Matchplay Format

  • How is the Matchplay Championship played?

    The Championship includes a Betterball (team of 2) and Individual competition and competitors may enter one or both. For the purpose of this text we refer to the Betterball competition but the format is identical for the Individual competition with the exception of stroke allowance – see below.

    The playing format is Betterball or Individual matchplay whereby the player who scores the lowest net score on a particular hole will win that hole. At the end of each match the winning team will progress to the next round and the losing team are eliminated from the competition.

    Play commences in June with a maximum of four rounds played between June and September. After four rounds the winning pair in each region will qualify for their Regional Final in October. There are usually seven Regional Finals - one in Scotland and six throughout England - held at top class courses.

    The top 2, 3 or 4 pairs from each Regional Final, depending on the number of pairs taking part on the day, qualify for the Grand Final in Portugal. At least 44 competitors qualify for the Grand Final at Vale do Lobo, Algarve, Portugal.

  • Who can enter?

    The competition is open to all male and female golfers who are a member of a CONGU affiliated golf club in England, Scotland or Wales.

    Each competitor must have a ‘Competition Status’ (active) handicap issued by a CONGU affiliated golf club and their handicap must remain ‘Competition Status’ for the duration of the competition.

    Each competitor must have played in a minimum of three handicap qualifying competitions between June 1st 2016 and May 12th 2017 at the golf club at which their handicap is managed.

    For the purpose of this rule supplementary scores are not classed as qualifying scores.

    Handicap limits are 24 for men and 30 for ladies. Golfers with higher handicap may enter and play off these limits.

    Better ball teams may be mixed and players may come from different clubs.

    Golfers under 18 yrs may compete in the Better Ball competition but MUST be partnered by an adult. Competitors in the Individual competition MUST be 18 yrs and over.

    Closing date for entries is Friday 12th May 2017.

  • How much is the entry fee?

    The entry fee for the Better-Ball competition is £50 per pair and for the Individual competition £25 per person.

  • Where are the matches played?

    After the closing date a Draw is made on a regional basis to minimise travelling for competitors.

    Each pair will have nominated a home course where they will play their home matches. The draw is based on the post code of the home club and each draw contains 16 pairs including the names, handicaps, golf clubs and contact details of all 16 pairs.

    Each pair is allocated a reference code including a number and letter A – P, for example 012A, 012B etc. In the first round pair A play pair B, C play D, E play F etc etc.

    In the first round the pair drawn at the top in each match, that is, A,C,E,G,I,K,M,O will play at home. In the first round it is the responsibility of both pairs to contact each other to arrange a date to play the match.

    In subsequent rounds the pair who are first to record their result will have home advantage in the next round.

    In subsequent rounds it is the responsibility of the away team to contact the home team to arrange a date and time to play the match.

  • Complimentary or reduced green fees?

    Every competitor in the tournament must be a current member of a golf club so that they can offer their opponents a Member’s Guest green fee. Courtesy of the course is often granted but not guaranteed and any green fees payable will be charged at the member's guest rate and shared equally between each competitor:

    For example, if two players need to pay a green fee and the member's guest green fee is £20 then each player in the fourball will pay £10 each ( 2 x £20 / 4 = £10).

    One of the most popular reasons for entering the tournament is that it provides an opportunity to play competitive golf on different courses for a fraction of the normal green fee.

  • How are matches arranged?

    At the start of June the regional draws are published on the website. Competitors can view the details of the other pairs in their regional draw including their names, handicaps, telephone numbers, emails and golf clubs.

    Matches are arranged by the competitors on a mutually convenient date and time. A period of at least 4 weeks is allocated to complete each round.

    In the first round it is the responsibility of both pairs to contact each other to arrange a date to play the match.

    In subsequent rounds it is the responsibility of the away team to contact the home team to arrange a date and time to play the match.

  • How are the strokes worked out?

    Better Ball - Strokes will be taken on the basis of 9/10 of the handicap difference and taken from the lowest handicap of the fourball. (See ‘Explanation’ under Rule 14 & 15 in Better Ball Rules)

    Singles – Strokes are taken on the basis of the FULL handicap difference.

    The maximum permitted playing handicap is 24 for men and 30 for ladies.

    In addition to their normal stroke allowance ladies will also receive the difference between the men’s and ladies’ PAR from the tees to be used. These extra shots are added to the ladies handicap AFTER 9/10 of the difference is calculated. (See ‘Explanation’ under Betterball Rules – Handicap & Stroke Allowance – Rules 5 & 6 )