Stroke play

The world's first golf tournament with stroke play was held in 1759 at St Andrews, the Home of Golf. Previously, golf was a match play game, which continued to be the dominant form in the 18th and 19th centuries. In match play, the hole is played regardless of the number of strokes a player requires. Stroke play, the usual form of today's game, is decided by the total number of strokes after 18 holes. The ideal score is 72 strokes or less.