The Federation of International Pitch and Putt Associations (FIPPA) and European Pitch & Putt Association (EPPA) today (20th January 2008) reiterate that Pitch and Putt played internationally is defined as having the following key characteristics:

  • Distance
    • Length of hole maximum 90 metres
    • Length of 18 holes course maximum 1,200 metres
  • Number of clubs
    • maximum 3 - one of which must be a putter
  • Tees
    • Designated teeing ground - This may be constructed of grass or synthetic or other artificial material
    • The ball must always be played off the defined teeing ground by placing it on a tee
  • Specific Pitch and Putt Handicap System

FIPPA and EPPA explicitly insist that Pitch and Putt and golf are separate sports. Most golf authorities and golf federations recognize this distinction, as witnessed by specific declarations by the R&A (29/7/98), the Italian Golf Federation (25/09/00), the EGA (8/10/02) and the English Golf Union (28/3/04). FIPPA and EPPA have always declared Pitch and Putt to be a separate and autonomous game. This is, and will remain one of our fundamental principles and a key point of our existence as a sport.

Founded in 2000, EPPA organises the European Pitch and Putt championships and facilitates international competition between its eleven members – Federació Andorrana de Pitch and Putt, Federació Catalana de Pitch and Putt, Danish Pitch and Putt Union, Association Francaise des Pitch and Putt, British Pitch and Putt Association, Nederlandse Pitch and Putt Bond, Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland, Federazione Italiana Pitch and Putt, Norges Pitch & Putt Forbund, Federazione San Marinese Pitch and Putt and the Swiss Pitch and Putt Association. The world body of Pitch and Putt, FIPPA, was formed in 2006. FIPPA has fifteen existing members (the eleven listed above along with the Australian Pitch and Putt Association and Federacion Chilean de Pitch and Putt together with the Canadian Pitch and Putt Association and the Chinese Pitch and Putt Association, who both joined us in 2007) and many more aspiring members.

Today, FIPPA has officially launched the first set of printed Pitch and Putt rules and is now actively appointing an official panel of Pitch and Putt referees. Those Pitch and Putt rules will be used in all international Pitch and Putt competitions and championships.

FIPPA has launched a ten year calendar of world and continental championships and is also actively working on the production of appropriate criteria for a bidding process for the hosting of these major international events.

Evolution of Pitch & Putt

Pitch and Putt as an organised and independent sport developed mainly in Ireland since the 1940s. Traditionally in Ireland, the holes measure up to 70 metres (with a total length of maximum 1,000 metres) and the players may only use an iron and a putter. The game is played from raised artificial teeing surfaces using a tee and it has its own handicap system.

As Pitch and Putt developed in other territories, the distances and number of clubs are, in some cases, somewhat different as far as local competitions are concerned. Nevertheless for international competitions, compromise rules apply as per the Definition section – International Pitch and Putt defined.

In all cases Pitch and Putt has its own handicap system and applies the FIPPA Rules with the exceptions that are specifically approved in each country. The Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland has a comprehensive set of Pitch and Putt specific rules.

Recognition from the world of golf

Extract from a letter from the Rules Committee of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrew’s (R&A) 29/7/98

“… the Rules of Golf Committee’s preference is for your rules to mirror those of the Rules of Golf insofar as it is possible …”

“… Obviously it will be necessary for you to maintain the condition restricting the number of clubs …”

“… the Committee is very supportive of your initiative and is in agreement with your views that Pitch and Putt is not only a good game in itself but is an excellent introduction to the ‘longer ‘ game …”

Extract from a letter from the European Golf Association (EGA) of 8/10/02

“… The European Golf Association is hereby glad to recognise the separateness of Pitch and Putt as a sport …”

“… the European Golf Association is supportive of your initiative and is in agreement with your views that Pitch and Putt is not only a good game in itself but is an excellent introduction to the game of golf …”

The European Pitch and Putt Association has a good relationship with golf but we have and want to maintain a separate and independent organization.