Par Point is variation of the Stableford format, which is fairly common in Europe, compared with normal stroke play or medal play which is more popular in the US. Par Point rewards you for good holes, but limits the negative effects of bad holes, keeping everyone in the game, and speeding up play.
What is Par Point?
Par Point is a game where you score points on each hole, based on your score for the hole. With Par Point, you score 1 point for a par, 2 points for a birdie, 3 points for an eagle, 4 points for an Albatross. or 5 points for a 4 under par score. How can someone shoot 4 under par? With handicap, some of these scores are possible, although unlikely that someone with 19+ handicap eagle-ing a hole, it still could happen. If you score a bogey you would score a 0, with some versions double bogey or more would give you a score of -1 for that hole. Add up all of your scores, the player with the highest score wins.
Stableford is based on Bogeys instead of Pars. So Bogey is 1 point, Par 2 points, Birdie 3 points, Eagle 4 points, Albatross 5 points and 4 under is 6 points. Stableford gives you 0 points for double bogey or higher. Meaning, if you don't make a bogey, you could pick your ball up, speeding up play, and not penalizing you for shooting a high score.
Par Point also has a variation where bogey or worse is 0 points. Like stableford, this means if you score higher than the 1 point score ( par net ), then you can pick up, again speeding up play, and not penalizing you for shooting a high score.
In the Buena Vista / North Kern Men's Club Par Point Invitational on March 16 2019, there are using this scoring format.
If you shoot par - you get 1 point
If you shoot birdie ( 1 under par ) - you get 3 points
If you shoot an eagle ( 2 under par ) - you get 5 points
If you shoot a double eagle ( 3 under par ) - you get 8 points
If you shoot a bogey ( 1 over par ) - you get 0 points
If you shoot a double bogey or worse ( 2 over par or worse ) you get -2 points - ie you lose 2 points.
Why choose Par Point?
This version of Par Point gives you a -1 score for a double bogey or worse, meaning if you do not make your bogey score, you can pick up, speeding up play, and not penalizing you for shooting a higher score. This makes it more fun for competitors, and speed of play is always important with golf tournaments. Scoring is easier, and this format allows you to play single, teams of 2, 3 or 4 players, best ball or total scores. Since each player is playing their own ball, the score posted in the tournament, can be used for handicap purposes. This means that players who play well in the tournament, will have that score posted which affects their handicap for the next tournament. In shambles and scrambles, good player scoring in tournaments cannot be used to post a score for handicap purposes, and players could sandbag... so this is a big plus for this type of format.
Example of a Hole
John is a 15 course handicap, so he gets 15 strokes, on the 15 hardest holes on the course.
- Hole 1 is 10 handicap, so he gets 1 stroke. He shoots a Par, which is a net birdie, so John scores 2 points on hole 1. - Total 2 points
- Hole 2 is 17 handicap, so he gets 0 strokes on this hole. He shoots a Par, which is net Par ( no handicap ), so John scores 1 points on hole 2. - Total 3 points
- Hole 3 is 1 handicap, so he gets 1 stroke on this hole. He shoots a double bogey, which is a net bogey, so John scores 0 points on hole 3.
- Hole 4 is 16 handicap, so he gets 0 strokes on this hole. He shoots a double bogey, which is a net double bogey, so John scores -1 on hole 4. - Total 2 points
Using Handicap in Par Point.
Handicap is calculated for each player individually. If your handicap index is 15, and your course is tough, you might have a 17 course handicap. Handicap is applied on a hole by hole basis to calculate your points for a hole. Team scoring systems might adjust handicap differently, but since each player is playing their own ball, from tee to hole, usually there is no handicap adjustments. Also, since each player is playing their own ball, the score posted in the tournament, can be used for handicap purposes.
Par point is a fun game, with some good benefits... coming to a tournament near you soon... or play with your friends.