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Tips on Match Play Rules Part 2

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  1. Four-ball match play— representation of side (Rule 30-3a).

One partner may play for any part, or all of a match, but if and when their partner arrives they must wait until the start of the next hole to join the match.

  1. Four-ball match play—wrong ball (Rule 30-3c).

If a player makes a stroke at a wrong ball their partner may continue play of the hole without penalty. If it was the partner’s ball that was played they must place a ball where it was wrongly played from.

  1. Asking for and giving advice (Rule 8-1).

If a third party gives unsolicited advice no penalty is incurred, but you must request that they do not do so again. You may not give advice to any team member other than your partner.

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  1. Ignoring an opponent’s breach of Rule (Rule 1-3). In match-play, you do not have to call a penalty on your opponent if you witness a breach of Rule by them.

But don’t discuss the breach with the opponent before teeing off at the next hole, or you could both be disqualified for agreeing to waive a Rule.

  1. If you are unsure of a Rule or procedure try and resolve it with your opponent immediately (Rule 2-5).

But if you cannot agree, a claim has to be made before teeing-off at the next hole. You must notify your opponent that you are making a claim, agree the facts and ask the Committee for a ruling.

This last point is important. I receive several communications where a player was ‘bullied’ into accepting a ruling by their opponent, which was subsequently found to be incorrect—too late to affect the result. Opponents should not get into an argument on the course, but should agree on the facts of the situation and seek an authoritative ruling from a Committee member, or someone else whose knowledge of the Rules can be trusted. If a timely official ruling is not received, the match should be continued and played to a conclusion whereby there is a definitive result, depending on whether the eventual ruling for the disputed hole was won by either side, or was halved. In short, you can agree to play under protest of that particular hole.

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