I am a fan of match play. There is a totally different set of skills and strategies when playing match play. Typically we as golfers play against the golf course itself, and typically never consider what other players are up to. Yes we may want to beat a buddy or a playing partner badly, but we typically do not play differently because of an opponent. Now in tournament golf a player will 100% keep an eye on an opponent (when in contention to win) to try and match them shot for shot. However, unlike in match play anything can happen on the last hole in a stroke play event. Where as if you are three down and there are two holes to go. Match over son.
Match play is not about a score, its not about the golf course, it is about how you measure up against another player. This is the beauty of Match Play. There is no score, just a winner and unfortunately a loser in a match. You must win to advance to the next round, until there is one player left standing. I enjoy match play because it is so different from any other type of golf that the average joe gets to play. Unless you are in the top 64 on the world rankings, or you are a member of a private club that does a season long match play event, you may not have ever played match play. I recommend the next time you go out with buddies, play a friendly match with lunch being on the winner of the front nine match, and drinks after the round being on the winner of the back nine. You will enjoy the differences in strategy and the liberation of knowing that you can hit a few out of bounds on the third hole, and the worse you can do is lose just that hole.
This week when you are watching the Accenture Match Play be sure to check out a few of Chicago Golf Guy’s top matches from the first round:
- Sergio Garcia vs Miguel Jimenez
- Nick Watney vs Darren Clarke
- Gram McDowell vs YE Yang
- Bubba Watson vs Ben Crane (battle of the golf boys)
- Dustin Johnson vs Jim Furyk
My picks are Sergio, Nick, YE, Buba, and DJ. Plus we get an extra day of TV golf this week, and I can definitely find time to waste watching golf on Wednesday just as easily as I do on Thursday and Friday.