Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Guide to stroke-play and match-play golf

In the game of golf today, stroke-play and match-play are two golf scoring systems. They are used in the professional championships, and more team based golf. Overall, they are not entirely similar.

To begin with stroke-play, which is the best established golf scoring. Stroke play relates to how many shots, or strokes are taken per each hole. So one stroke is one shot. A shot can be any putt, tee shot, fairway or bunker play. Even if no contact with the ball is made or the ball hardly moves, that is recorded as a shot. In addition to this, penalty strokes can also be added if the player needs to move the ball, drop ball or retake a shot.
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As such, stroke-play records how many shots for a golfer to finish a hole and then the golf course. For each hole, a par score is listed which can be par 3, 4 or 5 strokes. This relates to the hole's distance, with shorter holes par 3 and longer par 5. Overall, the par scores are good scores for any hole and scoring is measured with that.

(above) A golf scorecard

For example, a golfer can finish above or below par on any given hole. There are actually terms for a few scores above or below par. If a golfer finishes one over par, then that is a bogey. If the score is two over it is a double bogey and if three over par, then that is a triple bogey. However, one under the par score is a birdie, if two under then possibly an eagle on par 4 holes. A hole-in-one is when the hole is finished in one shot!

The overall par score for a golf course is the par sum of all the holes. It could be, for example, 31 or 35 over nine and 62 or 70 for an 18-hole golf course. A player may finish any number of strokes above par, or perhaps even a few under. Alternatively, to make par will finish exactly even.

To keep scores, players can note scores on the score card after each hole. Then these scores can be tallied for an overall total.

Golf stroke-play is universal in the game and is used for all the major championships such as US Open, The Masters, PGA Championship or UK Open. The players with the lowest scores for the golf round will win the championship.

However, match-play is used for the more team based Ryder Cup. In match-play, players can win, lose or tie a hole. Here, the players' scores for a hole are compared and the lowest score wins the hole, or alternatively if tied then half a hole is given to both players. For example, if nine holes were drawn then that would be 4.5 holes each. In addition, a further 5 holes won by a player would give a total score of 9.5-8.5. The player or team that wins the most holes wins the round.

So match-play is not won by the overall lowest scores, but for the more specific scores on holes. It is possible for a player to have more strokes overall, but still win a round with match-play.

Overall, either stroke-play or match-play can be used between players. Generally, stroke-play is better suited for non-team golf, while match-play is better for team events and can make for closer games overall.

1 comment:

Chiemsee said...

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