The top four players enter a single elimination **match play** tournament.
Since the is the club championship, we should play more stricly by the rules of golf than we normally do. I think we’d all agree that the champion should be the player that played the best against their handicap when playing strictly by the rules rather than the one who bends the rules the best [[:-)]]. Everybody should call penalties on themselves, and nobody should be considered a jerk for calling a penalty on somebody else.
Our [[Golf League 2004 Rules]] will still apply to the tournament except that there is no maximum score per hole (i.e. the triple bogey rule does not apply):
** **Within the fairway of the hole being played*, a ball can be moved up to one club length no closer to the hole in order to gain a reasonable lie (this does not apply to the rough or other fairways)
* The lost ball rule applies. I.e. a ball can be dropped within 2 club lengths of the last place it crossed the edge of the fairway before being lost, no closer to the hole
Here’s a basic outline of the differences between stroke play and match play. More details follow below:
* The total strokes in a round don’t matter, but rather the strokes for each hole.
* The winner of the round is the player that wins the most holes, not the player with the fewest strokes.
* Penalties for breaking the rules (not for lost balls, etc.) result in loss of hole rather than penalty strokes. Some examples of this are illegally touching or moving your ball, grounding a club in the hazard, playing the wrong ball, etc.
Is there a difference between stroke play and match play, you ask?
There’s a **huge** difference!
###Hole by hole
In stroke play, the total score for the round does not matter. Each hole is a new competition, with the lowest net score winning the hole. The winner of the match is the player that wins the most holes.
The strokes to give per hole are figured out as follows (I’ll figure all this out before the matches start):
* Each player takes 75% of their handicap
* The lower handicap is subtracted from the higher.
* This number is the total strokes that must be given by the better player.
* These strokes are applied in order to each hole, starting with the lowest handicap hole
Player A has a handicap of 4 and player B has a handicap of 12. Taking 75% of these yields 3 and 9 strokes (respectively). Subtracting 3 from 9 yields 6 total strokes that must be given. So, player A must give player B an extra stroke on the 6 toughest holes being played (i.e. player A must score one better on these holes to tie player B).
Let’s say now that player B has a handicap of 24 instead. Then 75% of this yields 18. Subtracting 3 from 18 yields 15 total strokes that must be given. Now, player A must give player B one stroke on every hole, and another stroke on the 6 most difficult holes (2 strokes on the 6 most difficult, and one stroke on the 3 easiest).
Another difference in match play is that you may concede to your opponent any show as going in the hole. So those three foot putts that you give your opponent are actually legal in match play (in stroke play, technically, they can’t be conceded). Also, you may concede a hole to your opponent. For instance, let’s say that you loose 3 balls off the tee and decide that the rest of the hole is not worth playing out in terms of the competition, you can concede the hole to your opponent and move on to the next hole.
If there’s a dispute as to whether a particular action is legal, the hole should be completed as if no penalty had been applied, and marked as disputed. After the round, the rules committee (probably me and Guy) can make a determination and score the hole appropriately.
##Some stories from previous tournaments
I was playing a match in a foursome with the other twosome playing a match as well. In the other match, one of the players hit into a sand trap. He got to the sand trap, hit out onto the green and marked his ball. When it was his turn to putt, he took a different ball out of his pocket and used that to putt with. His opponent called a penalty and he objected. He asked me for a ruling (as an objective 3rd party). The penalty was correct and the hole was forfeited. According to the rules, you have to finish the hole with the ball you started it with, unless it is lost or damaged. This particular individual just liked putting with a different ball (which is against the rules).
Later on in the same match, the same player was in another sand trap. He approached his ball and proceeded to improve his lie. Again a penalty was called and he lost the hole.
Those two holes ended up costing him the match.
The moral of the story is that knowing the rules can both save you from losing holes, and help you to win holes.