Rule 21 - Other Forms of Individual Stroke Play and Match Play

Purpose of Rule: Rule 21 covers four other forms of individual play, including three forms of stroke play where scoring is different than in regular stroke play: Stableford (scoring by points awarded on each hole); Maximum Score (the score for each hole is capped at a maximum); and Par/Bogey (match play scoring used on a hole by hole basis).

21.1 Stableford

a. Overview of Stableford

StablefordStableford: A form of stroke play where: is a form of stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition. where:

The normal Rules for stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition. in Rules 1-20 apply, as modified by these specific Rules. Rule 21.1 is written for:

b. Scoring in Stableford

(1) How Points Are Awarded. Points are awarded to a player for each hole by comparing the player’s score to the fixed target score for the hole, which is par unless the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. sets a different fixed score:

Hole Played In

Points

More than one over fixed target score or no score returned

0

One over fixed target score

1

Fixed target score

2

One under fixed target score

3

Two under fixed target score

4

Three under fixed target score

5

Four under fixed target score

6

A player who does not hole outHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played: under the Rules for any reason gets zero points for the hole.

To help pace of play, players are encouraged to stop playing a hole when their score will result in zero points.

The hole is completed when the player holes outHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:, chooses not to do so or when his or her score will result in zero points.

(2) Score Entered for Each Hole. To meet the requirements in Rule 3.3b for entering hole scores on the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play.:

The CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. is responsible for calculating how many points the player gets on each hole and, in a handicap competition, for applying handicap strokes to the score entered for each hole before calculating the number of points.

See Committee Procedures, Section 5A(5)  (the Terms of the Competition may encourage but not require players to enter the points awarded for each hole on the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play.).

c. Penalties in Stableford

(1) Penalties Other Than Disqualification. All penalty strokes are added to the player’s score for the hole where the breach happened, but there are three exceptions:

Exception 1 – Excess, Shared, Added or Replaced Clubs: If a player breaches Rule 4.1b (Limit of 14 Clubs; Sharing, Adding or Replacing Clubs During Round), the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. will deduct two points (if the breach applies to only one hole) or four points (if the breach applies to two or more holes) under Rule 4.1b from the player’s total points for the roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee..

Exception 2 – Time of Starting: If a player breaches Rule 5.3a by (1) arriving late but within five minutes after the starting time or (2) starting early but within five minutes of the starting time (see Rule 5.3 Penalty Statement, Exceptions 1 and 2), the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. will deduct two points from the player’s total points for the roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee..

Exception 3 – Unreasonable Delay: If a player breaches Rule 5.6a, the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. will deduct one point for the first breach and an additional two points for the second breach from the player’s total points for the roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.. (For a third breach of Rule 5.6a, see Rule 21.1c(2).)

For each exception, the player must report the facts about the breach to the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. before returning the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. so that the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. may apply the penalty. If the player fails to do so, the player is disqualified.

See Committee Procedures, Section 8; Model Local Rule K-3  (how to adopt Pace of Play Policy in StablefordStableford: A form of stroke play where: with deduction of points used in the penalties for breach).

(2) Disqualification Penalties. A player who breaches any of these four Rules is not disqualified but gets zero points for the hole where the breach happened:

If the player breaches any other Rule with a penalty of disqualification, the player is disqualified.

d. Exception to Rule 11.2 in Stableford

Rule 11.2 does not apply in this situation:

If a player’s ball in motion needs to be holedHoled: When a ball is at rest in the hole after a stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. to get one point on the hole and any person deliberately deflects or stops the ball at a time when there is no reasonable chance it can be holedHoled: When a ball is at rest in the hole after a stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green., there is no penalty to that person and the player gets zero points on the hole.

e. When Round Ends in Stableford

A player’s roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. ends when the player:

21.2 Maximum Score

a. Overview of Maximum Score

Maximum ScoreMaximum Score: A form of stroke play where a player’s or side’s score for a hole is capped at a maximum number of strokes (including strokes made and any penalty strokes) set by the Committee, such as two times par, a fixed number or net double bogey. is a form of stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition. where a player’s or side’sSide: Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play. score for a hole is capped at a maximum number of strokes set by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course., such as two times par, a fixed number or net double bogey.

The normal Rules for stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition. in Rules 1-20 apply, as modified by these specific Rules. Rule 21.2 is written for:

b. Scoring in Maximum Score

(1) Player’s Score on Hole. A player’s score for a hole is based on the player’s number of strokes (including strokes Stroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. made and penalty strokes), except that the player will get only the maximum score even if the actual score exceeds the maximum.

A player who does not hole outHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played: under the Rules for any reason gets the maximum score for the hole.

To help pace of play, players are encouraged to stop playing a hole when their score has reached the maximum.

The hole is completed when the player holes outHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:, chooses not to do so or when his or her score has reached the maximum.

(2) Score Entered for Each Hole. To meet the requirements in Rule 3.3b for entering hole scores on the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play.:

The CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. is responsible for adjusting the player’s score to the maximum for any hole where the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. shows either no score or any score above the maximum and, in a handicap competition, for applying handicap strokes to the score entered for each hole.

c. Penalties in Maximum Score

All penalties that apply in stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition. apply in Maximum ScoreMaximum Score: A form of stroke play where a player’s or side’s score for a hole is capped at a maximum number of strokes (including strokes made and any penalty strokes) set by the Committee, such as two times par, a fixed number or net double bogey., except that a player who breaches any of these four Rules is not disqualified but gets the maximum score for the hole where the breach happened:

If the player breaches any other Rule with a penalty of disqualification, the player is disqualified.

After applying any penalty strokes, the player’s score for a hole cannot exceed the maximum score set by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course..

d. Exception to Rule 11.2 in Maximum Score

Rule 11.2 does not apply in this situation:

If a player’s ball in motion needs to be holedHoled: When a ball is at rest in the hole after a stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. to score one lower than the maximum score on the hole and any person deliberately deflects or stops the ball at a time when there is no reasonable chance it can be holedHoled: When a ball is at rest in the hole after a stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green., there is no penalty to that person and the player gets the maximum score on the hole.

e. When Round Ends in Maximum Score

A player’s roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. ends when the player:

21.3 Par/Bogey

a. Overview of Par/Bogey

Par/BogeyPar/Bogey: A form of stroke play that uses scoring as in match play where: is a form of stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition. that uses scoring as in match playMatch Play: A form of play where a player or side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds: where:

The normal Rules for stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition. in Rules 1-20 apply, as modified by these specific Rules. Rule 21.3 is written for:

b. Scoring in Par/Bogey

(1) How Holes Are Won or Lost. Scoring is done as in match playMatch Play: A form of play where a player or side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds:, with holes being won or lost by comparing the player’s number of strokes (including strokesStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. made and penalty strokes) to the fixed target score (typically par or bogey) set by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.:

  • If the player’s score is lower than the fixed score, the player wins the hole.

  • If the player’s score is the same as the fixed score, the hole is tied (also known as halved).

  • If the player’s score is higher than the fixed score, or no score is returned, the player loses the hole.

A player who does not hole outHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played: under the Rules for any reason loses the hole.

To help pace of play, players are encouraged to stop playing a hole when their score exceeds the fixed score (as they have lost the hole).

The hole is completed when the player holes outHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:, chooses not to do so or when his or her score exceeds the fixed score.

(2) Score Entered for Each Hole. To meet the requirements in Rule 3.3b for entering hole scores on the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play.:

The CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. is responsible for deciding whether the player won, lost or tied each hole and, in a handicap competition, for applying handicap strokes to the score entered for each hole before deciding the result of the hole.

Exception – No Penalty If No Effect on Result of Hole: If the player returns a scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. with a hole score lower than the actual score but this does not affect whether the hole was won, lost or tied, there is no penalty under Rule 3.3b.

See Committee Procedures, Section 5A(5)  (the Terms of the Competition may encourage but not require players to enter the result of the hole on the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play.).

c. Penalties in Par/Bogey

(1) Penalties Other Than Disqualification. All penalty strokes are added to the player’s score for the hole where the breach happened, but there are three exceptions:

Exception 1 – Excess, Shared, Added or Replaced Clubs: If a player breaches Rule 4.1b (Limit of 14 Clubs; Sharing, Adding and Replacing Clubs), the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. will deduct one hole (if the breach applies to only one hole) or two holes (if the breach applies to two or more holes) under Rule 4.1b from the player’s total of holes won versus holes lost.

Exception 2 – Time of Starting: If a player breaches Rule 5.3a by (1) arriving late but within five minutes after the starting time or (2) starting early but within five minutes of the starting time (see Rule 5.3 Penalty Statement, Exceptions 1 and 2), the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. will deduct one hole from the player’s total of holes won versus holes lost.

Exception 3 – Unreasonable Delay: If a player breaches Rule 5.6a:

For each exception, the player must report the facts about the breach to the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. before returning the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. so that the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. may apply the penalty. If the player fails to do so, the player is disqualified.

(2) Disqualification Penalties. A player who breaches any of these four Rules is not disqualified but loses the hole where the breach happened:

If the player breaches any other Rule with a penalty of disqualification, the player is disqualified.

See Committee Procedures, Section 8; Model Local Rule K-4  (how to adopt Pace of Play Policy in Par/BogeyPar/Bogey: A form of stroke play that uses scoring as in match play where: with deduction of holes used in the penalties for breach).

d. Exception to Rule 11.2 in Par/Bogey

Rule 11.2 does not apply in this situation:

If a player’s ball in motion needs to be holedHoled: When a ball is at rest in the hole after a stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. to tie the hole and any person deliberately deflects or stops the ball at a time when there is no reasonable chance it can be holedHoled: When a ball is at rest in the hole after a stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green., there is no penalty to that person and the player loses the hole.

e. When Round Ends in Par/Bogey

A player’s roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. ends when the player:

21.4  Three-Ball Match Play

a. Overview of Three-Ball Match Play

Three-BallThree-Ball: A form of match play where: Match PlayMatch Play: A form of play where a player or side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds: is a form of match playMatch Play: A form of play where a player or side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds: where:

The normal Rules for match playMatch Play: A form of play where a player or side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds: in Rules 1-20 apply to all three individual matches, except that these specific Rules apply in two situations where applying the normal Rules in one match might conflict with applying them in another match.

b. Playing Out of Turn

If a player plays out of turn in any match, the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. who should have played first may cancel the strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. under Rule 6.4a(2):

If the player played out of turn in both matches, each opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. may choose whether to cancel the strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. in his or her match with the player.

If a player’s strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. is cancelled only in one match:

c. Ball or Ball-Marker Lifted or Moved by One Opponent

If an opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. gets one penalty stroke for lifting a player’s ball or ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of a ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment. or causing the ball or ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of a ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment. to moveMoved: When a ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so). under Rule 9.5b or 9.7b, that penalty applies only in the match with that player.

The opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. gets no penalty in his or her match with the other player.

21.5  Other Forms of Playing Golf

Although only certain forms of play are specifically covered by Rules 3, 21, 22 and 23, golf is also played in many other forms, such as scrambles and greensomes.

The Rules can be adapted to govern play in these and other forms of play.

See Committee Procedures, Section 9  (recommended ways to adapt the Rules for other common forms of play).