Golf is a game that we can all enjoy and despite varying degrees of playing standards, ages and genders it is one of the few sports in which players can compete fairly with anyone, thanks to the handicap system.
So with the start of the TSG Mixed Matchplay tournament nearly upon us again, we thought we should explain our interpretation of the rules.
We have all debated the whys and wherefores of the CONGU Golf Handicapping system at one time or another but…
What is the ‘official’ way to score in a Mixed Matchplay Competition?
The only real difference between this any other golf match, is in this case, the two players concerned play from different tees (Mens & Ladies). These have separate Standard Scratch Scores allocated.
As such CONGU states that each set of players need to play a course from which the Standard Scratch Score (SSS) has been allocated for them…..BUT then a handicap adjustment must be applied, if the Ladies’ and Men’s SSS’s are different (see below).
It would be unfair if this difference is not accounted for and by making an alteration to the handicaps of the player playing the harder course (e.g. that with the higher SSS).
An SSS is, by definition, the score a Scratch player would be expected to return over a particular course. All handicaps are then adjusted relative to players’ performances against that score.
It may seem obvious but the Ladies’ SSS is determined against the performance of a Scratch handicap lady player and the Men’s likewise for a Scratch man.
This is best observed by watching the professional players, the best ladies cannot return scores that compare with the best men. As there is no compensation allowed in professional golf, ladies and men do not compete in mixed events for a single prize, or if they did the winner would only be a man.
Which Stroke Index should we use in Mixed MatchPlay?
There is often a debate about which Stroke Index (SI) should be used. For Stroke play it is recommended that each player uses the SI appropriate to them.
However, for Mixed Matchplay, it is recommended that SI appropriate to either the Men’s or Ladies’ course is used for both sets of players.
This should have minimal effect for two reasons:
- Players rarely play their best (or worst) golf on the holes where they get a shot
- When players don’t get a shot where they should it means they do get a shot where they shouldn’t.
Example Mixed MatchPlay Scoring…
Dave has been drawn against Sue in the third round of a mixed matchplay competition.
– Dave is a 15 handicapper (the SSS on the card is 72)
– Sue plays off 25 (the SSS on the card is 74)
In this instance Sue receives additional 2 strokes to her handicap due to difference in SSS and now receives 12 strokes in total.
N.B. The SSS should be taken from the tees the man is playing from e.g. Yellow
So there you have it, however, in order to uphold the spirit of TSG, please ensure these rules are agreed and UNDERSTOOD before you tee off!
By Ian Mullins