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

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?

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
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x