Looking for a fun competition format for a new 9-hole weekly golf league? Consider the mixture of team and individual competitions that we call “Me and Us”. If your club participates in the USGA’s GHIN handicap service, then you have access to the Tournament Management/Golf Genius (TM/GG) software that makes complex leagues easy to manage.
Every week everybody is randomly* assigned to a foursome. That foursome is your team for the week. At the same time you’re competing as an individual against everyone else playing that week, including your teammates.
Your team/foursome competes in a weekly best-ball tournament against the other teams. But you don’t stop playing on any hole just because you know your score isn’t going to help your team. Why? Because you’re also in an individual tournament against the rest of the league’s members.
Handicaps can be applied to either or both competitions. Using TM/GG means you don’t have to worry about how many strokes you get on this hole or that hole – just enter your hole-by-hole scores into the system at the end of the round and TM/GG quickly computes your winners.
The team best-ball competition can be (and, to be honest, probably should be) “best balls” – use the best 2 or 3 scores per hole. Or use a “progressive” system, where you use the one best ball on par 5’s, two balls on par 4’s and three balls on par 3’s. Or any combination that works best for your group and your course. The goal is to get some variety in your weekly winners. And TM/Golf Genius makes it easy to implement any of these options. Just enter everybody’s scores at the end of the round and the software takes care of the rest.
You may want to “flight” your league members into A/B/C/D groups and let TM/GG create weekly foursomes with one member of each flight per team. This will eliminate having all your best players on the same team. The downside is that your A players will never get to play together, nor will your B’s, C’s and D’s. Good news: if you choose to use this method, Tournament Manager can handle it, just set it up once at the beginning of the season.
What are we playing for, Johnny?
The simplest option is to have two pools, everybody contributes to the pool for the team competition and the individual competition. Once again, TM/GG makes it easy to specify the breakdown of your prizes and computes the distribution.
You can also specify points to award to top finishers. Set up a “tournament” that spans your season and TM/GG can track your season-long points champion. Maybe throw a portion of each week’s prize pool into something to give “The Season’s Championship Golfer”?
* The USGA Tournament Management software (aka Golf Genius) does a great job of making sure that the foursomes change throughout the league season. When you choose to have your foursomes randomly assigned, its meticulous league scheduling algorithms make sure that you play with everyone else an equal number of times.