Ok...here's a chance to have as much fun as you like with the concept that you give shots in matchplay...or in the example that all the scratch players love..."pennant" (quotation marks used to placate the wounded who would exclude me using that term with the word "handicap").
I like the idea of scratch matchplay...irrespective of the standard...so that opponents that are in a handicap range (say 0-5, 6-10, etc) play each other off the stick, regardless of their own personal handicap differences on the day. Clubs would always tend to pick the players at the lower end of the handicap range to maximise their advantage.
So...on the basis that not all matchplay is scratch...when should shots be given?
The matchplay index is ok...at least it spreads the number of shots evenly through the match...but it is a bit random. You can give shots on the easiest holes to a player of almost equal skill.
The stroke index, or the hardest holes...in my opinion...ridiculous...as if you're off 7, your opponent is off 9...it makes no sense to me that you would have to give shots on the 2 hardest holes...as they're still the 2 hardest holes for you, too.
Personally...I think the best way to allocate shots in the previous example, would be for the player off 7 to give the player off 9 shots on the stroke index holes rated 8 and 9...i.e. where they would get them in a stableford round over their opponent.
Most of this has been prompted by some matchplay discussion in the rules threads...let's keep this amongst the "normals" and agree between us that I'm not looking for a ruling here...just people's thoughts as to the best way to apply logic to the question posed.
Thanks for reading.