Baseball has its homerun derby, hockey has its skills competitions, and football can be played in any number of ways be them contact or flag related. Golf has a couple of different modes of play as well and several are actually used to determine a champion in one type of tournament or another. Different types of play are used in local golf tournaments or charity events with the scramble and shotgun starts being used at different times, but these different types of play are used to determine champions on a professional level. The two main types of play are the match play and stroke play styles; this is a brief overview of stroke play golf.
Stroke play golf is the most popular style of golf played in the United States and throughout the world as it is the usual scoring system used in professional golfing tournaments. Stroke play is the style you think of when watching the Masters or US Open as a player is basically scored on the number of strokes it takes them to complete a golf course on a given day. For instance, if Tiger Woods needs 66 strokes to complete the 18 holes on Augusta National’s course for the Masters then his final score for that day is a 66. All four days are then added up and the golfers are ranked from top to bottom to determine a victor.
Most tournaments will list the leaders by their scores in relation to par, meaning you will hear that a golfer like Tiger Woods finished tournament at -18 or 18 “under par”. Par is the score given as what the designer or official scorer believes it should take to complete the course. If they believe it takes 72 strokes to complete a course than 72 is “par for the course”. If Tiger then finishes at 66 on the day then he has a score of six under par. This is in essence the way that stroke play is formed and scored.