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Other Forms of Individual Stroke Play and Match Play

But if I picked up on a par three after only hitting my tee shot because I broke a nail and had to look for nail glue in my purse then I should NOT take a 7. The simple answer is yes and no. Most of the basic rules are exactly the same, but the penalties for violating these rules will depend if you are playing stroke play or match play. No matter how much I want to!


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San Diego native, interior design nut, and golf addict with a hopelessly bad swing. Save Save. If you do, the result of your match is null and void, and you are disqualified from the stroke competition!

Considering the Most Important Match Play Rules Differences

More practically, Match play is a head-to-head competition where tactics can be applied within the Match play rules to gain advantage over your opponent, whereas you are usually not playing head-to-head in a stroke competition — you are playing against the whole field. Rules expert Barry Rhodes put together a brief list of some areas where match and stroke play rules are not compatible — In stroke play the general penalty for a breach of the Rules is two strokes; in match play it is loss of hole.


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However, any breach of the Rules that incurs a one stroke penalty in stroke play is also a one stroke penalty in match play. In stroke play the player must hole out, in match play a player may concede a stroke.

The Difference Between Stroke Play And Match Play

Rule Normally, the person with the honour or the ball furthest from the hole plays first. There is no penalty in stroke play for playing in the wrong order, but in match play, the opponent may immediately require the player to cancel that stroke and play again, in the correct order — tactic you can use to your advantage if he played a good shot out of order.

Stroke Play vs Match Play

A player may practice anywhere on the course, on the day of the match — but not in stroke play. If you play a stroke in match play and your ball hits your opponent, his caddie, or his equipment you can choose whether to replay the stroke or accept it and play your next shot from where it comes to rest. For example, if you or your team has won 5 holes and the opponent has won 4, the score is not shown as 5 to 4; rather, it is rendered as 1-up for your team, or 1-down for your opponent.

Original Research ARTICLE

If you have won 6 holes and your opponent 3, then you are leading 3-up, and your opponent is trailing 3-down. 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.