Match Play


Baseball has its homerun derby, hockey has its skills competitions, and football can be played in any number of ways be them contact or flag related. Golf has a couple of different modes of play as well and several are actually used to determine a champion in one type of tournament or another. Different types of play are used in local golf tournaments or charity events with the scramble and shotgun starts being used at different times, but these different types of play are used to determine champions on a professional level. The two main types of play are the match play and stroke play styles, this is a brief overview of match play golf.

Match play is actually the way of playing golf that makes the most sense to most new golfers in that it actually takes a simple score of the winner of each hole and the winner of the most holes in a match is the eventual winner. Many people get lost with match play even though it has this ease of scoring because of terminology that is used by professionals to refer to who is winning or losing the hole. The game is “all square” when each golfer has won the same number of holes, if it is not even the leader is named first and the loser second.

Some of the confusion with match play stems from the fact that you don’t have to play all 18 holes to declare a winner, if you are up 3 with two holes to play then the match is effectively over. Match play is a good system for the less talented golfer because it can eliminate a couple of horrible holes and still give a chance for victory. Whereas a more talented golfer may be much more steady but not as prolific on a few specific holes. Match play is not preferred by more traditional and avid golfers as stroke play is considered the truer test of a champion golfer.


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