Aug 22, 2022

[Quick 9] What You Need to Know About Match Play

beginner golfers golf tips and tricks on the course

The main difference between stroke play and match play is that in stroke play, all players are simply playing each hole in an attempt to have the total lowest scores at the end. In match play, two players are playing against each other, with each one trying to score the lowest on individual holes. In this blog, we are going to be talking about all things match play. We are going to explain in detail the major differences between match play and strike play and what they each prefer.


Differences between match play versus stroke play

The major difference between these two is that strike play is all the players, while match play involves only two players. Typically, in match play, there are a couple of different formats that one can play. One is individual matches, but you don't see that a lot in the ladies league, talking from a ladies league perspective. You may not see that a lot too because it takes a lot of time to make it work. In match play, each hole is its own competition, but in stroke play, you are counting every single stroke that you hit on the course. So in match play, you could possibly shoot a 72, and eventually, the concept of each hole being worth one point comes into play. You can either win a hole, lose a hole or tie a hole. And in scoring purposes, there are lots of different ways you can do it.

Preferences between match play and stroke play

While some prefer stroke play, and some are a fan of match play, Tori's guest would rather have a match play but in an invitational setting, because her records show individually that she is not a good player in match play, interestingly. Every time she plays individual match plays, the records are not the very best. Tori on the contrary would much rather play a stroke play tournament where there might be the best ball format,  scramble format, or shamble.  She prefers to play stroke play-based format than nine-hole matches.

Gross and net in match play

“It's important if you're playing a net game in match play that you know where your strokes lie. You just always want to be aware of what's going on.”

In match play, you can do gross and net. So for example, if Player A's handicaps are 1 and Player B is 15, Player A is going to give 14 strokes. On the 14th hole, she's going to get a stroke on Player B, but that's how you would equate it to the net. In gross, it's the same kind of honor system in stroke play. It's usually that the better players go first. There's usually a set team that has honors at the beginning and they're usually on top of the scorecard. So what happens is, after that whoever won the hole will get the honors. So if a player tied the hole, they'll continue to get honored until they win a hole in gross.

It should be noted that in match play, order of play is very important, as well as following the official rules. So if you're playing a hole, whoever is furthest out gets to hit their ball next. And it doesn't matter if the furthest out is off the green and you guys are all on the putting green or vice versa, the order of play is decided by whoever is furthest from the hole.

Concessions in match play

In match play, you can tell your opponent that that's good. And what that means is, pick up your ball and you're done. For example, if you're putting in five and the opponent says that's good, your score is five.  An example of that would be, if a player is on the other team and trying to show the other person a pot, the other team is likely going to say,” You can pick that up so that we don't show you that line.” That's all part of that strategy that you will learn in match play. Usually, penalties in match play are just a loss of a hole. If you break a rule, you lose a hole and you move on.

Final thoughts on match play

“In match play, one is ever out of it, and you don't have to be at the same level as someone else to win a hole.”

The best thing about match play is that no one is ever out of it. You don't have to be at the same level as someone else to win a hole. You might get crushed