One of the most fun ways to play golf is through match play. This is not limited to only professional players but even an amateur can enjoy it. It is not like stroke play as even after making a big number, you can still stay in the game. Match play is more of a mental game as you have to take every shot very smartly and with precision. That is exactly the thing that makes it so much interesting.
If you want to have a bit of fun as well as competition then this is the game that you should play golf. Beginners most often are ignorant of match play and how you play it. So today, we will tell you what match play is.
What is Match Play in Golf?
In match play, you compete head-to-head with another player. The person who is able to putt the golf ball with the least number of strokes wins the hole. If there are fewer holes remaining than the ones that you have already won then you win the game. There are also no scorecards required in match play as those are only necessary for stroke play. If at some point in the game, you and the opponent aren’t able to decide on how to proceed then you should do what you think is right.
10 Golf Match Play Tips
Here are some of the best tips that you should keep in mind while in a game of match play:
Hole by Hole:
The first thing to keep in mind when in match play is that you should only keep your mind on the present. If you are focused on what you are doing right now, then you will be able to maintain a lower score. Then there is no point in worrying about the rest of the game as that will only make it confusing. The only goal in your mind should be to come out as the champ. Even if you make an 8 on a hole, you should simply write it down and don’t think about it too much. Focus on the current hole.
Being A Bit Aggressive:
There are a lot of players that wait for a few holes before going aggressive. Most of the golfers take it slow on the first few holes but this is the wrong strategy in match play. If you succeed in pressurizing your opponent in the first few holes, then he will completely lose focus of his game being under pressure. If you have set the pace early, then it will help you a lot and you will be mentally ready for the win.
Playing Your Game:
You need to remember that when in match play, the only thing that you need to focus on is your own game. Don’t think about your opponent and simply go with your instincts. Before every hole, you should plan your shots carefully. Sticking with your own game plan will prove the most beneficial for you. if you find yourself in a sticky situation then you should make slight adjustments in your game plan along the way.
You shouldn’t waste a bit of time on the green in match play. You need to put aggressively in order to give yourself a chance in the game. Even if you require a 35-footer to reach the hole, get it done. According to Golfarise in the 2019 rules, the flagstick needs to stay in which can also help you to be more aggressive. You need to think ahead of the match and strategize the putting accordingly.
Knowing Your Strokes:
You have to make sure that you note every stroke and where it stands on the scorecard. It is also really beneficial to know where the opponent will get strokes. It’s very critical to your success in the game. If you are prone to more strokes early in the match then there is no need to play aggressively. You can play more carefully. But if the opponent gets early strokes, then it is time to go aggressive. You need to take advantage of every single chance you get.
This game is all about strategy. You shouldn’t try to be the hero when there is no need. It is really good to be smart but over-smartness isn’t very good. Even if your competitor misses the green, you should take things according to the strategy that you have made. During your approach shot, you should have the right club for the situation. You can also use a rangefinder to get the distance to the pin and use a club accordingly. You should only focus on beating your opponent on each hole by playing smartly.
Watching the Opponent:
Watching your opponent and their behavior can tell you a lot about their game. You should notice the attitude of your opponent when you shake hands with them. Noticing each and every aspect of them and their gameplay will allow you to strategize much better. The only thing that you need to be concerned about is winning the hole and observing your opponent can help you a lot.
Embracing the Game in Match Play:
There is one unique thing about match play which is that without making holes, you can give players putts. One thing that you can do is to give your opponent a put early in the round. When they are under pressure, they will completely forget how to make a 4-footer. Once you’ve reached the end of the round, you should stop giving any puts. Once the hole is finished, you can practice your shots so that you are ready when faced with the same situation.
Golf is a game in which weird stuff tends to happen. Match play is home for even crazier things. So, you need to be ready for every type of situation. Preparing in advance is never a bad thing. You should never see low of your opponent as they can also hit an amazing shot that might surprise you. So, it is necessary that you prepare yourself and stay focused on the game.
Never Give Up:
You need to remember that there is no point in giving up, especially in match play. Even if you have made a big number early in the match, then completely take it out of your mind. Most of the people that quit mid-round just waste their comeback opportunities for later rounds. You should stay patient and remain focused on your game no matter the situation.
Conclusion: Match Play in Golf
Match play is a very beloved form of golf. It can be hard to master it, especially for beginners. But in a match play, you have a higher chance of staying your ground against a high-skilled player. The biggest thing to remember is that always play one hole and focus on beating your competitors. You need to put early pressure on the competitor so that he loses focus on the game, this will allow you to take an early lead. All of the above-mentioned tips should help you in winning your match plays more often.