Golfing Terminology

Golfing Terminology

Golf is a difficult sport in many ways, difficult to learn how to play and very difficult to be consistent, then there are all the rules and golfing terminology!

So here is a round up of some of the golfing terminology that you might come across.

PAR
PAR is the indication of how many shots a professional golfer would take in total to play all 18 holes.

Handicap
In basic terms if a courses PAR is 71 and you take 91 shots, then your handicap would be 20 over PAR so your handicap would be 20.

To gain an official handicap you must first play 3 rounds of golf with another player who will score you and sign your score card which you must also sign. These are then handed into the course where you usually play and your handicap is worked out as 96% of your 3 best rounds.

You can then work to improve and reduce your handicap by entering competitions. Essentially the lower the player’s handicap the better they are! When players become really talented they can play off a zero or scratch handicap or some of the elite players can have handicaps of +1 or 2 shots.

Stroke index
All courses have Stroke Indexes, which basically rates the holes 1 – 18 in degrees of difficulty with 1 being the hardest and 18 the easiest.

The stroke index is then used by players in conjunction with their handicaps. Players can then deduct one or two shots from their gross score on that particular hole. For example an 18 handicapper would take 1 shot off his gross score on every hole, whereas a 12 handicapper, could only take 1 shot off his gross score on holes with the stroke index 1 – 12, but nothing off the holes with stroke index 13 – 18.

Competition formats
Stableford, Stroke Play, Texas Scramble, Greensomes, Foursomes competitions, it all sounds like a foreign language!!!

Stableford Competitions are where a player scores a number of points per hole depending on how many shots he or she had and against the S.I. of the hole. After any handicap shot adjustments you would score – 2 points for a par, 3 for 1 shot under par (Birdie), 1 point for 1 over par (Bogey) etc

Stroke Play is where every shot is counted on each hole and added together. At the end the player’s handicap is then deducted to give the final net score.

Texas Scramble – this is a team competition played in 4’s. Each person tees off from the group, then the group choose the best ball from which to play the next shot. Each player then plays the 2nd shot, this format continues until the ball is in the hole. There is normally a minimum number of tee shots which each person in the group must play, generally 4, this way if there is a really good player in the group, that group cannot keep using that persons tee shot.

All clear?
I did say that golf was quite complicated…
…but also great fun.

Stop by at Donnington Valley Golf Club to find out about our latest membership offers.

Peter Smith
Director of Golf

Donnington Valley Golf Course