Winning at Match Play

2-man Scramble

Match Play events can be fun!

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!


19 thoughts on “Winning at Match Play

  1. Pingback: Do You Concede Putts? | The Grateful Golfer - Swing Update

  2. Pingback: Do You Concede Putts? | The Grateful Golfer

  3. Jim,

    Sounds like your skill level didn’t give them much of a chance. Any reason they weren’t using handicap strokes to level the playing field? I personally love match play, whether it is team or individual. I’m fortunate to be able to play in several match play events through the season, both individually and on a team, Ryder Cup style. Very fun style of competition.



    • Josh

      This is not your typical golf event. It is a bunch of military guys competing and trying to win bragging rights for their unit. Most of the 200+ players (at the beginning) only play periodically. We found out after the match that 3 of their top players could not make it due to work. Such is the nature of the competition. So handicaps are just not possible. On Tuesday, the finals will happen and I am away for work….. 😦 We are playing a very strong team, but such is the nature of the competition. It is all fun regardless.


      Liked by 1 person

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