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One Bite - Match Play vs. Stroke Play

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As we’re being treated to a rare display of Match Play on TV this week, how about we look at the CliffsNotes for Match Play. (nb. CliffsNotes are good for most situations; as always the complete Rules have some pesky fine print.)

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NEW FOR 2019  

It's no longer a penalty if a player accidentally moves an opponent's ball or ball marker on the putting green. (R9.5b, Ex3)

There is no longer a penalty for when a ball in motion accidentally hits an opponent, their caddie, or their equipment. The ball must be played as it lies. (R11.1a) Except on the putting green where the stroke is canceled and must be replayed. (R11.1b, Ex2)
    
There is no longer a penalty when stopping your opponent's ball in motion so long as there is no reasonable chance the ball could go in the hole. The next stroke is considered conceded. (R11.2a, Ex)

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MATCH PLAY HAS FOUR TYPES OF PENALTIES: 
1) the "one-stroke" penalty which applies to the same Rules breaches as in stroke play, and 
2) the "loss of hole" penalty which is the equivalent of the two-stroke penalty in stroke play, and 
3) the "disqualification" penalty which applies to many of the same Rules breaches as in stroke play.
4) Rule 19.3b, Unplayable Ball in a Bunker, Extra Relief Option has a two-stroke penalty, but not loss of hole.

YOU MAY CONCEDE AN OPPONENT'S NEXT STROKE, A HOLE, OR THE MATCH AT ANY TIME.  A concession, once made, may not be declined or withdrawn. (R3.2b1) 

   Players may not agree in advance to concede strokes, such as all putts "inside the leather." (R1.3b)

   Players may agree to tie a hole only during the play of that hole. (R3.2a2)

In stroke play, you are disqualified if you don't hole out. (R3.3c)

DID YOU GIVE WRONG INFORMATION TO AN OPPONENT? If it's about the number of strokes you have taken or of any penalty strokes you have incurred, you may lose the hole. (See R3.2d for the details)

In stroke play, corrections to your score can be made up until the scorecard has been "returned." (R3.3b2)

IN DOUBT AS TO HOW TO PROCEED BECAUSE OF UNCERTAINTY ABOUT A RULE OR PROCEDURE? You and your opponent are permitted to come to an agreement as to how you should proceed. (R20.1b1) In doing so, you may not agree to disregard a Rules breach or waive a penalty. (R1.3b1 & R20.1b1)

If an agreement cannot be reached, you must make a decision and continue playing as you see best. If your opponent disagrees and wishes to request a ruling they must do so before starting the next hole. (R20.1b1)

   In match play, you may not play a "second ball." If you do, you will automatically lose the hole. (20.1b4)

Or, if you don't like what your opponent is doing, you must request a ruling before starting the next hole. (R20.1b2) 

In either case, the Committee will resolve it later. (R20.1b2)

In stroke play only, if you are uncertain about a Rule or procedure you may play a "second ball." (R20.1c3)

DID YOU SEE AN OPPONENT BREACH A RULE? You may silently disregard the breach. (R1.3b1) Or, you must request a ruling before starting the next hole. The Committee will resolve it later. (R20.1b2)

Players may not agree to disregard a Rules breach or waive a penalty. (R1.3b1 & R20.1b1)

In stroke play, you may not ignore another player's breach of a Rule. (R20.1c2)

DID YOU PLAY OUT OF TURN? Your opponent may immediately recall the stroke and require that you play in the proper order. Otherwise, the ball is played as it lies without penalty. (R6.4a2)

   In match play, players may not agree in advance to play "ready golf." (R1.3b)

However, when done solely for the purpose of saving time, a player whose turn it is to play may invite an opponent to play first. The opponent is not obligated to accept the offer. (R6.4a2, Ex)

In stroke play, "ready golf" is encouraged; there is no penalty and the ball is played as it lies. (R6.4b1)

DID YOU PLAY FROM OUTSIDE THE TEEING AREA OR FROM THE WRONG TEES? Your opponent may immediately recall your stroke and require that you play from within the teeing area or from the correct tees. Otherwise, the ball is played as it lies without penalty. (R6.1b1)

In stroke play, the penalty is two strokes. You must then correct the mistake. (R6.1b2)

DID YOU PLAY THE WRONG BALL SUCH AS ANOTHER PLAYER'S BALL OR A STRAY BALL? You lose the hole. (R6.3c1)

In stroke play, the penalty is two strokes. You must then correct the mistake. (R6.3c1)

DID YOU DELIBERATELY MOVE AN OPPONENT'S BALL WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION? You incur a one-stroke penalty and the ball must be replaced. (R9.5b)

In stroke play, there is no penalty for anyone. (R9.6)

DID YOUR BALL ACCIDENTALLY HIT AN OPPONENT'S BALL? You must play your ball as it lies. (R11.1a) The moved ball must be replaced. (R9.6) No penalty anywhere on the course. 

In stroke play, if both balls are on the putting green when this happens, there is a two-stroke penalty for the player whose putt hit the other ball. (R11.1a, Ex)

DID YOU PLAY FROM THE WRONG PLACE? You lose the hole. (R14.7a)

In stroke play, the penalty is two strokes. You must play out the hole with the ball played from the wrong place unless you've committed a serious breach. (R14.7b)

DID YOU BREACH ANY OF THE "RELIEF" RULES SUCH AS THOSE ON LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS, MOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS, ABNORMAL COURSE CONDITIONS, PENALTY AREAS, BALL LOST OR BALL OUT OF BOUNDS, OR BALL UNPLAYABLE? You may incur a one-stroke penalty or you may lose the hole. (Refer to R15, R16, R17, R18 & R19)

In stroke play, the penalty is either one or two strokes.

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Its also important to remember that in fourball match play, many penalties apply only to the player who commits the infraction, not to the team.  This includes many "general penalty" situations, where in a single match the penalty would be loss of hole, but in a fourball match it simply disqualifies one player's score on that hole.  But there are a few penalties that apply to both players, even if only one has breached the rule.  This is all in Rule 23.8.

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Wasn't there a rule change this year about standing behind a player during their setup or while making a stroke?
Only in Four Ball?

This often occurs during a putt, and sometimes a partner assists a partners alignment.

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6 minutes ago, Club Rat said:

Wasn't there a rule change this year about standing behind a player during their setup or while making a stroke?
Only in Four Ball?

This often occurs during a putt, and sometimes a partner assists a partners alignment.

You're quite right. Rule 10.2b applies in both match play and stroke play and affects caddies and partners.

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=10&subrulenum=2

 

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8 hours ago, Club Rat said:

Wasn't there a rule change this year about standing behind a player during their setup or while making a stroke?
Only in Four Ball?

This often occurs during a putt, and sometimes a partner assists a partners alignment.

That latter case (on the putting green) is explicitly covered in Interpretation 23.8a(2)/1, second bullet point.

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If you're not following the "Learn the Rules" thread, today, the 20th's post has some good stuff on Match Play vs Stroke Play. Here it is:

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Rule 20.1 RESOLVING RULES ISSUES DURING YOUR ROUND

Let’s look at two events which we routinely encounter in both match play and stroke play: 

     1) uncertainty as to how to proceed, and 

     2) dealing with a possible Rules breach by another player. 

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1) MATCH PLAY and STROKE PLAY treat UNCERTAINTY very, very differently.

MATCH PLAY ONLY - In doubt as to how to proceed because of uncertainty about a rule or procedure? You and your opponent are permitted to come to an agreement as to how you should proceed. (R20.1b1) In doing so, you and your opponent may never agree to disregard a Rules breach or waive a penalty. (R1.3b1)

      If an agreement cannot be reached, you must make a decision and continue playing as you see best. If your opponent disagrees and wishes to request a ruling they must do so before starting the next hole. (R20.1b1)

     Or, if you don't like what your opponent is doing, you must request a ruling before starting the next hole. (R20.1b2) 

     In either case, the Committee will resolve it later. (R20.1b2)

     In match play, you may not play a "second ball." If you do, you will automatically lose the hole. (20.1b4)

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=20&subrulenum=1

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STROKE PLAY ONLY - If you are uncertain about the correct procedure while playing a hole, you may complete the hole with two balls without penalty. (Rule 20.1c3) 

If you wish for the best outcome, you MUST do four things:

     1) You MUST announce your decision to play two balls after the uncertain situation arises and before making a stroke at either ball, then

     2) You MUST announce your choice of which ball you wish to count before making a stroke at either ball, then

     3) You MUST hole out both balls, then

     4) You MUST report the facts of the situation to the Committee before returning your scorecard. 

Omit any of these three and you’ve left the outcome to chance.

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=20&subrulenum=1

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2) Another way in which MATCH PLAY and STROKE PLAY differ is the way you must react should you WITNESS A BREACH OF THE RULES by an opponent or other player.

MATCH PLAY ONLY - Do you think that your opponent might have breached a Rule? 

     You may SILENTLY disregard the breach. 
     (Remember, players may never agree to disregard a Rules breach or waive a penalty.) (R1.3b1) 

     Or, you must speak up and request a ruling before starting the next hole. (R20.1b2)

     The Committee will resolve it later. (R20.1b2) 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=1&subrulenum=3

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=20&subrulenum=1

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STROKE PLAY ONLY - If you believe that another player has breached or might have breached a Rule and that the other player does not recognize or is ignoring this, you must promptly tell them, the marker, a referee or the Committee. (R20.1c) 

     YOU MAY NOT DISREGARD THE BREACH, if you fail to act on the breach by another player you could find yourself facing disqualification.

     It is your obligation to protect the field.

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=20&subrulenum=1

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Click this link to read the titles of the relevant Interpretations:

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=interp&section=rule&rulenum=20

Edited by Asheville

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