Match play and stroke play differences (Hilary)


Four main differences between Stroke play and Match Play are below. I thought these would be helpful to you all even if you don’t play in Team play this year..

• In stroke play the general penalty for a breach of the Rules is two strokes, in match play it is loss of hole. However, any breach of the Rules that incurs a one stroke penalty in stroke play is also a one stroke penalty in match play.

• Whereas in stroke play the player must finish every hole by holing out, in match play a player may concede a stroke to his opponent so that he can pick-up without holing out. A player may also concede the hole, or the match. Once given a concession can’t be declined, or withdrawn under any circumstances. So, if you concede a short putt to your opponent, but he putts anyway and misses, it doesn’t matter because he is still considered to have holed out with the putt for the purposes of the match. Rule 2-4.

• If you are unsure of a Rule, or a procedure, in match play the Rules don’t permit you to play a second ball under 3-3, as they do in stroke play. What you have to do, is try and resolve the issue with your opponent. If you can’t agree, a claim has to be made before teeing-off at the next hole. You must notify your opponent that you’re making a claim, agree the facts of the situation and make it clear that you’ll be asking for a Committee ruling. Rule 2-5.

• In both stroke play and match play when balls are to be played from the teeing ground the person with the honor plays first, and anywhere else on the course the ball farthest from the hole is played first. However, there is no penalty in stroke play for playing in the wrong order, unless players have agreed to do so to give one of them an advantage, in which case they’re both disqualified.

It is different in match play. If a player makes a stroke when his opponent should have played first, there is still no penalty, but the opponent may immediately require the player to cancel that stroke and play again, in the correct order, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played. In other words, if you think your opponent played a bad shot when he played out of turn you say nothing, but if he played a good shot you can ask him to replace his ball where it was and play again, after you, in the hope that his next shot won’t be as good.

Hope this helps you,


Author: Kay B

Webmaster in training.

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