Golf Rules Question: Who wins this match after 18th hole dispute?

What happens if neither golfer can agree whether to carry on playing? Our expert has the answer...

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 27 Nov 2019
Golf Rules Question: Who wins this match after 18th hole dispute?


Picture the scene. It's all square between two golfers on the 18th hole, and it's chucking it down with rain. As they approach the final green, one player feels it's unplayable, while the other thinks it's perfectly fine. 

An anonymous GolfMagic reader posed this question to us just this week, writing to us with the following:

Hitting with the ball above your feet



Hi GolfMagic, just wondering if you could assist with a little match play ruling. 

Two players are A/S up the last. One player decides due to the heavy rain that the green is unplayable, while the other disagrees and says they should play on. Player One is not in agreement and picks up his marker and walks off. 

Who is the winner? Player One who walked off or Player Two who wanted to continue?

We then spoke to our resident PGA Rules Member Ashley Weller to get his take on the matter...


Okay, in matchplay they can discontinue play by agreement which there is not in this case, therefore they should continue play so Player One would lose for refusing to complete the hole.

However, as it was the final hole, if Player One made a claim for a ruling from the committee before the result of the match is final, he may have a lifeline.

If it's deemed the green was playable then the result stands, and Player Two wins. 

However, if they deem it was unplayable they would have to resume the match, although lifting a marker results in a one stroke penalty! 

So this one would ideally need a full ruling from the committee before a result of the match is final.