The Chicago golf format is a fun golf game that focuses on scoring well on individual holes rather than the entire round. This golf format also uses an alternative system which takes into account the handicaps of the golfers.
This gives golfers of all skill levels an opportunity to compete against one another on an even field.
To learn other golf formats similar to the Chicago golf see our articles on the flags golf game or learn how to play criers and whiners.
Chicago Golf Format Scoring
In order to play the Chicago golf format, each golfer is going to need a handicap rating. Once you have your handicap rating you are assigned a number of points.
If you are a scratch golfer you will receive 39 points. If you are a one-stroke handicap you will receive 38 points and if you are a two handicap you receive 37 points and so on.
You will then accumulate points based on your performance on each hole. Scoring a double eagle will net you sixteen points. An eagle eight points, a birdie four, a par two and finally a bogey is worth one point.
Once the round is completed you calculate your point total from all your holes. You then take this number and subtract the points you were given for your handicap.
Let’s say you are a scratch golfer and received 39 points for your handicap. You then scored sixteen pars and two eagles. You would get 34 points for the pars and 16 points for the birdies. This would put your score at 50 points.
You then subtract the handicap points. 50 (score) – 39 (handicap points) = 11 (final score)
This means you would have scored eleven points over the round. And as you can see the lower your handicap the higher the number of points that are subtracted from your final score.
This makes it easier for golfers of lower skill to compete with highly skilled golfers.
Rules Of Chicago Golf Format
When playing the Chicago golf format you will use the standard stroke play rules. This means you can not have any breakfast balls, mulligans, or gimmies.
Though if you do want to incorporate these into the game you always can. Just make sure you are clear with other golfers in the group.
What To Know When Playing Your First Round
If you are playing the Chicago golf format for the first time then there are some tips you should know to ensure you don’t find yourself in last place.
The number one tip we can give to golfers playing this format for the first time is to play aggressive. As we explained in the rules this game rewards golfers for having great results on single holes. If you score a triple bogey it does not significantly affect your ability to win the game.
Since these larger scores aren’t going to negatively affect your score you are going to want to focus on scoring well. This means playing aggressive on approach shots and off the tee. This may mean cutting some corners on a dogleg par five or driving for the green on makable par fours.
This will increase your chances of scoring birdies, eagles, and pars all of which will gain you huge points in the Chicago format.