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Scoring SystemsA wise player ought to accept his throws and score them, not bewail his luck.
- Sophocles (496-406 BC)
|Clubs and Balls||
The original Stableford scoring system was played off scratch:
1 over - 1 pt
1 under - 3 pts
2 under - 4 pts
3 under - 5 pts
*Bogey was the term used in those days rather than par
At the end of the round, the player added his full handicap to the points scored to get his total points.
This particular method was quickly recognised as giving the high handicapper a distinct advantage, for instance if the weather was so bad that no-one scored any points, the highest handicapper in the field would win. In subsequent events, strokes were taken at the relevant holes.
Dr Stableford had devised a prototype system while a member at the Glamorganshire Golf Club, Penarth, for use in Sept 1898.
" Each competitor plays against bogey level. If the hole is lost by one stroke only, the player scores one; if it is halved, the player scores two; if it is won by one stroke, the player scores three; and if by two strokes, the player scores four. To the score thus made, one third of the player's medal handicap is added."Ever wonder why Stableford competitions often use 7/8 of handicap? In the early days, the maximum man's handicap was 21. Dr Stableford believed that no-one should have more than one stroke per hole in his system; this adjustment allowed no more than 18 strokes per round.
The Stableford system was included in the end pages of Rules books from 1952, and in 1968 received official recognition as a form of play by being moved to the main body of the Rules.
Your drive was longer than mine so I'm away, I am now playing the odd - it's a fantastic shot, of course! You now play the like, a topped shot dribbling a short distance. Now, you have to play the odd, another bad stroke, going nowhere.
Your next shot is no better, you have played 'two more'. Finally you get a good one away, onto the green and into the hole for 'three more'. Now it's my turn, I play 'one off three', but it's a duff, so I play again, onto the green in 'one off two'. My putt now is the 'like', so it's for a half.
The neat thing about this way of counting is that it was not necessary to keep track of the number of individual strokes to know the state of the hole at any point. But, in 1912 an addition to the rules stated that a player was entitled to ascertain how many strokes his opponent had played. Can we assume that the number of strokes relative to the player was sufficient rather than an absolute number?
Bogey and Par
Bogey is a little harder to define. It was based on the best average scores of first-class players over a particular course, and as such was more individual, but standards would differ from course to course. Par, on the other hand, was based purely on hole length.
Alongside the explosive growth in the number of golf clubs in the last decade of the 1800s, calls were made for a central handicapping authority. In 1881 the method of averaging 3 rounds then deducting scratch score was introduced.