Golf Needs More Match Play

When you head to the course with your buddies on the weekend, the odds are high that you will be playing some form of match play or even skins format. These formats create a match on every hole and are more exciting than standard stroke play. With regular stroke play, one bad hole can take you out of the running for getting a win but with matchplay, it’s a whole new story.

Playing match play allows you to quickly recover from one bad hole as it’s only a small setback considering every hole is worth a point. It also makes you play a different style of golf because you become persuaded to get more aggressive in a situation that you may not be aggressive in stroke play because of something your competitor is doing. We see matchplay on golf courses all across the world everyday so why don’t we see more of it on the PGA Tour?

Golf Needs More Match Play

The players on tour compete in stroke play events week after week. The biggest match play events are of course The Ryder Cup and the WGC Dell Match Play tournament. Both of these events are on a different scale because of the importance of the Ryder Cup but the WGC Dell Matchplay tournament gets a great deal of attention every year. It’s always a sight to see the best players in the world battle head to head to become the ultimate match play champion.

In my opinion, we should have more match play tournaments on the PGA Tour because it’s one of the most common format for the average golfer who are the ones watching these tournaments at the end of the day. This format makes the tournament exciting from the first tee until the last putt because every hole is a new match and a new battle. Each player is playing to stay alive and continue on. If you were to take a poll from all of the viewers that watch professional golf, I believe at least 75% would want to see more match play on tour.

One great example of a successful match play event was the famous match between Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas at the end of 2018. Phil Mickelson ended up getting the better of Tiger and took home the $9,000,000 prize. Phil ended up winning three side bets for a total of $600,000 while tiger won one side bet for $200,000. In total, there were 750,000 total recorded viewers of this event which is a massive number considering it was a pay per view event.

Golf Needs More Match Play

The match between Tiger and Phil was like the old School Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf on steroids. Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf was a one on one match play series that ran from the 1960s to the 1970s and was later started again by Jack Nicklaus in the mid 1990s. This series put the best golfers in the world in a one on one match similar to Tiger and Phil’s match. With the growth of the game of golf since Tiger came along and the vast streaming options available, a series like this in 2019 would be a fan favorite.

The Shell series was stopped because it was having a hard time competing with the other televised tournaments but with all of the online streaming sites we have at our hands now would eliminate this issue. Also, with advancements in technology, we can have ball tracers on shots and microphones among the players at any point. This gives the viewer a unique insight on the match that was not experienced before Tiger and Phil in Vegas.

I know I’m not alone when I say more match play on tour would be a positive change. Whether it’s a new match play tournament after the majors or even a an entirely new series, people would tune in to watch. This format is a favorite across the world and it creates a more exciting tournament all around. Who wouldn’t want to see Rickie Fowler vs. Justin Thomas for $1,000,000? I know I would.