There may be different kinds of “Chicago” scoring systems but here’s an explanation of the one my group is playing on my trip right now.
We have 4 foursomes. In one foursome you start with 39 points for each player for a total of 156. You then take the total of the player’s handicaps and subtract that from 156. So for instance let’s say you have a 10, 15, 5 and 1 handicap. 10+15+5+1=31. 156-31=125. So 125 would be your group’s number.
On each hole you score as follows:
So on the first hole let’s say you have a double, bogey, par and birdie. That’s 0+1+2+4 for 7 points. Your goal is to try to get as many points as possible. Yesterday’s winning team was -13.
Chicago scoring works very well for several groups and it makes every player’s score important so all players are into the game. And when you do them right, Chicago scoring ends up amazingly close among all the groups which makes it even more fun.