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Best Ball

Chicago System

Chicago is a form of Stableford scoring, typically used in Point-Quota events, in which each player’s quota is computed as 39 less their Course Handicap. A team’s quota is the sum of the quotas of its members. The competition is then conducted at scratch (without handicaps) using Chicago scoring:

Chicago Scoring
2 or more over par no points
1 over par (bogey) 1 point
par 2 points
1 under par (birdie) 4 points
2 under par (eagle) 8 points

The competitor’s score is then determined as the difference between the points they have earned and their quota - negative values are allowed. A team or individual with the highest result is the winner.

The following represents the scorecard for teammates participating in a Chicago competition. Al's quota for the event would be 23 (39 less his Course Handicap of 16). Earl's quota would be 29 (39 less his Course Handicap of 10. The team's quota would therefore be 52.

Best ball scorecard

Scorecard for teammates in a Chicago competition

In this illustration, the scorecard includes the individual scores of the teammates. It's not required that a player return a score for a hole. Any incomplete holes or scores of double-bogey or higher are scored as zero (0) points.

Net Best-Ball results

Chicago scores based on gross hole-by-hole scores

The Point-Quota result for Al is -3 (20 points earned less his quota of 23). Earl's result is -10 (19 points less his quota of 29). The team's result is -13.

The Chicago scoring system was devised to provide a scoring bonus to golfers who can make hole-by-hole sub-par scores (birdies and eagles).