Match Play Gets some Play in Santa Cruz

We’re trying to start small with some ‘club vs. club’ match play this Sunday at DeLa. The Hellyerites (or Hellyerians?) are bringing a team over the hill Sunday to compete in a match play event against us Santa Cruzans for 18 holes of singles and 18 holes of doubles match play. When San Jose team captain Mike Miller mentioned it to players from other clubs at the recent Otter Open, he heard repeatedly ‘we want in,’ and that’s exactly what we hope this eventually becomes: a four or five team club vs. club annual or semi-annual event.

For now though it’s just two 8-player teams (2 open players, 2 masters, two AM-1′s and two Am Masters players). If you’re interested in checking it out, we’re planning to tee off around 8:45 AM on Sunday. For those that don’t already know, match play is a form of competition where (in the singles format) a player from one team goes head-to-head against someone from the other team. Rather than cumulative scoring, though, each hole is worth a point. It’s like skins, but ties on the hole don’t carry over to the next hole. So if two players in a match both get pars on the first five holes, then player A birdies hole 6 and player B pars it, player A now is “Up 1″ in the match. It’s especially challenging since normally in golf we condition outselves to try to block out what the other players are doing, in match players we make shot decisions based in large part on what the other guy just did or might do. Match play also lends itself well to the team concept, which should make Sunday both fun and interesting.

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