Rule 19-3

Some interesting Matchplay Rules you may be unaware of -Barry Rhodes Rules School

Barry Rhodes Rules School

Some interesting Matchplay Rules you may not be aware of:
•    A player may practice anywhere on the course, on the day of the match. Rule 7-1.
•    If you play a stroke and your ball hits your opponent, his caddie, or his equipment you can choose whether to replay the stroke or accept it and play your next shot from where it comes to rest. Rule 19-3. This might not seem fair if your wild shank has hit your opponent where it hurts and stops at his feet, but that is the Rule, so use it when it benefits you.
•    Similarly, if a player, when starting a hole, plays a ball from outside the teeing ground, there is no penalty, but the opponent may immediately require the player to cancel the stroke and play a ball from within the teeing ground.
•    Here is an unusual one, which not many match players know about. If a putt from the putting green hits another ball at rest on the putting green, whether it is your side or your opponents' there is no penalty in match play, whereas there is a two stokes penalty in stroke play. Rule 19-5. Just play your ball from where it comes to rest and ensure that the ball that you moved is replaced back to where it was.
•    You are not required to keep a score card in match play, as each hole is either won by one side or the other, or halved between them, and the winner is the player who wins the most holes. For example, if a player is 3 holes up and there are only two holes of the stipulated round remaining the match is over with a result of 3 and 2.
•    In stroke play players may not suspend play for bad weather, unless they consider there is danger from lightning. If they do, the Committee would be justified in disqualifying them. Not so in match play, where players may discontinue their match by agreement, unless by so doing the competition is delayed.
•    If a match is discontinued by agreement, e.g. due to darkness or threat of lightning, the match must be resumed from where it was discontinued; the players do not start the round again.
•    Unlike stroke play, where you have an obligation to your fellow competitors to report every breach of a Rule that you witness, you do not have to in match play situations, as you may disregard, or overlook any breach of a Rule by your opponent. The reason for this is that only you, or your side, are affected. It does not affect anyone other entrant in the match play competition. However, you still must not say anything to your opponent, as under Rule 1-3 there cannot be agreement with your opponent to waive any penalty incurred by either side.
•    If a player incurs a penalty that was not observed by their opponent they must inform the opponent as soon as practicable. If the player fails to do so before their opponent makes their next stroke they lose the hole, Rule 9-2b. This penalty also applies if a player gives incorrect information during play of a hole regarding the number of strokes taken and does not correct the mistake before their opponent makes their next stroke.

Finally, players competing against each other in a match are opponents; in stroke play a fellow-competitor is any person with whom the competitor plays their round. Neither is partner of the other.

I hope that by overviewing these differences you will understand why it is not permitted to play a stroke play competition at the same time as a match play round of golf, Rule 33-1. Match play is a great format but when you play make sure that you understand where the Rules differ from those that you are more familiar with.