Par level students need to know and understand the difference between stroke play and match play. Today, the most common type of golf is stroke play. This is where a group of golfers play their own ball for one or more rounds and count all strokes. The lowest total score is the winner.
Match play is different. It involves only two golfers at a time, competing head-to-head. The player with the fewest strokes on a hole wins it, or they might tie (called a "halve.") The scoring is different as well. If your opponent has won three holes, and you have won five holes, you would be "2 up," and your opponent is "2 down."
Also, match play can end before 18 holes are complete if there are not enough holes remaining for the golfer who is down to catch up. For example, if your opponent is "3 down with 2 to play," the match is over. Or, if you are down the same number of holes that you have left (2 down with 2 to play,) you are called "dormie," which means you must win both remaining holes to tie.
Match play is fun because you can have a few bad holes and still be in contention to win. Try it with your friends!