Stableford Scoring

How to Calculate your stableford

Your guide to the Stableford scoring system, the calculator and how it works. 

How to Calculate your Stableford

Stableford is one of the most widely used and best ways to score your rounds that can help improve your golf.

When playing the game of golf, there are many different scoring methods that can be used. 


One such way to score is with Stableford points, which calculates a score for each hole you play. What is great about this system unlike stroke play, is that if you play a bad hole, it does not ruin your entire scorecard. 


On the next hole, you have an opportunity to score points again.

1. What is a Stableford Points system?

A Stableford Points system is a way to score golf that calculates the points earned on each hole. The benefit of this system is that if you get a high score on one hole, it does not ruin your entire game. You can still make up points again on the next hole.


The scoring system is also based on each players handicap so the system is designed to reward how well you play against your own ability. The goal is to score the maximum amount of points.

2. Stableford Scoring

To use the stableford scoring system, you need to firstly calculate how many Stableford points you scored on each hole. To do this, you firstly need to work out your awarded shots on the particular hole.


Awarded shots are how many additional strokes per hole you are awarded based on your handicap.


The number of points awarded on each hole is determined by the number of strokes taken to par the hole before being adjusted in relation to the player’s handicap.


To do this, we need to take a look at the stroke index on the scorecard.


If you are an 18 handicap golfer, then you would naturally get awarded one additional stroke per hole.


But for a 24 handicap golfer, you would receive one extra stroke per hole plus one extra stroke on the 6 most difficult holes based on their stoke index.

3. Stableford - How to work out stableford points

Once you know how many stokes/shots you have been awarded, you can then quickly convert your shots into points. The table below shows how to strokes to points.

Points in Stableford are awarded as follows:


• 6 points – Four strokes under
• 5 points – Three strokes under
• 4 points – Two strokes under
• 3 points – One stroke under
• 2 points – Level par
• 1 point – One stroke over
• 0 points – Two strokes or more over


By assigning your awarded shots to each hole, you can begin to work out your Stableford score. You should score 36 points Stableford if you are playing to your handicap. This is basically your net par for each hole.


If you score a net par, you will score 2 points. If you take fewer shots, then you will be awarded more points. If you take more, you will receive less.

By working out the difference, you can quickly convert your shots into points. 

4. An Example for Stableford Scoring

So lets say as an 18 handicap golfer, you played a par 4 hole. You took 5 strokes.


1) You would have been awarded 1 additional shot per hole so your target score would have been 5 shots.

2) As you took 5 shots, you would have scored 2 points.

3) If you have taken 6 shots, you would have only scored 1 point

4) If you had taken 7 shots, you would have scored 0 points

4) If you had taken 4 shots you would have scored 3 points

5) If you had birdied the hole and taken 3 shots, you would have scored 4 points

Whatever your handicap – you should be looking to score a minimum of 36 points (2 points per hole x 18 holes). If you score 36 points, then you are playing to your handicap. If you score less than 36 you game was below your handicap. If you score more, then you were playing better than your handicap. Anything around 43 to 45 points or more – means your a bandit…or just improving quickly:)


18 Handicap Player


Mr Pink is an 18 Handicap Golfer and he will receive one shot per hole.


Par 3 Example


Mr Pink knows he should take 4 shots to complete a Par 3, as he receives one shot per hole. If he plays +1, he would have played 4 and get 2 points. If he plays 0 (i.e. par), he would have played one under his awarded shots and therefore he would get 3 points. If he plays a -1 (Birdie), he would have played 2 under his awarded shots and would get 4 points

5. The History of Stableford

The history of Stableford scoring is a fascinating tale. It starts in Scotland and goes back about four centuries to the time when golf was invented.


The Scots were always looking for new ways to make golf more interesting, so they came up with the idea of awarding points instead of strokes as a way to keep score on each hole.


This system spread quickly through Europe and became popular because it allowed players with different levels of skill an opportunity to compete against one another fairly.

The Stableford Scoring System

If you are looking for system to help calculate your Stableford scores, then you can join our golf handicap calculator and start adding your scores.

Every time you add a round of golf, we will calculate your Stableford points and record your scores so you can see how your game is improving. You can join Mulligan+ for free.


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