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Matchplay vs Strokeplay

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi all, new member from Ireland. I've been playing golf for some years now. Handicap is 11. I've found that I'm a more effective matchplayer than strokeplayer i.e my best rounds seem to come in club matchplay competitions. I love the intensity of matchplay and find that my ability to concentrate and make good on-course decisions comes more easily in matchplay than standard singles competitions (both strokes & stableford). Does anybody else find this or have any tips on how to translate good matchplay form into strokeplay competitions?

post #2 of 3

You can't because a bad hole or two in matchplay doesn't affect your overall round. You aren't scoring anyway.

In matchplay you could have 15 on a hole and it's really the same as a par if your opponent birdies the hole.

They are two very different forms of the game.

You are playing hole by hole and you don't have a "big picture" to focus on.

post #3 of 3

Shorty's right.  The challenge in stroke play is twofold. 


-  You have to putt everything out.....there are no conceded putts.

-  Every stroke counts for the entire round, not just a single hole.


When you combine those two, the pressure on a single stroke multiplies many times over.  A 6 foot putt to tie a hole that you might just jam into the back of the cup in match play looks a LOT different in stroke play when the possibility of running it 4 feet past could lead to an ugly little 3-jack.  Hit a ball OB in match play, you shake it off and move on.....heck, it's only one hole.  In stroke play, that 3d shot you're hitting off the tee becomes a lot tougher, because thoughts of hitting 5 off that same tee now start to creep into your mind a little more. 


The best way to get better at stroke play, is to play it......even when you're playing match play.  Don't pick up when you're out of the hole, finish it up.  Putt everything out....don't rake away that conceded 2 footer, those can get real hairy in stroke play for us mere mortals.  Realize that bad decisions on the course can cost you a LOT more in stroke play than in match play.  Remember that as you're evaluating risk/reward shots......the aggressive shot that, if missed in match play might just cost you a single hole, can cost you the whole match/tournament in stroke play.  In my club championship last year I watched a pretty good golfer in our championship flight take a 13 on the par-4 7th hole, on day one of the two day tournament.  He never recovered emotionally, and ended up finishing dead last. 


Make no mistake, pure stroke play in a competitive/tournament environment is a very tough game mentally.  That's what you need to prepare yourself for.....

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