Ways to Play

Stroke Play

Every Shot Counts, Even the Bad Ones

It’s pretty basic — get the ball into the cup using the fewest total strokes — but we’ll explain the finer details to you.

How to Play

1 to 4
Holes Played
Single or Teams
Playing Setup
Setting the Teams

Stroke play can be played individually (each opponent against the field) or in teams. How you set teams is entirely up to you. You can spin a tee, toss balls into the air, get into a shouting match — whatever works for you, but do keep in mind that stroke play is most enjoyable when played with golfers who are relatively close to you in skill level.  

If you’re playing with handicaps, you can use your handicap index (if you have one) to determine your course handicap and then subtract your handicap from your total score to determine your final score.   

Setting the Wager

If you set a wager in stroke play, the amount is up to you, but it’s one flat bet, meaning whichever individual or team wins the match wins the bet.

Starting the Game

There are a few ways to determine who starts the game. We usually opt for a coin toss or a tee spin. 

After the first hole, you can follow tee box honors, with the winner(s) of the previous hole going first. If you tie on a hole, honors remain with whoever won the previous hole.


Your score for each hole is the number of strokes that it takes you to get the ball into the cup. Honesty is especially important in stroke play — every stroke counts, and if a ball is lost, goes out of bounds, or into a hazard area, that counts as a penalty stroke. Keep track of each hole, tally up the total number of strokes at the end of the match, and whoever has the lowest score is the winner.

Scorecard Example