How to Score Match Play Golf

By John Lindell
Match play scoring is based on the number of holes won.
Match play scoring is based on the number of holes won.

Match play differs from stroke play in that each hole counts as one point. The individual or team with the lower score on a hole wins the point. If you win more holes, you win the match. Some of the terms used in match play may confuse you if you're not familiar with the format.

How to Score Match Play Golf

When writing down the names of the players on your scorecard, leave an empty line between your name and your opponent's--or your team and the opposing team. You'll use this line to keep track of who is ahead, or "up," in the match.

The first player or team to win a hole is said to be "1 up." On the empty line on the scorecard, write "plus 1" next to the hole number. As subsequent holes are won and lost, write "plus 2," "plus 3" and so on.

If both players or teams have the same score on a hole, the hole is said to be "halved." The score does not change--the side that was up after the previous hole remains ahead by the same amount.

If the match is even after a given hole, write "AS," for "all square," next to the hole. A match that is all square after 18 holes may be considered a tie, or play may continue until there is a winner.

The match is over if you lead by more holes than are remaining to be played. For example, if you are playing 18 holes and are 4 up after 15 holes, there are only three holes left to play and your opponent can't catch up. You would be the winner by a score of "4 and 3."

About the Author

John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.

Photo Credits

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