There are several rules for playing golf, and if you’re ready to hit the golf course for a round of golf with your friends, you would be best suited to opt for Match play golf. Amateur golf players love the match play golf as it provides them with the chance to even the playing field. You don’t need to be the best golf player out of the bunch to win a round of golf when playing Match play golf. It’s nothing like stroke play, and the best part is that you can still stay in the match even if you make a big number on a hole.
You also get to use more mental strategy when in match play golf because every shot counts, which makes this golf game so special. It is a battle between two competitors and not the golf course, but because Match play isn’t as popular as stroke play, it isn’t played in professional settings. However, you can’t take anything away from it, as it is a fantastic format and offers you the chance to put your skills to the test against your opponents.
This post will break down what is match play golf, how it works, and the best tips to dominate your opponents in this format. Here is everything you need to know about match play golf.
What is Match Play Golf?
There is a significant difference between stroke play and match play golf. The biggest change is that in stroke play golf, all your shots count towards your game. For instance, if you make a six and your opponent makes a three, you will be down by three shots. It’s simple math. However, that isn’t the case with match play golf, which makes this format so interesting.
You can have one bad hole in stroke play golf, and you will be out of contention for a win, especially if that bad performance came towards the end of the round. In match play golf, the playing field is more even, since even if you make a six on the hole and your opponent makes a three, you will only be down by one hole. Irrespective of how many shots you played on the hole, it will only count as one shot lost in match play golf.
For instance, let’s assume that you’re four holes down, and there are only four holes left to play. Unless you win all the remaining holes, you will lose the match. That is the point where you must get aggressive with your strategy and try to finish better than your opponent. Once you have lost more holes than remaining on the course, the match will be over.
One of the best things about match play golf is that you can concede putts, making the game fun and exciting for players. These were some of the basics of match play golf, and it is straightforward to play without any technical terms and rules governing it.
Best Tips to Win at Match Play Golf
Now that you understand the basics of match play golf, it is time we shared some of the best tips that will help you dominate your opponents on the golf course. Here is what you should do:
1. Play it Hole by Hole
You must maintain your concentration levels when playing match play golf because you don’t want to let a bad performance bring you down. Play each hole separately, and if you give a bad performance on one hole, shrug it off and continue playing. Similarly, if you have a great performance on one hole, don’t let it get to your head. You need to play your opponent and forget how many shots it takes to complete the hole.
2. Set the Pace Early
In match play golf, you can’t afford to give your opponent a lead early on as that will put you on the back foot for the remainder of the match. You want to be setting the pace for the match early, which means adopting an aggressive strategy from the outset. Your goal should be to eke out an advantage early on instead of trying to attack your opponent on the back nine. Setting the pace early will surprise them and try and match you stroke by stroke.
3. Play Your Game
You must always remain calm and maintain your composure when things aren’t going according to plan in match play golf. You can always make a comeback on another hole, but you can’t let it frustrate you. That will result in you losing focus and throwing the game away when you have a chance of making a comeback. You should play your game no matter what the circumstances. Devise a strategy early on and stick to it whether you are leading or behind the game.
4. Make Aggressive Putts
Matchplay golf isn’t the time to be timid with your putting because you need to bring your A-game to the table. You need to make putts to put pressure on your opponents, and that means being aggressive with your putts. If you need to make a 30-foot putt to tie the hole, you should go for it because it is alright missing by 5 feet than not even attempting the putt. Ensure that you’re not overly aggressive with your putts and play the match situation on hand.
Our Final Thoughts
Match play golf is incredibly fun and addictive once you get the hang of it. That is why so many amateur golfers prefer this over stroke play golf. The best part is that it isn’t that difficult and you can have a great time enjoying with your friends playing match play golf. We hope that our guide to match play golf has given you a better understanding of the game.