Pitch and Putt is a Golf specialty, with an equivalent form of play, based on the same R&A St.Andrews Golf Rules, being played in smaller courses, played faster, with a smaller number of golf clubs and sometimes having synthetic grass, tees and greens.
“Pitch & Putt” is a term used in golfing circles and the meaning can change according to the context. The most commonly accepted usage is when referring to a structure: a pitch & putt course is a short golf course, often close to a town centre, where players come on a pay and play basis, renting a ball and one or two clubs, often to play with the children.
Most English towns had one in the mid-20th Century but many have since disappeared as the land gained in value and interest in the activity declined. Activity on these courses was almost exclusively recreational and pitch & putt was not considered as a sport.
Pitch & Putt as a competitive, structured sport emerged in Ireland in the 1940’s, mainly in Munster, and the rules of the game played in the Cork area, with one club and a putter, were adopted when PPUI was founded in 1960. The sport rapidly became popular and communities, factories, businesses and even hospitals built courses and founded clubs all over Ireland. Interest peaked towards the end of the last century and PPUI looked to international development to regenerate interest.
Pitch & Putt is an competitive sport derived from golf. Internationally, the maximum length of a hole is 90 metres with a maximum total course length of 1200 metres. Players may use three clubs; one of which must be a putter. The game is often played from raised artificial teeing surfaces using a tee and it has its own handicap system, distinct from golf.
Pitch & Putt is an excellent sport, suitable for people of all ages and abilities; it is “affordable golf” played by beginners, juniors, occasional golfers, families wanting to play golf together, seniors who find walking a full golf course a strain, golfers wanting to play a quick round, experienced and advanced golfers wanting to improve their short game, and, of course, for specialist pitch and putt golfers. Playing is believing.
Apart from the restriction on the number of clubs, Pitch & Putt, when played in IPPA competitions, follows the regulations of standard golf as set down in the Rules of Golf as published by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrew’s, R&A, and the United States Golf Association, USGA.
IPPA, founded in 2009, now has near 30 member countries and it is recognized and supported by the R&A of St Andrews.
IPPA is the only international body with the following characteristics and ambitions:
- Member associations or federations represent a country with UN status
- A country is represented by a single body
- The association may be a Pitch & Putt section of a national golf federation
- Members recognize that Pitch & Putt is defined by the criteria above and the term must not be used loosely, to avoid creating confusion