What is Stableford Format in Golf? Scoring & Rules Explained

By Chris Moore •  Updated on 02/15/22

In golf, there are many different scoring formats that can be played. One of the less popular is Stableford. In this format, you receive a score depending on what score you get on each hole in comparison to par.

Throughout this blog post, we’ll cover what the Stableford format is, how the Stableford scoring system works, why it was created, and everything else you need to know.

What Is Stableford Format In Golf?

Stableford is a scoring system in golf that awards you points based on how you perform on each hole, not what you score for the round.

For example, you will get three points for a birdie, two points for a par, and one point for a bogey. The idea behind this format is to encourage players to keep trying even when they’re not scoring well because they know they’ll still get something out of it in the end!

One of the main benefits of Stableford play is it keeps the competition closer throughout the round, and speeds up play since once you’re two over par, you can pick up your ball and move on to the next hole.

How does the Stableford scoring system work?

When using Stableford scoring, points are awarded following this chart:

This is the standard scoring, but let’s go over the modified Stableford scoring as well.

What is modified Stableford?

The modified Stableford scoring system is used once per season on the PGA Tour in the Barracuda Championship, which was formerly known as the Reno-Tahoe Open.

Points in Modified Stableford are given as follows:

History of the Stableford Format

The Stableford format has been around for over 100 years now, created by Dr. Frank Barney Gorton Stableford, with the idea of stopping golfers from giving up after starting the round off poorly.

The Stableford format was first used at the Glamorganshire Golf Club in Penarth, Wales, in 1898.

The first use in a competition was at Wallasey Golf Club in Wallasey, England, in 1932.

To this day, it’s still one of the preferred formats for UK golfers and local tournaments.

Final thoughts

While the Stableford scoring format isn’t commonly used, it’s great to know how to score using it in case a tournament arises with the format.

Or if you’re looking for a new way to play against your friends, casually or competitively, it’s another option like stroke play or match play.

I hope this article helped you understand everything you need to know about the Stableford format in golf.

Chris Moore

Hi, I'm Chris Moore and I'm the guy behind As an avid golfer since 2010, I decided to create this blog to share everything I've learned over the years. Whether it's golf equipment, swing tips, or anything in-between, I want to make sure you have everything you need to become a better golfer.