Match Play and Stable-ford
**** Plus a very special feature: By Eric Jones the World Long Drive Champion
Match play is one of the main forms of competition in golf. Players go head to head or as a team of two often in competitions like the Ryder Cup, the player or team who wins the most holes win the match.
Match play can be played by two individuals, one on one and that is known as singles match play. Or teams of two players can square off, with Foursomes and Four-balls the most common formats for team play.
To learn more about match play
You will note that on TV in say the World Match Play or other professional competitions’ there are no handicap’s being used. ALL PGA / LPGA tour players: Golf Professionals are all ranked equal.
With amateur players you need to have handicaps in play.
For example: If your handicap is 28 and your competitors’ handicap is only 22 then you have a handicap allowance of 6 shots. There are various way of applying the handicap, we think the simple way is to play is for you to be given 1 shot on the 6 most difficult holes on the course: Holes index rated 1 to 6.
Then for example: If you score 5 and he or she scores 4 the hole is even. If he or she scores 5 and you score 5 then you win that hole.
Simple: Win a hole that is one for you; lose a hole that is one for your opponent. Even holes essentially do not count; they are only ticked as even on the score card.
The other main difference is that amateur normally elect to play all 18 holes regardless of who is winning or how many holes they are leading by.
The basics of match play: Score-keeping terms use in professional match play.
The score of a match play match is rendered relationally. Here’s what we mean: Let’s say you’ve won 5 holes and your opponent has won 4. The score is not shown as 5 to 4; rather, it’s rendered as 1-up for you or 1-down for your opponent. 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 and spectators not how many holes each golfer has won, but 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.”
Match play matches do not have to go the full 18 holes. They often do, but just as frequently one player will achieve an insurmountable lead and the match will end early. Say you reach a score of 6-up with 5 holes to play – you’ve clinched the victory, and the match is over.
What the Final Scores mean someone unfamiliar with match play scoring might be confused to see a score of “1-up” or “4 and 3″ for a match. What does it mean? Here are the different types of scores you might see in match play:
You will note from watching TV some times the play does not always go to the 18 hole.
The reason being that at some stage of the game it becomes impossible for one or the other player to win. For instance: If one player has won 7 holes and his opponent has won 4 the score is shown as 3 up – if play had reach the 17 hole it would be impossible for the player two down to win. So they stop and – it is shown as a win 3 and 1
1-up: As a final score, 1-up means that the match went the full 18 holes with the winner finishing with one more hole won than the runner-up. If the match goes 18 holes and you’ve won 6 holes while I’ve won 5 holes (the other holes being halved, or tied), then you’ve beaten me 1-up.
2 and 1: When you see a match play score that is rendered in this way – 2 and 1, 3 and 2, 4 and 3, and so on – it means that the winner clinched the victory before reaching the 18th hole and the match ended early.
The first number in such a score tells you the number of holes by which the winner is victorious, and the second number tells you the hole on which the match ended. So “2 and 1″ means that the winner was 2 holes ahead with 1 hole to play (the match ended after No. 17), “3 and 2″ means 3 holes ahead to with 2 holes to play (the match ended after No. 16), and so on.
2-up: OK, so “1-up” means the match went the full 18 holes, and a score such as “2 and 1″ means it ended early. So why do we sometimes see scores of “2-up” as a final score? If the leader was two holes up, why didn’t the match end on No. 17?
A score of 2-up means that the player in the lead took the match “dormie” on hole 17. “Dormie” means that the leader leads by the same number of holes that remain; for example, 2-up with 2 holes to play. If you are two holes up with two holes to play, you cannot lose the match in regulation (some match play tournaments have playoffs to settle ties, others – such as the Ryder Cup – don’t).
A score of “2-up” means that the match went dormie with one hole to play – the leader was 1-up with one hole to play – and then the leader won the 18th hole.
5 and 3: Here’s the same situation. If Player A was ahead by 5 holes, then why didn’t the match end with 4 holes to play instead of 3? Because the leader took the match dormie with 4 holes to play (4 up with 4 holes to go), then won the next hole for a final score of 5 and 3. Similar scores are 4 and 2 and 3 and 1.
The most common match play formats are singles, foursomes and four-balls.
Match play is second only to stroke play as the most popular form of competition in golf. In fact, match play and stroke play are the bedrock forms of competition. And there are many different ways to play match play, all built around its core principle: players (or teams) compete to win individual holes, with the side winning the most holes claiming the match.
The best-known match play formats are those used in the Ryder Cup. Here is an introduction to those match play formats:
Singles Match Play
Singles match play pits Player A against Player B, hole after hole. If Player A scores a 4 on the first hole while Player B records a 5, Player A wins the hole.
In the Ryder Cup, ties are called “halves” and are not played off (each side scores a half-point for their team). In Ryder Cup-style competitions, this is common. However, in singles match play tournaments – something such as the U.S. Amateur Championship, as an example – a match that is all square (or tied) after 18 holes continues until there is a winner.
Four-ball Match Play:
In Four-balls, each side consists of two players. Each player plays his or her own ball throughout the round. On each hole, the low ball of the two players serves as that side’s score. For example, on the first hole for Team A, Player 1 scores a 4 and Player 2 scores a 5, so the team score is 4. If Team A gets a 4 while Team B scores 5, then Team A wins the hole.
Foursomes Match Play:
Because it is included in the Ryder Cup, Foursomes match play is one of the best-known forms of match play. It’s not very common as a format used among friends during a casual round of golf, however.
Four-ball pits 2-person teams against each other, with each team playing one ball, alternate shot. Example: Player A and Player B are partners. On the first hole, A tees off; B plays the second shot; A plays the third shot; and so on until the ball is holed. The lower of the two teams’ scores win the hole.
We take this opportunity to remind you that:
On the first tee- you must tell your fellow players the type and number on the ball you are playing. It is important that you can ALWAYS identify your ball BEFORE playing any shot on the course. If you do play the wrong ball it is two stoke penalty
On the tee the player who won the last hole has the honours: He or she plays first, if the next hole is even then he or she retains the honours.
When you have players on the fairway ahead of you ALWAYS make sure they are well clear BEFORE you play your shot, if you do hit / play a shot that is flying off course towards other golfers , people then you must immediately shout a loud warning –normally FORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s before you say OH************
When your ball land in an area which permits a free drop for example ground marked under repair, YES you are entitled to a free drop, how ever before you pick up or move your ball, you should first tell your fellow players.
When a fellow competitor is about to play his or her ball, stand still do not move or get into their line of sight, and do not talk.
Keep a careful check on the number of stokes you take on each hole. To miscounting can often be taken for cheating? ( Never assume that your playing partner will not be counting your shots,) If you are not sure take time to think and re-count every shot you took on that hole.
When your ball has gone into the trees or heavy rough, decide quickly if it is out of bounds if it is unplayable, you only have a maximum 5 minutes to find your ball, if it has clearly gone little or no chance of finding it then take a penalty drop and play on. Do not become a player (All clubs have them) no one wants to play with or play behind) If you are delaying the group behind then do the right thing and call them through.
Before starting in any competitions, you should determine respective handicaps. If a player begins a match having declared a handicap that is higher than his officially recorded handicap and this effects the number of stokes he or she is given, and he or she is found out in this deception they are disqualified:
Introduction to Stable-ford: Always check with the club professional, some clubs do have their own special rules.
Stable-ford scoring systems are stroke-play formats in which the high total wins, not the low. That’s because in Stable-ford, your final score is not your stroke total, but rather the total points you have earned for your scores on each individual hole. For example, a par might be worth 1 point, a birdie 2. If you par the first hole and birdie the second, you’ve accrued 3 points.
Even great player practice
Using Handicaps in Stable-ford Competitions:
When those of us who are not pro-golfers are playing Stable-ford, we’ll need to use our handicaps in order to pile up the points. How many gross birdies will a 20-handicapper make per round? Close to zero. Pars will be pretty scarce, too. It would be difficult for a 20-handicapper to earn many points playing Stable-ford at scratch. Players in a Stable-ford competition should use full course handicaps, with strokes taken as they are allocated on the scorecard.
Your handicap comes into play on each hole; if your handicap is 18 then you are given one shot on each hole. So a Bogey = Par and Scores you one point, if you do an actual par that = a birdie and 2 points.
If you have a handicap of say 22 then you are given two shots on the four hardest holes e.g. Index 1-2-3-4 So if the Hole is a Par 5 index 1 and you score 7 (2) = 5 you score 1 point.
The strategy in Stable-ford formats can be summed up in three words: Attacking golf go for it.
Stable-ford competitions reward aggression and risk-taking on the golf course. In the traditional Stable-ford, for example, there are no negative points. If you are facing a difficult shot say a carry over water that you normally wouldn’t try, in Stable-ford you can take a shot at it because if you fail, at worst, you get 0 points. However if you make it? The potential rewards are greater than the potential disaster’s you can have bad holes yet still win. (With traditional stroke play one really bad hole and you have lost)
If you score more than 32 points you have had a good game, if you score 40 plus then you have a good change of winning the competitions,
If you had an unusually high score of say 48, you handicap would be checked.
Golf is a game of honour do not cheat you will lose the respect of you fellow players.
You need to be competitive but if you are a high handicapper and drawn to play with a good player, do NOT try to match their game, the handicap system will make the playing field equal, play to your handicap and you have every chance of winning.
Do please refer to previous lessons related to being prepared and mind set.
If you found this difficult to understand, and have any questions please contact us by e-mail we will do our best to help. Contact us at email@example.com
Special Feature: We say there is no magic formula by this is as close as it gets, ALL our coaches were impressed. Quite simply the BEST.
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