Teeing Off Your Tournament With The Right Format

best golf tournament formatsThe difference between hosting an average tournament and the greatest tourney the green has ever seen all comes down to the right format. There are many variations on how you can play the game, and some play better than others. Several factors to take into consideration when choosing the right format include:

  • Team Size– The format you choose can be used to better pace your tournament, helping amateurs keep up and keep pros from slowing down.
  • Handicap– To equalize the field, handicaps are essential for allowing players of all skillsets to enjoy the game and contribute to their team’s success.
  • Level of Competition– Are your golfers attending the tournament to “compete” or are they there to compete? Certain formats allow individuals to track their individual success as well as that of their team.

The 3 Most Popular Golf Tournament Formats:

It Takes a Village (Scramble): Following a “follow the leader” type format, Scramble is played by having your team count the group’s best swing as its next. So, when your team tees off, the ball that lands closest to the hole is where your group next collectively swings from, and so forth. This format is truly a team effort. It helps pace the game if your team’s weaker golfers are having issues, and it also drums up sportsmanship, getting you excited about each and every player’s shot. Scramble is usually played in foursomes and organized fairly, based on ability.

There is an I in Team (Bestball): The Bestball format showcases team and individual talent simultaneously. Each golfer plays his or her ball. At the end of the hole, the golfer with lowest score (AKA “best ball”) has their score counted as the team’s score. So, if Rory McIlroy is on your team, you can bet your team is in for a great day. This format is great for more competitive players, who want to track their individual success throughout the tournament. Not to mention their ability to standout with each and every hole they claim as best ball. When playing Bestball, it is important to factor in your team’s handicaps. This way, the weaker players may be able to contribute and help your team. They may even stand a chance to claim best ball on a hole or two. While it may be played in teams of threes and fours, smaller tournaments may play a version of Bestball called Four-ball, where two teams of two compete against each other.

Dynamic Duos Wanted (Alternate Shot): Perfect for teams of two, Alternate Shot is a tournament format where players take turns swinging. So if Golfer 1 drives the ball, Golfer 2 swings where it lands, and Golfer 1 resumes on the third stroke. At the start of the game, players choose whether to drive on odd or even holes. Alternate Shot is fast-paced with a heavy focus on teamwork. It was made popular by the Ryder Cup, a competition held every year between golfers in the US and Europe.

In addition to the formats above, there are many more in the wide world of golf that you may consider for your tournament. Choose wisely and be sure to invite your tournament’s participants to use the Striker Golf GPS app for an enhanced golfing experience.