Rules of Match Play 2019

Well I hope everyone had a good Christmas and is looking forward to a New Year of great golf, under the 2019 Rules of Golf.

Because many clubs play Match Play, especially in regular Knockout Competitions, I have published a Rules of Match Play page on the My Golf Rules Blog.

There are a number of differences between Stroke Play and Match Play rules, which you must be aware of if you do not want to incur penalties or lose a match.

Certain specific rules governing match play are so different from those governing Stroke Play that combining the two formats is not recommended and in the previous Rules of Golf was not permitted.

The R&A and USGA have however recognised that groups of players, although entered into one competition often like to play a separate cometiton within their group.

The R&A and USGA have therefore included in the New Rules of Golf guidelines for dealing with these events.

You can read the Rules of Match Play on the Webpage or download your own PDF or Microsoft Word Copy from the page, by clicking on the download button below.

Download “Rules of Match Play - PDF” Match-Play-2019.pdf – Downloaded 994 times – 267 KB

Download “Rules of Match Play - Word” Match-Play-2019-1.docx – Downloaded 335 times – 101 KB

Enjoy your golf, and have a great New Year



Rules Blog:

15, The Boundaries, Lympsham, Somerset, BS24 0DF


4 Replies to “Rules of Match Play 2019”

  1. You do not have to start on the first tee if it has not been made part of the Competition rules and there are other tees from which the competition could start without interfering with other players on the course.

    I understand why you are asking, because there may be an advantage to starting play at a particular hole on your course depending on how the Stroke Indices have been allocated and the number of shots difference between the teams or individuals. There would be a an advantage for a player or team if they were able to take advantage of the majority of their shot advantage early in the round by starting the competition from a particular tee.

    The hole from which a competition starts in match play can be by mutual agreement, however you must bear in mind that the tee from which a competition must start may have been already set by a committee in its Competition Conditions (this does not necessarily have to be the first tee) or by the accepted Golf Club Booking System.

    If the Golf Club Committee has set the Tee from which the Competition must start, then this must be honoured and cannot be altered unless by express permission of the Committee

    The other point is that a Golf Club may stipulate a time from which players may tee-off from, especially if they have a two-tee start facility e.g. 2-balls off 1st Tee between 8.0 and 10.00 a.m, ¾-balls off 10th Tee between 8.00 and 10.00 a.m., again this must be adhered to.

    However, there may be some ‘break-in’ holes where a club allows players to join the course as long as they do not interfere with other players, a competition could start from those points.

    1. You may not practise or play a round on the day of a Stroke Play Competition before a competition but no problem with a Match Play Competition.

      There is no restriction to practising or playing a round on a course on the same day before a Match Play Competition.

      See Rule 5.2

      5.2 Practising on Course Before or Between Rounds

      For purposes of this Rule:

      “Practising on the course” means playing a ball, or testing the surface of the putting green of any hole by rolling a ball or rubbing the surface, and
      The limitations on practise on the course before or between rounds apply only to the player, not to the player’s caddie.
      Match Play

      A player may practise on the course before a round or between rounds of a match-play competition.


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