What Is Strokeplay In Golf?

What Is Strokeplay In Golf?

What Is Strokeplay
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Learn how the strokeplay format works here.

What Is Strokeplay In Golf?

Strokeplay is one of the most common formats in golf, with the concept being to go around the course in as few strokes as possible.

Usually played in medal competitions, strokeplay counts on every single hole, with the score on all 18 holes adding up to a final total.

The majority of events on the professional tour are strokeplay events, with the odd exceptions such as the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and the Ryder Cup.

Related: Match Play Golf Rules Explained (opens in new tab)

So what is strokeplay? Basically, players must register their score on every single hole, it doesn't matter how many shots they've had, they must still produce a score.

What Is Strokeplay

The scoreboard on the opening day of the 2021 Open Championship. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

After the completion of the 18-holes, the scores are added up to give an overall total. The winner is the one with the lowest amount of strokes.

In professional events, the winner of the tournament is the one who shoots the lowest score, but there are also handicap strokeplay events.

Related: Should The Club Championship Be Stroke Play Or Match Play? (opens in new tab)

In these competitions, players will subtract their handicap from their gross score to produce a nett score. So, if the par of the course is 70 and someone shoots 80 off a 10 handicap, then it is a level-par round.

Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.