Danny Arvanitis tee

Daniel Arvanitis of Derryfield Country Club tees off on the 9th hole during Friday's Stroke Play Championship at Montcalm Golf Club in Enfield.

WHAT’S the best format to determine a winner in an amateur golf tournament: match play or stroke play?

Perhaps the biggest difference between the formats is this: Match play is more forgiving. Making an 8 on a hole doesn’t remove a golfer from contention in match play like it could in stroke play. With match play, it doesn’t matter if you lose the hole with a par or a triple bogey. The penalty is the same.

The New Hampshire Golf Association uses both formats for its tournament schedule. After two days of qualifying (stroke play), the NHGA Amateur Championship shifts to match play for the tournament’s final four days. The championship match features 36 holes of match play.

Then there’s the Stroke Play Championship, which wrapped up Friday at Montcalm Golf Club in Enfield. That tournament was 54 holes of stroke play (plus a one-hole playoff), down from 72 holes in past years. It’s one of many NHGA tournaments that’s decided strictly by stroke play.

Here are some opinions on match play vs. stroke play from golfers who competed in this year’s State Am as well as the Stroke Play Championship:

Pat Pelletier: “I think four rounds of stroke play gives you your best player. I only shot 1-under (in the second round of the Stroke Play tournament), but I probably would have beaten everyone except one or two golfers if it were match play.

“I’m a big believer that the cream rises to the top over four rounds of stroke play, but you can get a lot of exciting matches in match play. I think that’s why the USGA likes it (match play).”

Dan Arvanitis: “For New Hampshire, where the little guy can win, it’s match play. No question. We have 64 guys make match play (in the State Am) and it gives you that Cinderella story that anyone can win. Stroke play, you’re gonna get the best player. There’s no doubt. The Cinderella kid is not going to win in stroke play. With match play, it’s like the NCAAs in basketball. Anybody can knock anybody off one time.”

Jim Cilley: “Match play is how the USGA does it and I think I would defer to them on what’s the best. I kind of like the way we do our State Amateur. Let’s face it, you have to have a little bit of luck to win the amateur, but typically at the end of the week the guy who’s played the best wins. With match play, you’re still identifying the best golfer. Stroke play is tough because if you make a bad swing you could end up in a spot where you make a big number and then you’re out of the tournament.

“It’s a consistency thing. With match play, you could make a 10 or a 3 and lose the hole and it doesn’t matter. I think the ability to make up for a bad hole is a good thing.”

Current tournament dates and locations for NHIAA golf this fall:


Division I

Oct. 13: Mt. Washington Golf Club

Oct. 17: Beaver Meadow Golf Course

Division II

Oct. 15: Keene Country Club

Oct. 17: Beaver Meadow Golf Course

Division III

Oct. 13: Derryfield Country Club

Oct. 17: Beaver Meadow Golf Course

Division IV

Oct. 15: Kingswood Country Club

Oct 17: Beaver Meadow Golf Course


Oct. 3: Campbell’s Scottish Highlands


A qualifier for the New England Senior Amateur will be held Aug. 27 at Keene Country Club. This year’s Senior Am will be played Sept. 15-16 at Mt. Washington Resort and Golf Club. There will be a field of 120 for the tournament, which is open to amateur golfers 55 or older who have an active GHIN Handicap Index at any member club of a New England state golf association that does not exceed 12.0.


The Boscawen Old Home Day Golf Classic will be held Thursday at the Den Brae Golf Resort in Sanbornton. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with a popgun start at 9 a.m. The cost for a foursome is $360 and includes breakfast, 18 holes of golf with cart followed by a barbecue and an awards presentation. Registration and sponsorship forms are available at www.townofboscawen.org.


Green Meadow Golf Club’s Priscilla Sinclair recorded a hole-in-one Aug. 7 on Green Meadow’s par-3 third hole (Prairie course). Sinclair used a 5-wood. …

Concord’s Jerry Madden made the first hole-in-one of his career during a Twilight Match at Concord Country Club on Aug. 6. Madden used an 8-iron from the white tees (149 yards) on the par-3 16th hole. The shot was witnessed by Concord’s Dan Swacha, Bow’s Mike Becker and Canterberry’s John Udaloy.


Hooksett’s Rich Berberian Jr. was 10-over-par through two rounds at TPC Harding Park and failed to make the cut at last weekend’s PGA Championship. Berberian, the director of golf instruction at Vesper Country Club in Tyngsboro, Mass., is one of 20 club professionals who competed in the tournament. He graduated from Pinkerton Academy.

Golf calendar

Aug. 19-20: NHGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship (Pease GC)

Sept. 8-9: NHGA Senior Amateur Championship (Atkinson Resort & CC)

Sept. 15-16: New England Senior Amateur (Mt. Washington Resort & GC)

Sept. 27-28: Mid-Amateur Team Championship (Mt. Washington Resort & GC)

Sept. 27-28: Senior Four-Ball Championship (Mt. Washington Resort & GC)