Scoring systems in golf: match play

Match play scoring focuses more on the end result of each hole that was played, instead of the least amount of strokes used for the round. The match play scoring system is used by several professional golf tournaments. The system is different from stroke play but new golfers may get the systems mixed up due to their variations. Match play follows a different structure from the traditional method of scoring. The following points can help you gain more insight on match play scoring.

  • There are differences with match play and stroke play. Match play has a scoring system based on holes won in a round instead of accumulated strokes. Basically, you don’t worry about how many strokes it will take to win the hole. It is often viewed as having each hole played separate within each round.
  • A point is earned when a team or individual has the lowest score for the hole played. A half point is given to each team or individual if there is a tie. The winner is declared at the end of the round when a team or individual has the most points. When teams use match play scoring the lowest score determines who wins each hole.
  • “All square” is a term used when there is a tie during a round. “2 up” is a term used when a team or individual has a two-hole lead. “Dormie” is a term used when an individual or team is ahead by a number matching the number of remaining holes. When a person or team is in the lead by a certain number of holes in which their opponent has more to complete based on what has been finished, the first team or individual is declared the winner. An example may include a team or individual having a four-hole lead after completing 16 holes. The team in the lead may be declared the winner and the match over.
  • Match play players are known to be aggressive due to the scoring system. Players may decide to make risker shots since the number of strokes in play is not irrelevant. A team may use one player to make an aggressive shot and then other players will counteract while being conservative.
  • Teams in match play can play each other in four ball. Two players are put against each other. Each player will play their ball and the one with the lowest score will have their score used to begin. Sometimes players take turns when making shots until the hole is done.