Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ask Linda #1116-Match play from different tees

Hi Linda,

Thanks again for a marvelous and informative service!

I had an unusual situation on Sunday in our club match play championship. My opponent was an elderly gentleman with an 18 handicap. In normal conditions our club allows players over 60 years and 18 or higher handicap to play off forward tees if they reduce their handicap by 2 strokes. He elected to play off these forward tees.

So a question in two parts:

First, should this option apply to a competitive match play game? Or should players be obliged to play off equal tees?

Second, if he is able to play off the forward tees, then when he has the honour can I request that he tees off before I tee off from the tees further back?  If I have to tee off first on every hole then I lose the ability to adapt my strategy based on the tee shot he has just played.

Either way, he whipped me fair and square! I would just like to understand the options for future reference.

Many thanks
Lou from South Africa

Dear Lou,

It is up to the Committee to assign tees. They may certainly permit players over a certain age and/or over a certain handicap to move up to the senior tees, adjusting their handicap accordingly. I play matches against men quite often, and I can assure you I rarely play from the same tees as the men. My handicap will be adjusted by the difference in the slope rating between the two sets of tees and the difference in the course rating. You may not have course and slope ratings in South Africa, but there will be some fair way to decide how many strokes will be deducted from the player hitting from the shorter tees.

Order of play should be strictly observed in match play. If your opponent has the honor, he should tee off before you. As you suggest, your strategy on a hole is often determined by what your opponent has done. You are entitled to that knowledge.

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