Rule of the Month: Match Play
Sept. 1, 2021
Match play is a form of play where a player (or players) plays directly against an opponent (or opponents) in a head-to-head match. You win a hole by completing it in the fewest number of strokes, and you win a match when you are winning by more holes than remain to be played. You (or your opponent) may concede a stroke, a hole, or even the match to each other. If your next stroke has been conceded, you are permitted to putt out, unless this will help your partner (for example, by showing them the line for their putt).
If you are unsure how to proceed, you and your opponent can agree on a course of action even if it is against the Rules, but you are not allowed to waive a Rule. If you and your opponent don’t agree on how to proceed, you should do what you think is correct. Your opponent can then make a request for a ruling, which will later be decided by the Committee. In match play, you are not required to keep a scorecard – scorecards are only required in stroke play.
- How do I keep score in match play?
- Do I have to sign a scorecard in match play?
- What is a concession?
- What should I do when I don’t know how to proceed in match play?
- Is playing two balls allowed in match play?
- May I putt out after my shot has been conceded?
- May I practice on the course before or during my match?
- May I share a caddie with my opponent or my partner?