Everything you need to know about how the tournament works, how the scheduling and playing will work.

Last change: March 1, 2023.

Team Captain

Captain signs up via the website starting March 1, 2023.

A Captain can have any partner for any match (most will have the same partner throughout the competition, but getting the matches in is the most important goal, so changing partners is allowed)

A Captain can be replaced need be (death, disability, schedule conflict)

The replacement is made by National Match Play Administration based on available information including from the Team Captain, Partner and from the course or association that the Team Captain signed up to represent. Also, a replacement may be chosen from an existing waiting list compiled from late entrants.

Team Captains can sign up to represent any course (public or private) or association. There are 11 targeted Regions with multiple Areas per Region where we will encourage signups.

Captain’s Duties

Host team Captains schedule tee times for the match where they are Host (i.e. listed 1st on the schedule) and communicates the time and place with the opponent Captain via text or e-mail. If the communication is by phone call, it should be followed by a confirmation text or e-mail.

The Course chosen by the Host for their match must satisfy the following 4 requirements:

  1. Distance (should be within 100 miles of course where the opponent Team Captain is located).
  2. Should have a maximum cost of $80.
  3. Should have a minimum course rating and par of 68.
  4. Should be an 18-hole facility.

Note : Exceptions to one or more of the above requirements can be made with the opponent’s approval.

A record of all communications may be needed to resolve disputes if the match is unable to be scheduled so text and/or e-mail contact is recommended.

Match results

The winning captain posts the W (win) on the website plus the margin of victory. The choices for margin of visctory will be 1 up, 2 up, 2 and 1, 3 and 1, etc. There will be a drop-down box to click on for margin of victory.

Playoffs will be determined by total points. (1 point for a win and ½ point for a tie). Ties will be broken 1st by head-to-head competition and then by margin of victory.

National Match Play Administration will award a point or a half point, for any matches not played based on their sole determination.

National Match Play Administration will also resolve other disputes regarding all facets of the match (e.g., USGA rules). If there is a rules interpretation that affects a hole, play two balls (one under each teams’ rule assertion) and, if the hole result ultimately affects the outcome, Team Captains should submit the scenario to the National Match Play Administration for a ruling. Include photos and videos if they will help in the ruling decision.


All match participants must have the GHIN app downloaded from the USGA and present their low index shown on the app at the 1st tee along with their Drivers License to determine handicap and designated tee.

The handicap to use will be the Rounded Low Index (RLI). (i.e., a low index of 18.1 will play to an 18 and an 18.5 will play to a 19).

The maximum allowed difference between a Team Captain and Partner will be 10. So, if the low RLI is 2 and the partner is a 14, they will need to play to a 12 (before designated tee adjustment).

Designated tees – Each course will have a front, middle and back tee (if the course has more than 3 men’s tees, the Host Captain decides which 3 consecutive tees are in play).

Ladies use the same system but play from the front 3 tees (i.e., if the course has only 1 ladies’ tee, the front 2 men’s tees are in play).

Players with a combined RLI plus age of 52 or less play the back tees. Players that have a combined RLI plus age equal to 53-72 play the middle tees. Players with a combined RLI plus age equal to 73 and above play the front tees. If a course only has 2 tees, the RLI for the 73+ will have 2 added and play from the front tees with the 53-72.

Players can play any tee they want. For each level they move forward, subtract 3 from your RLI to arrive at an adjusted RLI. For each level they move back, add 2 to your RLI.

The maximum adjusted or unadjusted RLI is 36.

Matches are 2-man best ball net of handicap (adjusted RLI).

Play Formats

Play Groups will be from 3 to 12 team groups.

All groupings will be announced at least 2 weeks before play is to commence.

The 1st level should be a maximum of 6 matches played over a 2 month period.

3-team groups will have 4 Pool play matches and play each team twice in a Home & Away Match. The 1st place team will Host 2nd place team in the final.

4-team groups have 3 Pool play matches where they play all teams in their group. The 1st place team will Host the 4th place team & the 2nd place team will Host the 3rd place team in a semi-final.

5-team groups will have 4 Pool play matches play each team in the group. 1st will host 4th in a semi-final while 2nd will host 3rd in the other.

6-team groups will be divided into 2 3-team sub-groups and play 3 Pool play matches (playing the 2 teams in their sub-group and one from the other). 1st place from group A will Host 2nd place from Group B and 1st place from Group B will Host 2nd place from Group A in the semi-final.

7-team groups will involve 3 Pool play matches with the top 4 teams after pool play qualifying for the playoffs.

8 to 11-team groups will involve 3 pool play matches with Quarter finals, semi-finals and finals. 8 teams qualify for the playoffs.

12-team groups will be divided into 4 3-team sub-groups (A, B, C & D). Each team will play 3 Pool play matches playing the other 2 teams in its sub-group plus one from another sub-group (e.g. A1 will play B1, A2 will play B2, C1 will play D1, etc). The top 2 teams from each sub-group will qualify for the playoffs.


The 2023 participation fee is $200 per team ($100 per player). Teams that sign up before May 1st will receive a 50% discount.

All teams are responsible for their green fees for their matches, except for at the National Finals. The Regional winner that moves on to the National Finals will have their green fees and lodging covered by National Match Play. Lodging will be for the team based on double occupancy. There will be offsite lodging available at an added cost for partners or non-golfing guests of participants. Those partners or guests will also be able to attend the opening reception and awards buffet banquet at a nominal cost.

Teams that advance to the National Finals will need to cover their travel to get there and most meals and ground transportation while at the National Finals. NMP will cover an opening reception, all golf and lodging and a closing awards banquet buffet for the participants.


Winners will receive stay-and-play packages at resorts near their location. They will be arranged by National Match Play’s Director of Travel and Events, Lisa Balistreri.

  • 1st place: 4 nights and 4 rounds per player. 1 room per player. High season.
  • 2nd place: 3 nights and 3 rounds. High season.
  • Winner of 3rd place v 4th place: 3 nights 3 rounds mid-week.
  • Winner of 5th place v 6th place: 2 nights 2 rounds mid-week.
  • Winners of 7th v 8th, 9th v 10th and 11th v 12th will get one night stay-and-plays.

Refund policy

Each team can request and receive a full refund up to one week after the initial or subsequent change to their play schedule has been posted.

Limit to # of participating teams

The target # of teams is 144 per Region. If we get more than 144 teams, there will be a play-in match before Regional qualifying matches are scheduled to begin. For example, if 145 teams sign up, #144 will host #145. The winner advances to the Regional Qualifying. The losing team gets their participation fee refunded. If we get more than 288 teams in any Region, we will stage a 2-day playoff between the 2 winners of each group of 144 and eliminate one of the make-up weekends. Costs for that playoff will be covered by National Match Play.


  • March 1, 2023: Updated rules for the Season 2023.