Golf - Basic Forms of Game Play

By: JessicaThomson


The modern game of Golf originated around the 12th century in Scotland. The game was played by shepherds who used to knock pebbles into rabbit holes. Since then the game has evolved into a sport that is played, enjoyed and cherished by all. The rough grazing fields with rabbit holes have been replaced by professional golf courses and shepherds, by trained players, some of whom have made it into a profession.

Besides the conventional form of the game, golf has evolved into some other forms as well.

Let's take a look at all these:

Match Play

Match play involves a set of two teams or two players who play each hole separately, as a contest.

1. The team with the lowest score wins that particular hole.
2. The game goes to the team that wins the maximum holes.
3. If the score of both the teams are equal, the hole is tied (or halved).
4. If a team is leading with a total of six holes and only five more can be played on the course, then the match is won by the team in the lead. The remaining five holes need not be played.

Stroke Play

In stroke play, each and every hole is assigned points. These points are then added to get a total score. The player, who scores the least, wins. Stroke play is a game, common to professional golfers.

1. In case of a tie, a playoff is held between the tied players. Play off may be the sudden death type or may involve a preset number of holes, anything between three to eighteen holes.
2. Sudden death requires a player to score the lowest on a hole for a win.
3. The remaining two players (at least 2 remain tied) use a preset number of holes and the sudden death playoff continues.

Alternative Forms of Golf

These are:

The Skins Game

The game is played for prize money assigned to each hole. Competition on each hole is a separate contest. The game is either played by professional golfers or by amateurs. The play continues until no skin is left over.

Stable Ford

In this form, points can be gained for the score on each hole of the tournament, for example a point for a bogie, 2 for a par, 3 for a birdie and 4 for an eagle. All the points achieved, are then added up to form a total score.

Team Play

This happens between two teams with two players each. Both the teams use a single ball to play and alternate there stroke play. Alternatively, both the teams can play separately with their own balls as well.

There are some unofficial versions of game play such as Scramble and Greensome.

Go online to read more about the game, its history and growth over the years.

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