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I was playing a singles match today and I don't think I handled it very well mentally, interested in your thoughts.

Par 3, I hit into the right side bunker, he hit to 10 feet from the pin.

I played out, just, and had about a 20 foot putt for par.

I pushed my trolley round the green to the next tee area and as I looked back I saw his ball drop in the hole for a 2.

"What happened there?" I asked,

"just thought it might speed things up" he said,

I retorted with "but it's matchplay!"

I went over and picked my ball up and he said "did you want the hole?", I declined and went to the next tee.

I played the next hole with duffs and thins and went one down after being one up before the par 3, I was fuming inside, I know I could have made him take it again but I'm not that petty.


Shock made me react that way I think, but there is a better more polite and civilised way, what should I have done?

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I think you should've power bombed him into the bunker. 



In earnest, you already came this far, why not make him make the putt again? Either way, your chances of winning the hole were bleak so your best bet would've been to take a few extra breaths before teeing off the next hole. Confrontation ain't fun, but never let events like that affect your future play. 

"You only have control over the next shot"

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In that situation it is not a loss of hole on his part or yours for playing out of turn.  You have control of it at this point. He should have replaced his ball as close as possible to where it originally was. He should mark the ball, and then the hole should have been played from that point. Knowing the rules for matchplay is important. You put yourself in a bad spot by not telling him to put his ball back. He does not get a choice. If you were to make that 20’ putt for par, that 10’ foot becomes a little more difficult. In Match play it’s not about whether or not you are being petty. The rules allow for you to have him replace his ball. You let him take advantage of you, but I do understand that it can come off as petty, but just think about how mad he would have been if you made him put the ball back. Maybe it would have messed him up for a hole or 2. 

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Since he made an offer of giving you the hole, I would just ask him to re-putt it. Of course there was no way to know what it was doing to do to you mentally afterwards so it's a tough call.

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When a player has played out of turn in match play, the opponent may immediately recall the stroke played and require the player to play in the correct order. 

Rules of Golf


EDIT:  I would have called him on it and had him replay his shot as the rules call for.  He may have still won the hole, but I'm a stickler for the rules of golf in competitive play.

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Probably would have silently fumed while saying nothing out loud and then proceed to blow up on the next few holes like you did.

I'd like to think I would have done something differently but I'm a head case on the course.

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Based upon what you say, he knows he broke the rules. 

He took advantage of an uncomfortable situation and let it eat you up for the sake of civility.  



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Frustration = Energy

Learn to channel it and next time a competitor crosses you, make them pay dearly.

See: Tiger -vs- Stephen Ames


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Now, I'll armchair quarterback it, and say you should have made him putt it again, but I'd have probably done exactly what you did. I might not have let it bother me throughout the round, but I probably wouldn't have made him putt it again. 

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One of the primary purposes of the rules is for everyone to know what to expect. He undoubtedly expected you to play by the rules, and he should have expected to do the same.

Making him retake the stroke isn't being petty, it's establishing that the match WILL be played by the rules. Nothing wrong with that.

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I always try to remember that I'm not good enough to get mad!


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