Category: 

What is a Golf Playoff?

Golf crowds will be largest during a playoff during a major professional tournament.
A person playing golf.
A golf course.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
A fortune cookie company was investigated for providing the winning lottery numbers on a fortune cookie message.  more...

November 28 ,  1943 :  The key leaders of the Allied forces during World War II met for the first time in Tehran, Iran.  more...

A golf playoff is used when two or more players are tied at the end of a competition or tournament. Major tournaments have different rules for their golf playoffs. In less competitive circumstances, like a golf game between friends, winning may not matter as much so a playoff may not be necessary.

The playoffs at a US Open Tournament have the tied players return the next day and play another 18 rounds of golf to determine the winner. While this is thought of as the most fair way to settle a tie, it can cause some problems because of the logistics involved in extending the tournament for another day. It can also disturb television executives who must make quick decisions about how to change programming to show additional days.

Instead of playing another game to settle a tie, the PGA Championship and other tournaments will hold an aggregate golf playoff. An agreed upon number of holes are played, and the person with the least strokes is declared the winner of the tournament.

Both of these types of golf playoffs — a second game and an aggregate golf playoff — can end in another tie. A second tie is usually broken by a sudden death golf playoff. Players play each hole, and the first time a player wins a hole, by using less strokes than his competitor, the game is over.

Ad

Some tournaments hold a sudden death golf playoff in the first place, instead of holding a second game or an aggregate golf playoff. This has the advantage of resolving a tie quickly. Competitive friends playing a social game of golf tend to use the sudden death method as well to settle a tie.

The British Open initially used the aggregate method, but it now employs a sudden death golf playoff to determine the winner of its tournament. Conversely, the PGA Championship used to use the sudden death method but now finds the aggregate method to be a more appropriate answer to the tie.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon39426
Post 3

The Buick Open, like most PGA Tour tournaments, uses a sudden death playoff.

gramjones3
Post 2

What are the playoff rules for Buick Open?

habura
Post 1

The US Women's Open uses a 3-hole aggregate playoff. How do they settle a tie in the Masters?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email