KEV

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As I sit here preparing for my 2nd round match in our league Championship I got to thinking about strategy in match play events. I'm giving 12 strokes tomorrow which is something I've never had to do.

With that I thought it could be fun to pick THPer's brains and see what tips you all have? Do you play different whether you're opponent is giving you strokes or on the flip side if you have to give them strokes? Any strategies that have been successful for you? Let's here them THP!
 

Smiter

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Grip it and rip it! Lol.

With 12 strokes he’s going to win some holes. 12 for 9 holes or 18?

If 18 you need to take the holes where he’s not giving you one, like 5 out of 6. Is he inconsistent? If that’s the case don’t make up your mind on how you are going to play the hole until you see what he does. Pops one OOB, hit your 7i off the tee and make a bogey. Or whatever you know you can hit straight. I’ll assume you’re longer off the tee then him, so be watching second shots. Use all data. Your goal is to win the hole, not necessarily birdie it. Nothing wrong with a tap in bogey to win a hole.
 

mikeg_74

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Play your game and manage the course. Giving up that many pops you can’t afford to get greedy bc one wrong swing can start a downhill slide.

pay attention to your opponents body language and capitalize. Make him putt everything and be prepared to putt everything.
 
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Snickerdog

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Make him putt everything until he shows that the putter is on fire. Then maybe give him a 3 footer, then the next time make him putt it out. Accept that he will win some holes and will get lucky on a few.
I would say if you are giving 12 strokes you should be able to take him with out much issue unless he gets hot.
 
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KEV

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Grip it and rip it! Lol.

With 12 strokes he’s going to win some holes. 12 for 9 holes or 18?

If 18 you need to take the holes where he’s not giving you one, like 5 out of 6. Is he inconsistent? If that’s the case don’t make up your mind on how you are going to play the hole until you see what he does. Pops one OOB, hit your 7i off the tee and make a bogey. Or whatever you know you can hit straight. I’ll assume you’re longer off the tee then him, so be watching second shots. Use all data. Your goal is to win the hole, not necessarily birdie it. Nothing wrong with a tap in bogey to win a hole.
It’s going to be 18 holes. I don’t know the guy but I guess he's an older guy which would have him playing a tee ahead of me so distance off the tee might be close.

Good stuff Smiter!
 

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Just try to play steady. You very well may lose some holes by making pars or even tying holes where you make a birdie. It’s very easy to get frustrated in those situations but the reality is he is getting that many strokes for a reason (assuming his cap is legit) and he will likely have several blow up holes. Need to capitalize on those. Steady golf often wins match play in my experience.

I would expect some momentum swings too with that many strokes in play, so try to stay mentally tough.
 

KEV

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Make him putt everything until he shows that the putter is on fire. Then maybe give him a 3 footer, then the next time make him putt it out. Accept that he will win some holes and will get lucky on a few.
I would say if you are giving 12 strokes you should be able to take him with out much issue unless he gets hot.
Awesome. I'm taking these notes for when you and I play someday too 😁.
 

Snickerdog

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KEV

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Nate

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Fairways & greens......rinse & repeat. Don’t care what club you are hitting off the tee. Hit the fairways. Hit greens. Put pressure on him w/ consistent play. You’ve got this.
 

ArmyGolf

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1) As the significantly lower cap, be very stingy with gimmes. If he wants 3 footers given, he needs to give you 4 footers. You're happy to putt out alllll day long.
2) You're giving 12, so if he has a really good day there is nothing you can do (net birdies are 10000x easier to make than real ones), but don't let a few losses to net birdie get you down. If his cap is legit odds are he won't keep that up.

3) Have some dirty tricks ready to go if he turns out to be a gamer. (I only say this because some of our leagues here are full of absolute sharks haha)
 

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I had a whole response written, but I actually disgusted myself in the writing.

So I'll just say hit fairways. They're like strike one. All your odds go up immediately.
 

Snowman

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I'd be thinking along these lines:

1) Keep an eye on his game, and the progress of the round, and tailor your strategy accordingly.

2) On the holes where he doesn't get pops, play steady/conservative and put the pressure on him to pull off something spectacular to beat you. Don't hand him the hole on a platter by hitting low percentage shots you don't need to attempt.

3) On the holes where he gets pops, if he's playing the hole steady and it looks like he has a good chance to win it, play aggressively and use your better skills to your advantage - keep the pressure on him and hope he can't pull off the shots if he tries to match your strategy. Going for broke on those holes might get you a halve or a win, or at worst it results in losing the hole (which is of no consequence if it was probably going to happen anyway).

4) In both #2 and #3, keep #1 in mind. If he makes a mistake, it gives you some breathing room; if he's on fire (or sandbagging you), maybe you have to be a little more aggressive. If you have a decent lead on him as the round progresses, you can play to halve rather than having to play to win. If you're 3 or 4 up, halving holes isn't going to do him any good and it's not going to hurt you.


I'm looking at it from the perspective of the guy getting the pops, because you'd be giving up nearly the same number of strokes to me, and I'm not a sandbagger - I'm legitimately that bad! :LOL: Having that pressure put on me would probably result in me trying to outplay my skill level and make costly mistakes. I'm not capable of steady, boring "fairways and greens" golf, so unless you were having a bad day I'd have to count on pulling off some serious hero shots to keep up. Having to play that kind of golf would have me out of my comfort zone pretty quickly.
 

tequila4kapp

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Just try to play steady. You very well may lose some holes by making pars or even tying holes where you make a birdie. It’s very easy to get frustrated in those situations but the reality is he is getting that many strokes for a reason (assuming his cap is legit) and he will likely have several blow up holes. Need to capitalize on those. Steady golf often wins match play in my experience.

I would expect some momentum swings too with that many strokes in play, so try to stay mentally tough.
Fairways & greens......rinse & repeat. Don’t care what club you are hitting off the tee. Hit the fairways. Hit greens. Put pressure on him w/ consistent play. You’ve got this.
These guys nailed it ^^^^^^
 

DataDude

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A 20ish handicapper is going to have some bad shots. When he does, make sure you make him pay. Giving 12 strokes you will lose a hole that you played well on. Don't dwell on that, move on and stay engaged. Most of all have fun.
 

MikeF

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Me, personally, I would just play my own game and ignore him and what he is doing. Just let the holes take care of themselves. No need to be worrying about giving him a stroke ona hole

Pars will win you holes all day long, even if you are giving strokes against a higher handicapper
 

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Me, personally, I would just play my own game and ignore him and what he is doing. Just let the holes take care of themselves. No need to be worrying about giving him a stroke ona hole

Pars will win you holes all day long, even if you are giving strokes against a higher handicapper
Best advice in the thread.

Ignore him.

Sure, if he OBs and then you follow that with an OB it looks like a foolish move but if you spend the round tallying his score and where he is on each hole, he'll bleed you out slowly.

Ignore him, you're a single digit handicap, play your game.
 
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Knot Right

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As I sit here preparing for my 2nd round match in our league Championship I got to thinking about strategy in match play events. I'm giving 12 strokes tomorrow which is something I've never had to do.

With that I thought it could be fun to pick THPer's brains and see what tips you all have? Do you play different whether you're opponent is giving you strokes or on the flip side if you have to give them strokes? Any strategies that have been successful for you? Let's here them THP!
If I am giving that many strokes, I'll play (Fairways-Greens-2Putts) and wait for them to eat themselves. They almost always will.

I play the same way if I am getting strokes because I know my opponent is probably expecting me to fold up like a cheap lawn chair at some point. My strategy is to just stay with him. If he's not disciplined, he's going to make a unwise move sooner or later trying to shake me off.

Match play is always about the fewest mistakes.
 
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NEhomer

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Actually, giving 12 strokes doesn't scare me because I'm much better than him. Giving 2 doesn't scare me because they might not come into play at all. 4 strokes scares me because that's a lot to give to a player who's nearly my equal.
 

Hamfist

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After each, solid shot you make, look at him for anywhere from a quick glance and small smile, to a good long 2-second one. This will have one of two reactions: his insecurities will start to whisper to him, or, he will see the challenge and not be able to stick with his game plan, and try to over hit shots.
The results are the same, he falls apart.
Or, he may play the round of his life and stomp you.
Hard to tell.
 

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If his handicap is trending down and your giving twelve shots short of a bad day for him it will be a difficult match. I always hate playing anyone in match play who is getting better and has put up good scores for a month or so. If he is an 18-20 and has recently been playing like an 18-20 there should be plenty of opportunities to win holes.

When I play better players in match play I hate to play the guys who are content to make stress free pars, keep the ball in play, not shoot at risky pins etc. The guys who get twisted up about how many strokes they are giving up, think they need to make 3 or 4 birdies, go for every par 5 no matter what are much more beatable....
 

GoldenBuff

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I'm largely unexperienced with golf competition. So no useful feedback. My flippant idea would be to bring up Facebook or similar and see if you can spark some social media angst. :rolleyes:

More importantly: best of luck to you. I have no doubt you will play very well! The power of THP will be with you too. (y)
 

GenErr

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Play your game and enjoy the round.
But keep track of his score on every hole. Even honest golfers lose track of a wayward shot every once in a while and often forget to count a shot. If you're giving 12 shots you can't afford to give anything away.
 

Smiter

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Well, how did it go?
 

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