Welshman Frank Stableford invented the “Stableford” golf tournament format in the late 1800s to discourage golfers from giving up on a round after just one or two bad holes. It became all the rage in the U.K. and Ireland right away as those countries have wind speeds higher than your average U.S. tornado. At least one or two scores are often in the stratosphere due to the brutal conditions.
Stableford rules are ideal to keep golf tournaments competitive because even if a player/team has a couple of blow-up holes, they’re still in the game.
Here’s How Stableford Works
Unlike most golf tournament formats, in a Stableford, the high score wins just like in football, basketball and baseball (and cricket if you’re in England). In stableford scoring, points are awarded depending on the score for each hole.
A player or team scores one stableford point for a bogey, two for par, three for a birdie, four for an eagle and five for an albatross. Double-bogies and worse just get a zero. Are you beginning to see how it became popular? Instead of a dreaded snowman (otherwise known as taking eight on a hole, ouch!), the score is zero.
The individual or team wins the Stableford golf competition by scoring the most stableford points overall. And player handicaps can be used so this golf tournament is fair and fun for all.
For example, if a player takes six shots on a par-4 hole, but is entitled to one shot because of his or her handicaps, the net score is five. That’s a bogey which earns one stableford point.
- Open the app and tap Community.
- Tap Tournaments near the top of the screen.
- Tap Stableford and then tap Next.
Tap Modified beneath Stableford to edit the Stableford point values. Leave as Regular to use the regular Stableford point values.
- Enter a tournament name (optional) then tap Next.
- Set the tournament schedule (can be just for that day) then tap Next.
- Select Single course or Virtual tournament, then tap Next.
- If you chose the Single Course Tournament, select the course you are playing and the course settings. If you chose Virtual Tournament, proceed to the Round Type selection.
- Select your desired Handicap settings, then tap Next.
- If you chose a Single Course Tournament. set whether you are playing Skins and then tap Next.
Skins are currently not available for Virtual Tournaments.
- Select your desired Leaderboard settings, including options for breaking ties.
- Review the information on the Tournament Settings page. If everything looks good, tap Confirm.
If you are playing with other 18Birdies users, have them join your Stableford game by entering the four-digit Tournament Code on the next screen. Once you have started the round, enter your scores into the app as normal and the app will use your handicap, your scoring information, and the course information to record the game and assign points based on the Stableford format.
At any time during the round, tap the Tournament Leaderboard link in blue to see the Gross and Net leaderboards with the Stableford point total.
Stableford Point Values
|Double Bogey (or more)||0 Points|
View your Stableford Points
- Open the app and tap Me.
- Tap Rounds to open the Round History.
- Tap the round card in which you played Stableford.
- Tap Scorecard.
- Tap the blue 'Leaderboard' link near the top of the screen, right below the Scores/Stats toggle buttons.
From this page, you should be able to choose between the Stableford Gross and Stableford Net leaderboard.
By the way, if you ever get a hole-in-one on a par-5 (it could happen!), that would be a “condor” (four-under-par). Most golfers don’t know this golf term as it’s as rare as the sighting of an actual condor, making it ideal for a 19th-hole wager: “I bet you $5 you don’t know the term for four-under-par on one hole?” If they don’t believe you, just show them this paragraph here on 18Birdies.
Four-under-par really is called a condor. No lie. We promise.
By the way, post and tag us on social @18BirdiesApp if you or your team ever gets a condor on a hole!