Basic Forms of Golf


Although many people outside the game of golf may think otherwise, there are different ways to play the game of golf besides those often televised. These different forms of golf are used in both competitive and noncompetitive play.

The most common form of golf is stroke play. Any number of players may play a game of stroke play. When playing stroke play, the number of shots made on each hole is totaled when the player finishes the hole to produce a score for the hole. The score for each hole is then subsequently totaled to produce the score for the round. 0

As this score should be closer to par for the course for more advanced golfers, this score is often compared to par for the course, which is found by determining the number of shots it should take a scratch (zero handicap) golfer to complete the hole. The difference found by subtracting par for the course from the player’s score is often used to notate the player’s score for the round. For example, if the par for a North Myrtle Beach golf course is 72 and a player shot 69, it can be notated as “-3.” If a player shot 78 on the same course, the score can be notated as “+6.” This notation is most often used in professional tournaments.

Another common form of golf is match play. There must be exactly two players in order to play a game of match play. Match play is different from stroke play in that the total score of the round is not important. Instead, the player who wins the most holes is the winner. To win a hole, a player must complete the hole with a lower score than their opponent. If the players tie for a hole, the hole is “halved” and neither player wins the hole. If, at any point during the game, one player leads another player by more holes than there are remaining to play, than the player leading wins without playing any more holes. For example, if a player is leading another player by three holes with two holes to play, the leading player wins and the match is over. This player is deemed to have won “3 and 2”. This form of play is rarely used recreationally and is more prevalent among experienced players.

A form of match play sometimes used is the skins game. Any amount of players may play a skins game. This structure is essentially the same as match play, but every time a player wins a hole, they earn a “skin.” A skin is the amount of prize money assigned to each hole. If the hole is halved, the prize money carries over to the next hole. The game goes on until all prize money has been given out. The winner of the skins game is the player who has the most money at the end of the game.

These forms of play are all used to some extent in normal recreational play; if one of these forms of golf sounds appealing, it may be worth a try, especially on a North Myrtle Beach golf course, such as Eagle Nest Golf Club.