I have a new, downloadable document that I think will be of interest to those readers that play, or are anticipating playing, match play golf. If you have been following my blogs on the Rules you will be aware that there are several Rules for match play that are significantly different to those for stroke play. More about this later.
First, I want to highlight one particular area of difference in these two formats of golf, which relates to the situation where one player observes another player breaching a Rule of Golf. In match play, players may choose to ignore any breach of the Rules made by an opponent, because only the players on each side of their match are involved; there is no responsibility to protect the interests of other players entered in the same competition. Whereas in stroke play, a competitor who knows that a fellow competitor has breached a Rule, even if they are not their marker, should bring to light the transgression by notifying the player, their marker or the Committee, because in this case the interests of every other player in the competition are affected if a competitor returns a score that does not include a penalty that they had incurred.
However, there is a very important aspect to this option of ignoring an opponent’s breach of a Rule in match play that I want to emphasise, as I have seen many players open themselves to disqualification by not being aware of it. A player who observes an opponent’s breach of Rule and does not want to penalise them for it, usually out of courtesy when the breach is something unintentional that does not result in any benefit, must keep quiet and not mention it, at least until one of them has teed off at the next hole (edited 29th March 2013). Because, if they do bring the breach to the attention of their opponent, but do not then penalise them for it, both sides should be disqualified for agreeing to waive a Rule. Decision 1-3/4 states;
Failure of Players to Apply Known PenaltyAlthough, in the above Decision it was the player who realised that he had breached a Rule and the opponent acquiesced, the same principle applies if it was the opponent who had discovered the 15th club, had pointed it out to the player, but then said that he was not going to impose the penalty incurred. Both players are disqualified under Rule 1-3.
Q. In a match, a player discovers at the 2nd hole that he has 15 clubs in his bag contrary to Rule 4-4a, but his opponent refuses to apply the penalty. The extra club is declared out of play and the match continues. The Committee disqualifies both players. Is this correct?
A. Yes. Since the players agreed to waive the penalty, they should be disqualified under Rule 1-3.
If the above has been of interest to you, I am sure that you will benefit from knowing all of the differences between match play and stroke play Rules. I have authored a comprehensive document detailing them over 19 headings. I am confident that by reading this document just once you will be better prepared for match play golf, whether you are a team manager, team member, or an individual who enters match play competitions. It could make the difference between you winning or losing!
The introductory price of ‘So You Are Going to Play Match Play!’ is just $7 (€5.50 / £4.50). Click on this link for more details and to purchase.
The above content is strictly copyright to Barry Rhodes © 2013 and may not be copied without permission.