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Planning And Running Golf Events – The Formats…

By Author: Ian Mullins
Total Articles: 7

Few other things to consider…
-Ensure you explain the format and rules clearly at your briefing
-Confirm each 4 Ball has a captain to make rulings
-Allow for time issues e.g. will you have enough time on the day for particular format
So there it is just a few ideas on how to make your golf events or charity golf days more fun!

You’ve volunteered to run a Golf Event or Charity Golf Day and you’re now wondering, what is the best format to use in order to make golf events a success.

No doubt, you already know who you will be raising monies for, you have sourced you Raffle and Auction prizes but how do you decide which is the most appropriate playing format for your golf day?

Firstly, consider the time available, is it a whole day or just an afternoon. Secondly, ensure that those attending are willing to play new formats. Thirdly, make sure you do your homework, as many golfers will assume they know the rules, when they don’t! (That’s golfers for you!).
Here we outline just some of the options available to you….
N.B. Each format listed below may have its own variations, so this is by no means the definitive list:

1 – Gross/Strokeplay
This format is the purest form of scoring and is based on the lowest Gross score posted on the day, minus your Handicap e.g. Gross Score 96 – My Handicap (17) = 79 Nett
Pros – Rewards lower handicapper
Cons – Means every hole has to be finished, causing time issues

2 – Stableford

Traditional format used at Golf events and Charity golf days. Here you apply you handicap hole by hole taking into account the SSS (Standard Scratch Score) per hole as designated by CONGU.
Pros – Rewards the mid to higher handicapper
Cons – Requires time and effort checking each card hole by hole


3 – Foursomes
A traditional format used in the Ryder Cup, this format is also known by name “Alternate Shot”. Here you are paired with another golfer and you only use one ball between you. One player drives off and then each player takes it in turn to move the ball forward until the hole is finished.
Pros – Superb Fun and speeds up the day, as fewer shots are being recorded overall
Cons – Can leave some feeling like they have only played half a round

4 – 4 Ball/Better Ball (4BBB)
This format of the game is also used in the Ryder Cup, this format forces you to work as a team on the fairways and greens but you still play you own ball. The best Stableford/Strokeplay score of the pair is recorded. This means you are playing to win the game hole by hole.
Pros – Means each player can concentrate on their own game but enjoy team spirit
Cons – Can mean the better plays dominate the scoring

5 – Texas scramble
Arguably the most fun you can have playing golf. However, this format is best suited to an afternoon timetable, after the main event of Strokeplay or Stableford has been completed.
Here, you are spilt into teams of two or four and each plays is allowed a minimum of 2 drives (over 9 holes) or 4 drives (over 18 holes).
Each player takes their drive and the team select, what they believe to be their best drive (ensuring each player adheres to the above rules). All players then play from this spot. Again their preferred shot is picked and so and so on y=until the ball is in the hole. Your collective group score is recorded. Handicaps are obsolete in this format.
Pros – A real team game and one that allows you to go for every shot
Cons – Can’s think of any, we love this game!!

6 – Yellow Ball
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a ‘Yellow Ball’ but just as long as it is not white (!). Each two ball or four ball is given a ‘Yellow Ball’. Each player uses this ball (instead of their own) in rotation.
You record your individual score (with the Yellow Ball) on your scorecard and the team Captain also records this score on his Team card.
Once the ‘Yellow Ball’ is lost, you return to playing your own white ball as normal. The team that manages to get the ball around the course in the lowest Gross/Stableford score wins.
However, it’s higher unlikely that most teams will lose the ball at some stage during their round.

Pros – A very entertaining team game that adds some pressure to proceedings
Cons – Can get confusing if you don’t explain it clearly to the captain in each group

The Social Golfer is an online golf community (TSG) helping people to find partners and societies. They are also into helping people join the local golf games and events. Different golf societies and golf groups are also run by them. They can help you track your scores, establish a handicap certificate and can also help you to locate more than 25000 local and worldwide golf courses. For more information refer their website https://www.thesocialgolfer.com and can even call them on 01277 – 200207.

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