Yesterday I played in a 9-hole team Match Play event with no drama. The format was pretty straight forward; there were 2 teams of 2 from each unit, competing against another similar team from a different unit. (A typical unit is a homogeneous military organization where its administrative and command functions are self-contained) This inter-unit competition has lasted all summer and yesterday was the semi-finals.
The total team score was a combination of the total number of holes won by your two teams. As we started off the first tee, we felt confident that we would be victorious because of the skill level of our team. Mark and I started off par, birdie, par, birdie and were 4 up after 4. It did not get any better for the other team as we finished the nine holes with 7 wins and 2 ties. Our other team finished 6 wins, 2 ties, and one loss. As we only count wins and losses, our team won 13 to 1. On to the finals next week.
After playing in a Match Play contest, I did realize that the rules or etiquette are not really understood by most players.
The first was when to concede the hole. Our opponents did not understand when to tell us to pick up our ball. When playing a par 4, I concede their 3 foot putt because it was for a 7. We were sitting 15 ft from the hole, laying 3. Instead of conceding the hole, they waited until we putted the ball to within 6 inches to lie 4 before conceding the hole. I think they should have concede the hole given the circumstances.
The first time I conceded one of their putts, one of the players did not understand and tried to mark his ball. I explained that he could have the putt and he was still a bit confused. After his partner explained what was going on, it never happened again.
When the first team is in the hole, they should pick up the flag. On several occasions, when first in the hole, they walked toward their bag and left us to pick the flag up. This is not a really big deal, but to me it is an etiquette thing.
It was ironic that I played a Match Play event this week, but I can easily see both sides of the recent conversation about the mishap at the Solheim Cup. But, for me that issue is over. Unfortunately, I cannot play in the finals next week, but I am confident our unit will prevail.
Do you like playing in a Match Play event? If so, singles or team?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!