Mix it Up: How to Play Different Types of Golf Games


There are various sports in the world, and all of them are delightful to watch. However, one common factor that applies to most sports is a common set of rules and conduct. Sports like football have laid down rules, and at the end of the match, there will be a clear decision of the outcome. This is a very good standard; however, golf is uniquely different. The golf game allows players to choose from a pool of game formats; this allows them to determine what kind of game they want to play, which rules they want to follow and what kind of game format is best suitable for the golf course. This process not only allows players to challenge themselves and improve, but it also takes the boredom out of the picture. You can easily go to a golf course with your golf buddies and pick a different game format every day. The more game formats you try out, the more you understand golf and the more interesting and enjoyable it becomes. This article has compiled different golf game formats. Enjoy!

Types of Golf Game Formats

1.     Stroke Play

Stroke play is the most popular golf play format. It is the standard for international tournaments and professional competitions. The format involves a single player (or a team of players) competing against other players on the course. Every single stroke is counted, and each hole score for every hole in the round is also counted. The total number of strokes is counted over one or more round of eighteen holes and added up to calculate your final score. After this process, a winner is decided.

2.     Match Play

The match plays golf format is a scoring method that awards a point to a player or team for each hole where they beat their opponents. With the stroke play, you have to make every shot count, but with this match play format, you have to sink the ball into the hole to be awarded a point. After you have completed a round of eighteen holes, a winner will be decided, or it can end up being a tie.

3.     Scramble

If you are looking to relax and play some casual golf with your buddies, then this game format will be a good one to utilize. It is informal, and it doesn’t put too much pressure on any one player. It involves Grouping players into teams of two or four and then choosing the best tee-ball. After you have done that, every player in the team will tee off from your starting hole. When everybody has played, the team members will then choose the best shot. You will then mark these spot, and other players will pick up their balls and hit within one club-length of the ball location. This process will be repeated until one player finally hits the ball in the hole, and then the final score will be the total of the best shots.

4.     Shamble

This golf scoring format is quite similar to the scramble method. It requires a team of four, and all members of this team will play their tee shots. After they have done this, the best shot will be selected by them, and then all the players will play their balls from that spot until they can sink it into the hole. The organizer will determine the final scoring method.

5.     Stableford

Stableford involves awarding points based on the total number of strokes taken at each hole. Unlike the stroke play, the total number of strokes is not counted; the only strokes relevant to your score are the ones that you make at each hole. The objective of players playing under Stableford rules is to have the highest score.

Two male golfers going through a round of golf

6.     Chapman/Pinehurst

The Chapman game format is a “two-man even with alternating shots. When the game starts, the two players will hit a tee shot. After this is done, the first player will play the ball of his teammate, and the second player will do the same. After both players have taken their shot, they will then pick the best shot, and at this point, each player will alternate shots until they sink the ball into the hole. The team with the lowest score wins.

7.     Alternate shot

This format also includes two players, but it is much harder than the Chapman format. Your success is contingent on you having a good partner. When the game begins, one of you will hit the first shot, and the other golfer will hit the next one. You will keep alternating your shots until one of you finally sinks the ball into the hole. If your partner keeps making mistakes, get ready to rake in higher scores.

8.     Flags

This format is quite simple. At the beginning of the game, each player is given a customized flag and awarded a certain number of strokes. Once you hit all your strokes, you must plant your flag where your last shot landed. The player who makes it through the golf course farthest is the winner. If players sink the ball into the hole before their awarded strokes run out, they can start the process again, or the organizer can declare the person with the most strokes left as the winner. All of these rules would have already been established before the game begins.


Unlike other sports, golf allows you to play the game in many ways so that you and your golf buddies can enjoy yourself anytime. There are multiple game formats and different scoring styles in golf. You might not know all of them right now, but you should always try to know as many you can. This will help you to become a better golf player, and it will earn you respect on the golf course. This article has shown you some of the game formats that are being used by golfers around the world today. We would advise that you try out a new game format when next you step on the golf course. Enjoy!