Bisque Par Golf Format

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Bisque Par (not to be confused with Bisque) is a competition format built on the foundation of Match Play vs. Par, but with a twist.

In Match Play vs. Par, golfers (using full handicaps) try to beat par on each hole. If you score a net birdie, you mark the scorecard with a plus (+) sign; if you match par, you put a zero (0) on the card; if you score a net bogey or worse, you mark the scorecard with a minus (-) sign. At the end of the round, compare your pluses to your minuses; if you have six plus signs and four minus signs, you have beaten par by a 2-up score.

Remember, you're using full handicaps. (You can also play Match Play vs. Bogey if you want to win more holes! See our Match Play vs. Par or Bogey scorecard for more details.)

So what's the twist that turns Match Play vs. Par into Bisque Par? Normally, when using handicaps, golfers allocate their handicap strokes according to the handicap line on the scorecard. If you have four strokes to use, you will use them on the Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 handicap holes.

But in Bisque Par, it is up to the golfer to decide on which holes to use his or her handicap strokes. Even better, you don't have to elect to use a stroke on a given hole until after you've completed that hole (but before teeing off on the next).

Number of Strokes

Also, you can use as many strokes as you like on a given hole. So let's say you play the par-4 No. 3 hole and it's a disaster, you score a 9. But you have 13 total handicap strokes to use. You can use six of those strokes on No. 3 (you must announce the decision before teeing off on the next hole) and, there you go, you've turned a 9 into a net birdie.

But: Once you've used all your available strokes, that's it. You're done using strokes for the round. So you have to make wise decisions about where to use your strokes. (Maybe a single disaster hole isn't the best place, and you should save your strokes for more critical holes in the round.)

At the end of the round, golfers look over their scorecards and add up the pluses and minuses. The golfer with the best match-play-vs.-par score wins (e.g., a golfer with 10 pluses, 5 zeroes - zeroes represent halves - and 3 minuses has a 7-up, or +7, score).

Note that Bisque Par can also be used as a twist on standard singles match play, Player A vs. Player B (compare to Bisque).

You sometimes see the terms reversed: Par Bisque, rather than Bisque Par.

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