Most of you have probably heard of the Stableford scoring system, and know that it is a ranking system for golf scores. Using this method, golfers aim to achieve the lowest possible score over 18 holes. The scoring criteria are: Par (par = 3), Bogey (par + 1), Eagle (par + 2) and Double Bogey (par + 3).

In the last two years, there have been a couple of new scoring systems that have been implemented in the world of competitive bridge. One of the most influential is the Modified Stableford Scoring System (MSSS), which was invented by University of Chicago physician Dr. Phil Stearns. Most people think of MSSS as a method to play an odd number of bids, but that’s not really the case…

The Modified Stableford Scoring System is a non-traditional scoring system using points to represent each shot in a game. The historical version of the Stableford system uses equal number of points for aces and birdies, under the assumption that all players have equal ability. The Modified Stableford system is based on the original Stableford system, but adjusts the points awarded for birdies and aces to better reflect how good a player’s scores are relative to other players.

If you watched a regular PGA Tour tournament or one of the four major championships and saw the leader at +41, you’d probably assume something was wrong. Or it’s possible that the golf course being played that week is simply insanely difficult. However, you’d only see such a score in a tournament utilizing the Modified Stableford scoring system, which promotes aggressive play and keeps players competitive even if they have a few poor holes.

In the 1930s, the first Stableford scoring system was established.

Dr. Frank Barney Gorton Stableford, who was born in the early 1870s in Oldbury, Worcestershire, England, invented the Stableford scoring system. Stableford, who was said to be a good golfer, grew dissatisfied with the conventional method of scoring a round of golf and unofficially established a “points” system during a tournament at Glamorganshire Golf Club in Wales in 1898. The format, however, did not take on and was not replicated.

However, while playing the second hole at England’s Wallasey Golf Club in 1931, Stableford pondered if a new method might be devised, leading to the creation of the original Stableford scoring system, which was formally adopted in May 1932.

The amount of points given on a hole is decided by a player’s score in relation to par in the original system. The beauty of the Stableford method is that double-bogey is the highest score permitted, which is ideal for novices. So, if you’re already 2-over for the hole and still in the sand, you just pick up your ball and go on. The player who has the most points at the conclusion of the round or tournament wins. Isn’t that simple?

Under the original Stableford scoring system, here’s how it works.

  • 0 points for a double-bogey.
  • 1 point for bogey
  • 2 points par
  • 3 points for the birdie
  • 4 points for the eagle
  • 5 points for the albatross
  • 6 points for the Condor (Yes, a hole-in-one on a par-5 has occurred)

At the club level, particularly in the United Kingdom, this format is still extremely popular.

What is the Modified Stableford scoring system and how does it work?

A cartoon gopher cutout showing how the Modified Stableford scoring system works at the 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open

A cartoon gopher cutout showing how the Modified Stableford scoring system works at the 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open At the 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open, a cartoon gopher cutout explains how the Modified Stableford scoring system works | Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

There’s also the Modified Stableford scoring system to consider. The structure is the same as when points are given for the number of strokes taken on a hole. The maximum score is still double-bogey. However, a player loses points for bogey or double-bogey, and no points are given for a par in this format. The modified version is scored as follows.

  • -3 points for a double-bogey.
  • -1 point for bogey
  • 0 pts par
  • 2 points for the birdie
  • 5 points for the eagle
  • 8 points for the albatross

The system’s attractiveness is that it pushes participants to take chances that they would not otherwise take. Because a birdie is worth twice as many positive points as a bogey, players may choose to go for the pin instead of the center of the green, or they may attempt a shot over water that they would not usually attempt.

The technology is presently in use at the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship. sQZyAA

The Barracuda Championship, previously known as the Reno-Tahoe Open, is currently the only occasion the Modified Stableford scoring system is utilized on the PGA Tour. The International, held at Castle Pines Golf Club just south of Denver from 1986 through 2006, was the first event to utilize the method. Since 2003, the Investec Royal Swazi Open on the Sunshine Tour in Africa has used the format.

The ANZ Championship on the European Tour, which only lasted from 2002 to 2004, as well as a handful of Champions Tour tournaments, utilized the Stableford scoring system. Since 2004, it has also been used by the celebrity-studded American Century Championship.

RELATED: A Look at the New $40 Million Popularity Contest on the PGA Tour

Golfers are all familiar with the Modified Stableford scoring system, but how do other sports use it? How does it work?. Read more about stableford scoring system with handicap and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Modified Stableford scoring work?

Modified Stableford scoring is a golf scoring system that uses the number of strokes taken to determine the players score.

How do you mark a golf scorecard Stableford?

The most common way to mark a golf scorecard is by scoring the holes in order, with the lowest score being one and the highest score being 18.

How is Stableford quota calculated?

Stableford is calculated by taking the total number of strokes played and dividing it by the total number of holes.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • modified stableford scoring system
  • modified stableford scoring with handicaps
  • modified stableford quota
  • modified stableford scoring
  • stableford scoring with handicap
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