole and afterwards continue with whichever ball they nominate. Handicap allowance is 50% of combined handicaps.

MIXED FOURSOMES – Mixed foursomes are played in the same manner as foursomes except that the women use their own tees and observe their own local rules when it is their turn to play. The committee may decide whether the man or the woman in each pair shall strike off at the first tee. If the competition consists of more than one stipulated round the committee decides whether or not the order of play is to be changed between rounds.

MIXED FOUR BALL PAR or STABLEFORD – These games are played as described previously except that the woman plays from her own tees, uses her own score card, local rules etc. The result is only transferred to her partner’s card when her score for the hole is better than this. Care must be taken when checking the card to refer to the women’s card when dealing with the holes halved or won by her. There are some variations to this depending on the club. In some instances the woman plays on her full handicap using the women’s card as above. Again she may be on full handicap and using the men’s card.

AUSTRALIAN STABLEFORD – Players play a stableford without handicap, and then add 75% of their handicap to the stableford points scored.

MODIFIED (INTERNATIONAL) STABLEFORD – Scoring is based on your nett score on each hole, with points awarded or subtracted as follows: Double eagle, 8 points; eagle, 5 points; birdie, 2 points; par, 0 points; bogey, -1 point; double bogey or worse, -3 points.  

IRISH STABLEFORD- For the first 6 holes normal stableford points; for second 6 holes double stableford points; for third 6 holes triple stableford points.

GREENSOME – Both players play tee shots and the second shot at each hole. One ball is then selected. The partners whose ball is not selected play the third stroke. Handicap allowance is 50% of the aggregate handicap.

AMBROSE – Played by a team of three to six players, normally teams are of 4 players with at least one being a lady. All players tee off, the best shot is then selected and all players play from that spot for their second shot. Continue in this manner until the ball is holed out. Handicap allowance is the total handicaps added together and then divided by how many players are in the teams. There are other variations of Ambrose that may be played.