Difference Between mach and Stroke Play

mach is a scoring system for golf in which a player, or team, earns a point for each hole in which they have bested their opponents; this is as opposed to stroke play, in which the total number of strokes is counted over one or more rounds of 18 holes. In professional golf, a small number of notable tournaments use the mach scoring system. Playing golf games need to be aware of the differences in the rules between mach and stroke play. Some of the differences are major, some are minor and some involve a different type of penalty when rules are broken. There are some huge differences in the rules of golf for mach and Stroke play.

First is the way it’s played. mach is a whole different game than stroke play. In stroke play, golfers accumulate strokes over the course of 18 holes. The golfer with the fewest strokes at the completion of the round wins. In mach, each hole is a separate competition. The player with the fewest strokes on an individual hole wins that hole; the player winning the most holes wins the match. The stroke total for 18 holes simply doesn’t matter in mach. Stroke play is more a player vs. the course approach; mach is directly player vs. player, or side vs. side. There is one opponent you must beat, and that’s the opponent you’re facing in the match you’re playing right now.

Secondly, there are more on scorekeeping in mach. In friendly rounds of golf, golfers often ask for and give “gimmies,” very short putts that one simply picks up rather than holing out. Gimmies, needless to say, are illegal under the Rules of Golf, but many recreational golfers use them anyway. In mach, however, conceded putts are perfectly legal. Your opponent can concede a putt to you at any point, whether it’s six inches from the cup or 60 feet. But conceded putts almost always come, of course, on very short putts. Conceded putts should only be offered, they should never be requested. That’s why in some mach matches you’ll notice a golfer lingering over a very short putt – the golfer is hoping his opponent will tell him to just pick it up.

In stroke play, the golfers you are playing against are your “fellow-competitors.” In mach, the golfer you are playing against is your “opponent.” There are several scenarios in mach where a transgression might result in your opponent canceling your shot and requiring you to replay it; whereas in stroke play, the same transgression would result in a 2-stroke penalty or no penalty at all. In stroke play, order of play is a matter of etiquette. If you hit out of turn, it’s a breach of etiquette, but there is no penalty. In mach, if you hit out of turn your opponent can require you to replay the shot in the proper order. And if your first shot was a great one, you can bet that you’ll be replaying. If you hit from outside the teeing ground, in stroke play, teeing off from outside the teeing ground, the teeing ground is between the tee markers and up to two club lengths behind the tee markers results in a 2-stroke…

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