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I entered a match play event through my golf pro. It’s handicapped and you play anywhere you agree on with the other player around here. My first match is against a 0 handicap who works at Innisfail golf club. It’s the toughest/nicest course around here. I’m a 13. 
How would you prepare for a match like this?

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Well, you are up 13 holes before you tee off. Play conservative and make as many pars as you can, especially on the holes you get strokes on. Don't allow your competitor to talk you into playing a longer yardage than you are used to. Personally, I feel that he will have a difficult time playing from a shorter distance.

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On 6/2/2020 at 7:38 AM, neva_adoubt said:

I entered a match play event through my golf pro. It’s handicapped and you play anywhere you agree on with the other player around here. My first match is against a 0 handicap who works at Innisfail golf club. It’s the toughest/nicest course around here. I’m a 13. 
How would you prepare for a match like this?

I would play the course one or two times before the match (a few days before)

And practice more than half your range time from 100 yds and in. 

Last, putt 2-3 hours a week. A key distance is 15ft. Holing these medium range putts will = birdies and par saves. 

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Lost my first match 1 down. was a great match and we both played well. Couple silly mistakes on my part. I tied up the match on 17 leading us to the par 5 18. it's under 500 yards dogleg left, normally a big cut for me being left handed works well. This time it was too much but i still got on the green in 3. His second shot was from 150 yards, lol. he lipped out his eagle putt and that left me to make birdie from 15' to take it to a playoff hole. I hit a great putt but it lipped out as well. 

I've played that course a few times now so my next match is Monday there vs a guy who is a 14 and normally plays at a course thats wide open. I'll have an advantage I think so I 'll play conservative and smart to win it. 

Edited by neva_adoubt
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Congrats on first match, you pressed a scratch golfer, good job. IF you are playing the same course and/or a course you are familiar with. Mentally play that course, hole by hole in your mind. You know the risk/rewards due to experience and your game. Your opponent may have never played the course, so be smart and good luck!!! 

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42 minutes ago, aerospace_ray said:

Congrats on first match, you pressed a scratch golfer, good job. IF you are playing the same course and/or a course you are familiar with. Mentally play that course, hole by hole in your mind. You know the risk/rewards due to experience and your game. Your opponent may have never played the course, so be smart and good luck!!! 

Yup, same course. I know what shot i want to hit each hole.

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Congrates on your match. When I play match play I concentrate on my favorite holes and play my normal game. I also look at which holes I get the extra shot. On these holes think to hit them in regulation is 1 more shot than he has. So if it is a par 4 and you are on for 3 and 2 putts he has to get a birdie to beat you. Lastly, match play is all about course management, play to your strengths.

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I will say that the pressure of match play with handicaps is on the scratch player. Scratch has to be perfect. Stepping up to a par 3 where you are giving strokes is a prime example of where the pressure is truly on. A higher hp can get on a roll with a string of pars and just kill you.

I also found one of the biggest things with match play is to never give up on a hole. You never know what the other guy will stumble on. Grind out every hole. With that said try not to pay attention to what he is doing. Play the hole like you are in a bubble and stay to your strengths.

I do like your format of playing where ever you can.

 

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Play well and you have a chance to win.  Play poorly and you have a chance to lose.  Prepare to play well.  All the other 'strategies' are made up  and have zero statistical validity.  The lowest score on each hole wins  so go do that. 

 

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Played my latest match against a 14 and only had to give up one stroke. On that hole he played aggressively and lost the hole before I even putted out. He was up 3-0 on me at first, I wasn't playing well as I had the nerves I guess. I soon settled down ad refused to let a poor shot get to me. By 10 i was one down and his emotions were killing his game. I kept playing my game and made some great putts and sand saves. By 17 I was 1 up forcing him to try to make something happen on 18 after my tee shot was in the fairway. He blew his tee shot, dropped and blew his next shot as well. An easy par 5 gave me the 2 up win. Can't wait for the next match!

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Well played.

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2 hours ago, neva_adoubt said:

Played my latest match against a 14 and only had to give up one stroke. On that hole he played aggressively and lost the hole before I even putted out. He was up 3-0 on me at first, I wasn't playing well as I had the nerves I guess. I soon settled down ad refused to let a poor shot get to me. By 10 i was one down and his emotions were killing his game. I kept playing my game and made some great putts and sand saves. By 17 I was 1 up forcing him to try to make something happen on 18 after my tee shot was in the fairway. He blew his tee shot, dropped and blew his next shot as well. An easy par 5 gave me the 2 up win. Can't wait for the next match!

CONGRATS!!!

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This is going to sound like a "no s*%t" thing to most of you but I ran into this at my club championship last year.  It is match play and I was playing a 3 handicap (I was a 12 at the time) and he brought a friend to play with us.  I thought,  "hey, no problem the more the merrier", this was a mistake.  Not because the guy who was playing with us was a jerk or purposefully helped his friend at any point.  But we played normal golf rules where whoever is furthest putts first.  In no less than 5 holes his friend was close enough to his line and further away that he could putt and get a great read.  And a low handicapper can see a read and greatly increase their make percentage. 

So if anyone else was ever put in this position, I don't think it should be a hard no but maybe come to an agreement that match rules will supersede normal golf rules and your competitor (or you) must putt before the added person. 

I know this probably doesn't come up frequently but just worth the thought. 

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On 6/17/2020 at 3:33 AM, Popeye64 said:

I will say that the pressure of match play with handicaps is on the scratch player. Scratch has to be perfect. Stepping up to a par 3 where you are giving strokes is a prime example of where the pressure is truly on. A higher hp can get on a roll with a string of pars and just kill you.

I also found one of the biggest things with match play is to never give up on a hole. You never know what the other guy will stumble on. Grind out every hole. With that said try not to pay attention to what he is doing. Play the hole like you are in a bubble and stay to your strengths.

I do like your format of playing where ever you can.

 

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Exactly. 13 holes in this situation the scratch pretty much has to make birdie to have a chance at winning a hole. One blow up by a mid hdcp which is usually their downfall during stroke play is only 1 lost hole in match play

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12 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Exactly. 13 holes in this situation the scratch pretty much has to make birdie to have a chance at winning a hole. One blow up by a mid hdcp which is usually their downfall during stroke play is only 1 lost hole in match play

I am often the low handicapper in matches, and I disagree.  I can play much steadier golf than a 18 or 19.  I have a better handle on my emotions, and on my game.  18 handicappers are going to make doubles and triples, there are times that I can win with a bogey, and often I'll win with a par.  If that 18 has one of his better days, he's likely to win.  But if he's average (for his game) and I'm average for mine, I have the edge.  It might only be one stroke over 18 holes, it might translate to a hole halved instead of lost, or won instead of halved, but I have the edge.  

1 hour ago, den748 said:

So if anyone else was ever put in this position, I don't think it should be a hard no but maybe come to an agreement that match rules will supersede normal golf rules and your competitor (or you) must putt before the added person. 

I've done this before, and we always agree before starting that the "extra" player will wait to putt until both "match players" have finished.  If they won't agree, then its a hard NO.

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59 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I am often the low handicapper in matches, and I disagree.  I can play much steadier golf than a 18 or 19.  I have a better handle on my emotions, and on my game.  18 handicappers are going to make doubles and triples, there are times that I can win with a bogey, and often I'll win with a par.  If that 18 has one of his better days, he's likely to win.  But if he's average (for his game) and I'm average for mine, I have the edge.  It might only be one stroke over 18 holes, it might translate to a hole halved instead of lost, or won instead of halved, but I have the edge.  

I've done this before, and we always agree before starting that the "extra" player will wait to putt until both "match players" have finished.  If they won't agree, then its a hard NO.

You can disagree and that fine based on your experience but I’ve seen plenty of low hdcps including a few friends have to play lights out in a match with a mid to high hdcp. Unless the higher hdcp has an off day the low hdcp has to work for every hole. 
 

Ive played in various forms of match play from team formats and singles as both the one giving strokes as well as giving them. Being on the giving end is much harder. 

 

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You can disagree and that fine based on your experience but I’ve seen plenty of low hdcps including a few friends have to play lights out in a match with a mid to high hdcp. Unless the higher hdcp has an off day the low hdcp has to work for every hole. 
 
Ive played in various forms of match play from team formats and singles as both the one giving strokes as well as giving them. Being on the giving end is much harder. 
 
Ill take this statement even further. Every match play event I've played in with strokes given... i would get matched up with an 18 or so that was no where near an 18.. maybe a 10-12. Their blowup holes would give me an easy win. But thats about it. Maybe other people have come across true Handicaps but not in my case.

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1 hour ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

You can disagree and that fine based on your experience but I’ve seen plenty of low hdcps including a few friends have to play lights out in a match with a mid to high hdcp. Unless the higher hdcp has an off day the low hdcp has to work for every hole. 
 

Ive played in various forms of match play from team formats and singles as both the one giving strokes as well as giving them. Being on the giving end is much harder. 

 

 

2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I am often the low handicapper in matches, and I disagree.  I can play much steadier golf than a 18 or 19.  I have a better handle on my emotions, and on my game.  18 handicappers are going to make doubles and triples, there are times that I can win with a bogey, and often I'll win with a par.  If that 18 has one of his better days, he's likely to win.  But if he's average (for his game) and I'm average for mine, I have the edge.  It might only be one stroke over 18 holes, it might translate to a hole halved instead of lost, or won instead of halved, but I have the edge.  

I've done this before, and we always agree before starting that the "extra" player will wait to putt until both "match players" have finished.  If they won't agree, then its a hard NO.

Both of you are correct, it just depends on what type of player the higher handicap is. There are high handicaps that I couldn't beat on my best day, par, par, par triple, bogey par par double. Could be ahead 4 in stroke play but in match play there is almost no chance. 

Then you have the high handicap who steadily just makes a lot of bogeys. Much easier to play against and give strokes to. What is interesting to me IMO is that this player is usually the one that is first to get flustered and starting getting out of their game. 

Match play is my favorite format however it does get tough when handicaps start to get stretched out between competitors. 

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25 minutes ago, Popeye64 said:

Ill take this statement even further. Every match play event I've played in with strokes given... i would get matched up with an 18 or so that was no where near an 18.. maybe a 10-12. Their blowup holes would give me an easy win. But thats about it. Maybe other people have come across true Handicaps but not in my case.
 

I think this is a good topic for a new post.  I think many, and maybe even most, 15+ handicappers don't realize that there is a limit to each hole score.  So they might shoot a 100 but they have 4 quads on their score card or something like that.  I was halfway through my season before I learned this and once I accurately started entering my score my handicap dropped 2 strokes very quickly. 

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1 hour ago, Popeye64 said:

Ill take this statement even further. Every match play event I've played in with strokes given... i would get matched up with an 18 or so that was no where near an 18.. maybe a 10-12. Their blowup holes would give me an easy win. But thats about it. Maybe other people have come across true Handicaps but not in my case.

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I’ve seen a mix and it depends on where it’s at. I think it’s less of an issue with a club and hdcp committee that’s paying attention. When you get into random type things or a club that doesn’t have a committee looking at things it’s much easier.

I had a buddy who was playing off a legit 7. He played against a guy that claimed to be a 16 that played like a 10 over the course of 2 days

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14 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

I’ve seen a mix and it depends on where it’s at. I think it’s less of an issue with a club and hdcp committee that’s paying attention. When you get into random type things or a club that doesn’t have a committee looking at things it’s much easier.

I had a buddy who was playing off a legit 7. He played against a guy that claimed to be a 16 that played like a 10 over the course of 2 days

Its really hard to compete against a cheater (sandbagger by another name), I can agree with that.  But lets be clear, there are 5 handicaps that play like a scratch, just like there are 18s that play like 12s.  I will continue to approach this type of discussion assuming that the handicaps are reasonably accurate, that neither player is sandbagging.  

Another factor in this, based on conversations with a bunch of pretty good players, is that low handicappers really HATE the idea that they can shoot a score 10 strokes lower than their opponent and still lose.  They hate it, even when they play poorly, because somehow they feel entitled to win with a lower gross score, even when they know its a net match.  Because of that, they really remember the times when they play decent and lose.  They forget the majority of the time when they win, and they REALLY forget the times they play like a dog and still scrape out a win over a bogey golfer playing poorly.  My second-worst score will beat an 18 having his second-worst score every single time.  I'm probably a shot below that guy (net) with our average scores, 3 or 4 strokes comparing the "second-worst" scores.

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