Golfers watching or, especially, playing match play need to be aware of the differences in the rules between match play and stroke play. Some of the differences are major, some are minor and some involve a different type of penalty when rules are broken. Here is a rundown of some of the most important differences in the Rules of Golf for match play:.
In this sense, match play is a whole different game than stroke play.
In stroke play, golfers accumulate strokes over the course of 18 holes. The golfer with the fewest strokes at the completion of the round wins.
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In match play scorekeeping , each hole is a separate competition. The player with the fewest strokes on an individual hole wins that hole; the player winning the most holes wins the match.
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The stroke total for 18 holes simply doesn't matter in match play. Stroke play is more a player vs.
There is one opponent you must beat, and that's the opponent you're facing in the match you're playing right now. In friendly rounds of golf, golfers often ask for and give " gimmies ," very short putts that one simply picks up rather than holing out. Gimmies, needless to say, are illegal under the Rules of Golf , but many recreational golfers use them anyway.
In match play , however, conceded putts are perfectly legal: They are part of the game, codified in match play rules. Your opponent can concede a putt to you at any point, whether it's six inches from the cup or 60 feet.
But concessions almost always come on very short putts. In match play, you play only one opponent at a time, meaning large tournaments with multiple rounds and the winners of each match moving on to a new opponent for each round. Because match play is head-to-head competition, players have more power than they have in stroke play, where every stroke counts and affects everybody in the tournament, not just a single opponent.
In match play, you may concede at any point.
A concession can be a small act, such as saying an opponent is close enough that he gets credit for making his final putt without taking it. Or a player can simply concede a hole, saying there is no way he can win it and giving his opponent the point. Match play rewards aggressive play slightly more than a stroke competition. For example, a player attempting to shoot at a flag over water, rather than a safe shot over grass to the fat of the green, risks two strokes penalty stroke and replaying the shot by going for the flag, with a payoff of possibly one-putting instead of two-putting.
In stroke play, this is risking two shots to gain one, meaning the player must be fairly sure he can make the shot. In match play, a player is risking a chance to win the hole against a chance to lose it, an even tradeoff, making it a higher percentage play.
What Is the Difference Between Match & Stroke Play in Golf?
By Robert Preston. A pair of players can face off in match play instead of standard stroke play. Match Basics Match play rewards players for shooting lower than their opponent, but the scale is smaller, focusing on a hole-by-hole basis. If you have won 6 holes and your opponent 3, then you are leading 3-up, and your opponent is trailing 3-down.
Match Play vs Stroke Play
Essentially, match play scoring tells golfers how many more holes than his opponent the golfer in the lead has won. If the match is tied, it is said to be "all square. They often do, but just as frequently one player will achieve an insurmountable lead and the match will end early. Say you reach a score of 6-up with 5 holes to play - you have clinched the victory, and the match is over.