Who was right in this matchplay conundrum?

25/10/2011 at 01:30

Playing at the weekend in a unusual format - stableford matchplay in pairs.

Long story short, it was all square at the 17th Par 3 tee. Opposition teed off, first one carved left, OOB. Other guy steps up hits it in the drink, drops one there. My partner steps up hits one into the rough to the right of the green. I step up do the same, putting it into red staked water hazard (that was dried out) and surrounding trees.

We walk up, see a ball sitting in long grass where my partner's ball looked like it went. I thrash round in the hazard, eventually declare the ball lost, drop one at the line of entry and chip on, get down for a 5 and a point. My partner chips on, down for four and 2 points. The opposition blob and score a single point respectively.

Yippee, we've won the hole and go one up heading into the 18th. Hang on... partner realises he has played my ball, the one I declared lost. His score is discounted. We've halved the hole, it's a tense all square going into the 18th.

No it isn't says one of the opposition, your team made a mistake, therefore you forfeit the hole.

Getting a bit tense, no point in arguing, what's done is done I say, let's call it your victory, let's play the final hole.

Luckily, we win the hole in an undisputed and straightforward way, match finishes all square so it doesn't matter as a good golfing time has been had by all. Or not... one of the opposition appears to be smarting and makes very fast exit.

So my question is this - who won/lost/drew? And who really cares in what was supposed to be a fun game? Ok so there was a couple of quid on it but the stakes we play for are minimal and the winner buys the beer so if you win you lose (financially) and vice versa. I'm surprised we don't throw games sometimes.

Anyway, who was right?

PS: I've learnt something else from this. No matter how much fun you might think the game is, it's always cut-throat to someone so take everything seriously. The only problem is this rather takes the fun out of it... Any thoughts, advice, ideas? 


25/10/2011 at 02:26

I gave up after about 3 sentences...

25/10/2011 at 03:06

You were playing Four Ball Stroke Play.  

Rule 31-5 applies.  Your partner hit a wrong ball and HE (not the team) was out of the hole.

31-5. Wrong Ball

Competitor is in breach of Rule for making a Stroke at a wrong ball, he incurs a penalty of two strokes and must correct his mistake by playing the correct ball or by proceeding under the Rules.  Partner incurs no penalty even if the wrong ball belongs to him.

The rest depends on whether your ball was known or virtually certain to be in the Lateral Water Hazard.  If it was, (even though it was later found outside the hazard), you proceeded correctly, and your point counts.  

Advice:  know the rules and carry a rule book.  The opponent obviously thought you were trying to cheat.  If you smile and show the opponent the rule with confidence, this rarely happens.  

25/10/2011 at 07:39

Alan, what is stableford match play ?   You talk about "winning the hole" so it was matchplay?  You talk about stableford points so it was strokeplay?  I might be missing something here, but it doesn't make sense.

I assumed you were playing4 ball match play because that's what the thread title says, but that it doesn't make any difference to Ed's advice : the rule is the same for matchplay in that the penalty incurred by your partner for playing a wrong ball puts him out of the hole but not you.

If it was matchplay,  by the way, you just need to count strokes not points.  Best net score at a hole wins.  

25/10/2011 at 09:06
Alan Tovey wrote (see)

drop one at the line of entry 

I hope you meant within 2cl of where it last crossed the margin (not nearer the hole)

25/10/2011 at 09:29

ED - The format is an unusual one we play. Whoever gets the most stableford points wins it for their team. Thanks for the reply.

NIBLICK - I don't know of any other group playing this system but us.

DH - No it, was no closer.

PATSY - thanks for your insight. Not.

25/10/2011 at 12:31

I think I got confused by the format too.  It sounds like you are just playing a regular Fourball Match with the twist that you can't win a hole with a double bogie or higher.   That is an unusual format, but as long as you play the game under the rest of the rules of golf for match play, there's nothing wrong with it.  You may use any method you wish to decide who pays for beer.  The rest of my answer stands.

25/10/2011 at 13:12

Given that your ball was found in "long grass" which was, presumably, in the near vicinity of the hazard I don't see how you could have been certain or virtually certain that your ball was lost in the hazard. In which case you should have proceeded under the lost ball rule (sorry don't know the number) and played 3 off the tee.

25/10/2011 at 14:02
Alan Tovey wrote (see)

ED - The format is an unusual one we play. Whoever gets the most stableford points wins it for their team. Thanks for the reply.

NIBLICK - I don't know of any other group playing this system but us.

As Ed says, you choose the format you want to decide who wins, but I wouldn't be interested in this one myself.  It takes away some of the fun of matchplay.  Oh, the trembling excitement of standing over a crucial putt for an 8 to halve a  hole    Why deny yourselves such  pleasures?

25/10/2011 at 14:20


presumably to speed up play

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