A match play is scored by holes. One or more players compete as a team in opposition to another team. A hole being won by the player who holes his ball in the fewest strokes. In a handicap match the lower net score wins the hole. A hole is halved if each side holes out in the same number of strokes. A match is won by the side that is leading by a number of holes greater than the number of holes remaining to be played, i.e. if A leads B by two holes, with only one hole remaining, he wins be a score of 2 and 1.
In a stroke play the winner is the player who completes the round or rounds in the fewest number of strokes. A number of players can compete as individuals, and their total strokes for the entire round or rounds comprise their score.
Foursomes play, or Scotch foursomes, involves a match in which two players oppose tow other player. Each side with one ball, partners alternating shots.
Pinehurst play, similar to Foursomes, except that both players on a team drive, making the first, or tee, shot on each hole. Then select the ball they will use for the duration of play on that hole, while the other ball is removed from play.
Blind bogey play is when a player, prior to beginning, selects a handicap that he deems will allow him to have a net score between 70 and 80 for 18 holes. After the round is completed, a tournament committee draws a number in the 70s, the player whose net score is closest to the number selected wins. If there is a tie the competitors usually draw lots.
When players do not have established handicaps, the systems Peoria, Callaway or Horner are used.
In Peoria play, after the round has started, six holes are selected for handicap purposes. The scores of each player are added, then multiplied by three, par for the course is subtracted, arriving at the handicap.
Callaway play takes a players score for a single hole or specified series of holes, deducts it from his gross score determining the net score.
The Horner system, based on total scores of 100 or less, is the player's best nine individual scores, the strokes by which he went over par on these holes are totaled to figure the "allowance." No deduction is made for Eagles and birdies, counted as pars. The allowance of the nine selected holes is doubled, then subtracted form the actual score for 18 holes, determining the net score. For scores of 100 or more, the best 10 holes, rather than the best 9 holes are used in determining the allowance.
USGA handicaps are derived from the golfer's "handicap differential," for the lowest 10 rounds of the last 25 he has played. The difference between the course ratings and the golfer's score determines the handicap differential.