Stroke play is the most common way for keeping score in golf. Every shot that a player takes counts as a stroke, and all strokes (including penalties) are added up over the 18 holes to calculate a score. In stroke play, it is very common to apply a golfer’s Handicap Index when calculating a score when money is on the line.
|# of players||Single or Team play||Uses Handicap?|
|1+||Both||Yes or No|
- Every stroke a player takes counts towards the overall score.
- Any penalty strokes are added to the score and the number of strokes are added up over the 18 holes.
- “Net scores” take the player’s Handicap Index into account, whereas “Gross scores” do not.
|Phil (Gross Score)||4||5||4||4||4||4||5||5||5||40|
|Phil (Net Score)||3||4*||3||3||3*||5||4||4||4*||37|
- Phil has a Handicap Index of 5.0 and is playing a round of golf.
- Phil will receive 1 for each hole on the 1-5 handicap holes.
- In the example above, Phil would receive a stroke on holes 2, 5, and 9. He would also receive 2 strokes on the back 9, on the #2 and #4 handicap holes.
- Phil shoots a 40 (including penalty stokes) for the front 9.
- Phil’s gross score for the front 9 is 40, and his net score for the front 9 is 37.