About Match-play—Part 2

  • A four-ball partner may leave their ball on the putting green, e.g. in a position where it may usefully act as a backstop, while the other partner makes their putt.

Unlike stroke-play, there is no penalty if the ball in motion is deflected or stopped by a ball at rest on the putting green, rule 19-5.

Note that if an opponent considers a ball might assist the player making the putt they can demand that it is lifted, rule 22-1.

  • If a match involving handicaps is all square after the stipulated round, the players should continue at the hole where the match began and the same handicap strokes should be allowed as in the stipulated round.
  • In a four-ball match involving handicaps, where a missing party is the person who the strokes allowance was calculated from, i.e. the lowest handicap player, the handicap strokes should still be allocated based on the missing person being present.
  • If a doubt or dispute arises between players in match-play that cannot be resolved during play of the hole, a claim must be made before teeing-off at the next hole, strictly following the procedures set down in rule 2-5.

The player making the claim must notify their opponent that they are making a claim, agree the facts of the situation and make it clear that the committee is being asked for a ruling.


In many cases, it will not be possible to obtain an official ruling in a timely manner.

The match should be continued without further delay and played to a conclusion whereby there is a definitive result that takes into account an eventual ruling for the disputed hole, whether it be a win for either side, or a half.



The author is a R&A Certified Tournament Administrator and Referee and he is a Teaching Professional. He is also a member of the Professional Golfers Association of South Africa. Feedback: or call +265 888 346 510.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Show More

Related Articles

Check Also

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker