How Do I Score Match Play Golf?

By Jackson Lewis
The Accenture Match Play Tournament is one of the most popular on the PGA Tour circuit.
The Accenture Match Play Tournament is one of the most popular on the PGA Tour circuit.

Match play golf differs from stroke play in that one side or team plays another over the course of a round competing on each hole. Whichever golfer or team that holes the ball in the fewest number of strokes wins the respective hole. If handicaps are applied, the side or person with the lowest net score wins the hole. If a hole is tied during play, it is considered to be “halved” and the score remains the same. Match play concludes when one side leads the other by a total score greater than the number of holes remaining in the match.

List each person or side on a separate line or row on the score card. Unlike stroke play, match play scorekeeping maintains a record of the relative score of holes won between two sides independent of how many strokes are used to win the respective hole.

Enter “AS” for “All Square” if the relative score between the two sides is tied. For example, if the first hole in match play results in both sides scoring par on the hole, the score card would be annotated “AS” for each side.

Enter “+1” on row for the first team to win a hole and “-1” on the side that loses the hole. The overall score from this point forward will be the relative score between the two sides. If there are a large number of holes that are halved with one side ahead by one, the same score will be annotated until there is a relative score difference between the two team. If the score becomes tied, “AS” would then be annotated for each side.

Match play concludes if a side is ahead by more holes than are remaining in the round. For example, if one side is ahead by six with five holes remaining the match is over and the score is recorded as a win of “6 and 5.”

Match play continues according to the tie-breaking procedures of the golf club or tournament if the overall score is “AS” at the conclusion of 18 holes.

About the Author

Based in Memphis, Jackson Lewis has been writing on technology-related material for 10 years with a recent emphasis on golf and other sports. He has been freelance writing for Demand Media since 2008. Lewis holds a Master of Science in computer science from the United States Naval Postgraduate School.

Photo Credits

  • Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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