Stroke is a true test of a golfer's ability. Every shot counts—good and bad—and there is no ability to pick the ball up and move to the next hole or rely on your team members to carry you.
Almost all the golf tournaments we see on television and read about in the news are played according to a stroke format (the exception being "matchplay", which was popularised with the accenture World Matchplay Championships held in Melbourne, Australia in January 2001).
Example of Stroke Format
As the name would suggest, a stroke competition requires each golfer to count every shot they take during the course of the competition round.
Because of this the scores can be quite high as there is no option to pick the ball up after a certain number of shots have been reached (as is the case in the stableford and par).
Additionally stroke is an individual game so there is no-one else to blame but yourself for a bad score!
Stroke is easy to record on the scorecard as well. You simply write down the number of strokes that you had on a particular hole.
Key Features of Stroke
It is a true test of a golfer's ability to play 18 holes
Most golf courses do not allow corporate days to involve stroke competitions (because they take too long)
Play can be very slow due to every shot counting. This can affect the whole field who may be hindered by a slow golfer
Positives of Stroke
It is a true reflection of a golfer's score because every shot is counted
Negatives of Stroke
Because every shot counts it can be a very intimidating format for most golfers. A golfer must play every shot until the ball is in the hole
Stroke is very much a slower format as every shot counts leading to golfers being more careful, spending more time looking for golf balls and spending time playing provisional golf balls when the original ball cannot be found
Intensifies the pressure of the day as every shot counts and a good round can suddenly turn into a bad one
Corporate Golf Days generally consist of a number of different standards of golfers. Beginner to Intermediate is generally the normal and the use of stroke as your format will significantly reduce the enjoyment element for the golfers in the competition
Overall Comment on Stroke
A tough and unforgiving format where "every shot counts". Rarely used in Corporate Golf Days as often causes speed of play to slow down considerably.