So what’s new?
Maximum score will be a new, additional form of stroke play where a player’s score for each hole is capped at a maximum set by the Committee.
- A player who does not complete a hole – referred to informally as “picking up” – will not be disqualified, but simply get the maximum score for the hole.
- Under the CONGU UHS, a competition is eligible for handicapping when the maximum score per hole is set to 5 or more over par. This is to ensure that no player, regardless of handicap, can be credited with less than net double bogey on any hole.
- Setting the maximum score at 5 over par means that on a Par 3 hole, a player can pick up once they’ve played 8 shots.
- On a Par 4 it will be 9 and a Par 5 it will be 10.
(The net double bogey approach will still be used to generate a gross and net differential.)
Reasons for change
The need to hole out on every hole in stroke play can have at least two downsides:
- it often leads to a slow pace of play
- it may discourage golfers who feel they no longer have a realistic chance to compete or to make a good score for the round once they get a very high score on one or two holes.
Maximum score will be an alternative form of play that addresses both concerns, by capping the player’s score and allowing them to pick up at this point.
These are important reasons why Stableford is popular in various parts of the world. Maximum score will create a similar form of stroke play, with the difference that scoring is by strokes rather than by number of points.
The maximum score form of play is unlikely to be used for elite play, but it may be useful in many other contexts, such as for beginners or golfers who are less skilled or experienced. More generally it could be used at club level and day-to-day play when pace of play is a particular concern.