In early January, TaylorMade Golf released their new line of SIM2 metals woods to the market.
Manitoba Territory Sales and Marketing Manager Eric Johnson met with Golf Manitoba at the Gallagher Golf Studio at the Niakwa Country Club in Winnipeg to showcase the new Sim2 line of drivers. In the video below, Eric walks us through some of the technology behind the new Sim2 driver.
With the original SIM, the company focused on reshaping the driver to deliver speed and aerodynamics at the most critical stage of the swing – those milliseconds right before impact. Embracing the evolution of design, now TaylorMade has reinvented the way drivers are constructed with an increased focus on enhanced forgiveness while maintaining speed and optimal launch conditions.
For more information on the new Sim2 line of drivers, please click HERE.
About TaylorMade Golf
Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, TaylorMade Golf is a leading manufacturer of high performance golf equipment with industry-leading innovative products like SIM2 metalwoods, SIM2 irons, P Series irons, TP5/TP5X golf balls and Spider putters. A major force on the PGA TOUR, TaylorMade has an unrivaled athlete portfolio that includes Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff, Collin Morikawa, Harry Higgs, Nick Taylor, Michael Gligic, SH Park, Charley Hull, Maria Fassi and Sierra Brooks.
TaylorMade Golf Canada is the official equipment performance partner of Golf Manitoba.
The United States Golf Association names Mike Whan its new Chief Executive
NAPLES, FL - NOVEMBER 15: LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan presents the Commissioner's Award during the LPGA Rolex Players Awards at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort on November 15, 2018 in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Feb. 17, 2021) – The USGA announced today that Mike Whan will join the organization this summer as CEO, and will become the eighth top executive in USGA history.
Last month, Whan announced his intention to step down as LPGA Commissioner in 2021, after his organization completes a search for the next Commissioner. His transition follows an impressive 11 years at the helm of the LPGA, during which the organization experienced historic growth in virtually every aspect of the business.
As USGA CEO, Whan will be responsible for leading all aspects of the association’s operations, including its core functions, essential programs, and human and financial resources. He will also represent the USGA on a variety of national and international boards.
Laurence Applebaum and Mike Whan at 2019 CP Women’s Open
“Mike Whan is a proven, successful and transformative leader, not only in the golf industry but throughout his entire career,” said USGA President Stu Francis, who oversaw the CEO search process. “He has shown a unique ability to understand how the environment is changing in global golf and how to quickly and thoughtfully adapt an organization to meet those changes. Importantly, Mike is already a trusted peer for so many key stakeholders in the industry, and his existing relationships will not only help the USGA, but will also help advance the game.”
Whan started his career at the Procter & Gamble Company in 1987, where he rose to Director of Marketing for Oral Care before leaving to pursue a passion for sports. Whan’s sports business career began at Wilson Sporting Goods as a Vice President and General Manager in the golf division. He joined the TaylorMade Golf Company as Vice President of Marketing in 1995 and later served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Executive Vice President/General Manager for Taylormade-adidas Golf. In 2002, Whan became the President and CEO of Mission Hockey, a hockey equipment company.
Since joining the Ladies Professional Golf Association in 2010, Whan increased the number of tournaments on the LPGA Tour’s schedule to 34 from 24, increased purses from $41.4 million to $76.5 million, and grew television hours from 125 hours per season, to over 500 hours. Under his leadership, the LPGA became a truly global business – with players, tournaments, sponsors and fans coming from all over the world. Currently, the LPGA Tour is televised in over 170 countries each week. Whan’s leadership resulted in the expansion of the LPGA to now include both the Symetra Tour, the recently announced joint venture with the Ladies European Tour, as well as a nearly 50% increase in LPGA’s teaching division. Whan’s focus on growing the game for junior girls has led to a significant expansion of the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program, which had 5,000 members when he joined the organization to 90,000 girls now engaged in the program.“As someone who grew up loving this game, I have always had huge respect for the USGA and its role in leading our sport,” said Whan. “The game has given me so much throughout my life, both personally and professionally. I know I have a lot to learn, but I’m truly excited about this role, as it gives me the opportunity to not only give back to the game, but to also work hard to leave it stronger.”
Current USGA CEO Mike Davis, who joined the USGA in 1990 and became the Association’s seventh executive director in 2011 and first CEO in 2016, will depart later this year to team with Tom Fazio II in a new course design venture, Fazio & Davis Golf Design.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mike Whan for many years and I view him as a trusted, strategic leader who has a proven track record of building collaborative partnerships,” said Davis. “I know the USGA will be in great hands, and I look forward to partnering with Mike to ensure a smooth and successful transition for the USGA.”
The R&A and USGA announce golf equipment research topics and proposed equipment standards changes
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 13: The Canadian Men's Amateur Championship played at Weston Golf Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 13, 2015. (Photo by Graig Abel/Graig Abel Photography)
The R&A and the USGA have re-engaged with the golf industry on the Distance Insights project, which aims to help achieve a more sustainable long-term future for golf.
2 February 2021, St Andrews, Scotland and Liberty Corner, N.J., USA: The governing bodies are issuing specific Areas of Interest to help mitigate continuing distance increases and three proposed changes to the Equipment Rules to ensure their effectiveness in relation to distance limits.
The delivery of research topics related to hitting distances and golf’s sustainability was delayed in 2020 to allow the golf industry to focus on the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Areas of Interest notice, sent yesterday to golf equipment manufacturers, follows the conclusions of the Distance Insights Report delivered last February. It is the first step of the established Equipment Rulemaking Procedures, which give the opportunity for golf’s stakeholders to provide research and perspectives on topics that might lead to equipment rules changes.
In addition, three proposals related to equipment standards were also sent to the manufacturers yesterday and have been published – two to modernise equipment testing protocols and the other to consider the adoption of a Model Local Rule that would provide flexibility for committees, if they so choose, to limit the maximum length for clubs other than putters from 48 to 46 inches. Notice and comment periods have begun immediately to invite feedback on each of the three proposals from golf industry stakeholders.
Research Topics/Areas of Interest Download Here (Research due by 2 November 2021)
The Areas of Interest notice addresses two specific Areas of Interest:
The potential use of a Local Rule that would specify the use of clubs and/or balls intended to result in shorter hitting distances. This would enable committees conducting competitions to stipulate whether such equipment should be used. It could be available at all levels of play and would also allow golfers playing outside of competition to choose for themselves.
A review of the overall conformance specifications for both clubs and balls, including specifications that both directly and indirectly affect hitting distances. This review would consider whether any existing specifications should be adjusted or any new specifications created to help mitigate continuing distance increases. It would not consider revising the overall specifications to produce substantial reductions in hitting distances at all levels of the sport. A list of club and ball specifications to be reviewed can be found in the official notice.
Stakeholders are invited to participate in the process by sharing any data or perspectives they might have on these topics by 2 November 2021.
The topics are purely areas for research. No solutions or decisions are being proposed at this stage. Any proposals for Rule changes that might result from this research will be communicated in accordance with the Equipment Rulemaking Procedures.
The R&A and the USGA are addressing the effectiveness of current equipment testing processes, protocols and standards with respect to distance limits. As a result, the governing bodies are seeking comment from equipment manufacturers on three proposed Equipment Standards changes, as follows:
Proposal 1: Club length – reduction to 46 inches available as Model Local Rule (MLR) (Original proposal delivered in 2016 and paused in 2017 due to the Distance Insights project). Comment period ends on 4 March 2021.
Proposal 2: Update on testing method for golf balls. Comment period ends on 2 August 2021.
Proposal 3: Change to testing tolerance – Characteristic Time. Comment period ends on 2 August 2021. The 2020 Annual Driving Distance Report
The R&A and the USGA also today released the 2020 Annual Driving Distance Report. The full report can be found here.
The R&A and USGA comments
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We are now able to progress with the work on this critical topic and are beginning the next phase as expeditiously as possible. The research topics and the proposed changes we have announced will be the focus of our attention in the coming months and we look forward to gaining insights from the golf industry and fully understanding their perspectives on these key areas. We remain fully committed to conducting this hugely important exercise for the sport thoroughly, efficiently and collaboratively.”
Mike Davis, Chief Executive Officer of the USGA, said, “The research conducted through Distance Insights clearly shows that hitting distances have consistently increased through time and, if left unchecked, could threaten the long-term future of our game at every level and every golf course on which it is played. This is the first forward step in a journey and a responsibility the USGA and The R&A share with the worldwide golf community, to ensure that golf continues to thrive for the next hundred years and beyond.”
Updates Since February 2020
During the pause in distance-related research caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, The R&A and the USGA completed their regular review of equipment testing processes, protocols and standards to ensure their effectiveness in relation to distance limits. The proposals detailed above are the outcome of this regular review of equipment testing processes, protocols and standards to ensure their effectiveness.
As such, these proposals were not conceived and are not intended to be solutions to the distance issues identified in the Distance Insights Report.
All notices related to golf equipment follow the Equipment Rulemaking Procedures adopted in 2011 by The R&A, the USGA and golf equipment manufacturers, which provide an open process of dialogue for all involved. The procedures can be reviewed here.
The Distance Insights Report released last year highlighted the impact of long-term hitting distance increases on some of golf’s essential elements, including changing the strategic challenge of the game, altering the variety of skills needed to be successful and risking courses becoming less challenging or obsolete. Further, the report states that the overall trend of golf courses becoming longer has adverse consequences that ultimately affect golfers at all levels of the game. The governing bodies are working with the key stakeholders in golf to address these issues in a way that brings the game together and which ensures it continues to thrive for many years to come.
Work is also currently being conducted to develop industry-wide recommendations and best management practices on course design, set-up and course conditions related to distance for all golf courses and golfers, as detailed among next steps in the Distance Insights conclusions document delivered last year. The USGA is currently conducting field testing and research, with outcomes to be delivered throughout 2021.
For more information visit www.RandA.org and www.usga.org.
From zero to full in 40 seconds, and other strange tales from the 2020 golf season
Just how busy were golf courses across Canada in 2020?
Early one morning at the beginning of the season, Stephen Jardeleza positioned himself in front of his computer at GreyHawk Golf Club. On his screen was a blank tee sheet for the Ottawa club where he is the Director of Operations.
In a few minutes, the computerized tee-times reservation system would open for members to begin booking tee times for the upcoming Saturday. Up for grabs were 130 tee times across the club’s 36 holes, which, if fully booked, would work out to 520 golfers.
At 7 a.m., the tee sheet came alive. “In 40 seconds, our tee sheet was fully booked,” Jardeleza said. “And this happened every day.”
The 2020 golf season—and the year—will go down in infamy as one of the strangest that most of us will ever experience.
Faced with a mysterious and deadly nemesis, golf provided a beacon of badly needed joy amid fear and frustration. We were smitten. We couldn’t get enough golf.
“It didn’t matter that there was a worldwide pandemic,” said Simon Bevan, General Manager of Riverbend Golf Club in London. “Golf was like a drug. We all wanted to hit the little white ball.”
Now that the season has ended, the golf club industry in Canada is celebrating a record year in which rounds skyrocketed to historic proportions. Thousands of people took up golf—some for the first time, and some came back to the game—and veteran golfers played more than they ever have.
But right out of the be-careful-what-you-wish-for playbook, the industry faced the challenge of how to mollify established golfers frustrated that they could no longer get to the first tee when they wanted.
Back in April, with cities around the world looking like ghost towns, and major league sports and the PGA TOUR shut down, golfers held on to a slender thread of hope that a golf season might be possible.
By early May, golfers in Ontario and Quebec had endured two months of a gruelling lockdown, made worse by a tantalizingly warm spring that screamed golf. Golfers ached for their game. A friend said, “Golfers can distance. I play golf with people. I don’t dance with them.”
After weeks of consultation with the golf industry on safety measures, the Ontario government said courses could open May 16. Quebec set May 20 as its opening day.
Golf clubs had only a few days to finish their preparations in order to keep golfers safe. Staff removed ball washers, water coolers, benches and outfitted flagsticks with doo-hickeys that allowed you to extricate your ball without having to touch the stick.
Held back from their usual start to the season, golfers were ravenous. On May 15—the first day that tee times could be booked—thousands of ClubLink Members went online to reserve their tee times at 7 a.m., causing the system to crash.
Many technology platforms serving the golf industry were overwhelmed. When Golf Ontario opened its online tournament registration on June 24, 17,000 people visited its site in a matter of minutes, causing it to crash for the first time in its history, according to executive director Mike Kelly.
On those first wonderful days of the 2020 golf season, golfers were over the moon to play and golf club personnel were cautiously nervous.
“We were hoping that members wouldn’t contract the virus just from touching things,” said Paul Carrothers, Director of Golf at Royal Ottawa Golf Club.
Thousands of golfers wanted to play the game—not just because they are an extremely obsessive bunch—but also to escape the same four walls at home. Without having to travel for work or commute, working from home also afforded many golfers the freedom to play when they wanted. More or less.
With offices and schools closed, and nearly every other option for having fun shut down, golf became the ‘it’ activity. Spouses, friends and kids who had not tried golf, and those who had given up the game, were playing.
“Almost all of the guys that I played slow-pitch with every Tuesday for 20 years were now playing golf,” said Kevin Thistle, CEO of the PGA of Canada. “The way we play golf, work, watch sports—it’s all changing, and forcing us to adapt.”
From the once-a-year golfer to the 100-rounds-plus player, everyone played more—and wanted more.
“Players who would normally play 30 to 40 rounds played 70 to 80 rounds,” said Adam Tobin, Director of Golf at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge.
Even with most corporate events cancelled at most clubs, tee times became a precious commodity.
By the end of June, Canadians had played more than 1.5 million rounds during the month, an increase of 17 per cent over June 2019. And that’s a monumental feat folks when you consider June is THE busiest and best month to play. For an industry that faced media reports a few years earlier that it was declining, business was booming.
But for avid golfers who routinely play three or more rounds a week and were used to convenient tee times, it was not all sunshine and rainbows.
“There was a lot of frustration,” said Jason Wyatt, Head Professional at Sunningdale Golf & Country Club in London, where demand shot up 52 percent over 2019 with the same number of members. “There were people who wanted an 8 a.m. time but had to settle for hours later.”
Even playing ‘executive’ or nine-hole courses was a challenge. “There were times that we had six groups lined up to play our nine-hole course,” said Dennis Firth, Head Professional at Royal Montreal which experienced a 30 percent increase in rounds over 2019. “It was unprecedented.”
As a golfer, and the fellow in charge of tracking golfers across the country for Golf Canada, Adam Helmer said he could no longer just head out to play. He had to become organized in scheduling his golf.
“A downside of golf being so popular was that not everyone was able to get the tee time they wanted,” said Helmer, senior director of Golf Services for Golf Canada.
The problem was simple. Demand for tee times appeared limitless, but every course has a finite number of holes and daylight. And to keep golfers from getting too close to one another, most clubs spaced out tee times, which meant fewer golfers on the course.
John Finlayson, Chief Operating Officer of ClubLink, says that—as a general rule of thumb—a private golf club with 18 holes carries about 400 full dues-paying members to sustain its business.
But even in June when the days are longest, there’s only enough room to accommodate about 225 golfers. “If 300 people want to play that course that day, you have a problem,” said Finlayson, whose ClubLink courses saw a 29 percent increase in rounds in 2020 compared with 2019.
Many private clubs responded by restricting the number of guests that members could bring, and restricted access for certain classes of memberships.
“To make room for our full members, we had to restrict our legacy and out-of-town members,” said Ian Leggatt, General Manager of Summit Golf Club in Richmond Hill. “We had to communicate to them that these are unusual times,” said Leggatt, who has since moved to the same position at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto.
Initially, Leggatt and other senior club managers wondered if golfers would “drift from the game” because they couldn’t socialize in the clubhouse restaurant afterwards,
and the on-course experience was altered.
But with fewer golfers on the course, no need to rake bunkers, and single riders on carts, the speed of play improved dramatically.
“The measures were taken for safety, but it provided a better experience,” Finlayson said. “Most golfers expect to play 18 holes in 4 to 4.5 hours, but this year a 4-hour round was considered a bit slow.”
Nonetheless, many golfers were frustrated about access, and many golf clubs stepped up their communication efforts to help their members adapt.
“You couldn’t over-communicate,” Leggatt said. “This whole thing was shifting, and there was no template on how to make it work better.”
It affected everyone, including ClubLink Member and CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association of Canada, Jeff Calderwood.
“I’d jump on the computer five days in advance at 7 a.m. this fall, and there were often no times at Eagle Creek (his Home Club in Ottawa),” he said. “It illustrated the dilemma we had.”
Industry leaders such as Calderwood are thankful golf provided a silver lining during a pandemic, but they are also mindful that the industry is challenged by how it satisfies core golfers while retaining new players.
“I don’t claim to have all the answers. You could restructure and find that, perhaps with a vaccine, demand doesn’t stay so high, and then you’re not sustainable if you got it wrong.”
Mike Kelly of Golf Ontario was among the industry leaders who consulted with the Ontario government to allow clubs to open this season, and he’s grateful golfers turned a possible disaster into a banner year for golf.
As a golf administrator who represents the sport in Ontario, as well as players who want to play and have fun, Kelly says he can’t lose focus on what’s truly important.
“Our job is to provide a safe environment. That’s our No. 1 priority during this pandemic. We can’t screw this up. The game has grown and the industry will evolve, but the priority must be safety.”
But despite unprecedented schedules, navigating a global pandemic and extreme heat in the country’s two biggest provinces, golf’s superintendents were there as they’ve always been – solving problems and giving golfers an opportunity to play the sport they love.
That’s why International “Thank a Golf Course Superintendent Day” means even more in 2020.
On September 23, the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association, in concert with other global superintendent groups, will recognize those who keep the game going and enjoyable. All together the global groups represent more than 31,000 golf course management professionals. Look for a commercial to run on the Golf Channel and other media outlets, along with social media content.
Golfers and others are encouraged to join in the conversation online using the hashtag: #ThankASuper.
“Supers aren’t just people who grow grass. They’re an integral part of a team at any golf course,” says Kathryn Wood, chief operating officer of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association.
Just as most superintendents were gearing up for their season, that’s when COVID-19 really spread aggressively worldwide, with sports leagues – including the PGA TOUR – pressing pause. Luckily superintendents were able to maintain an essential, minimal level of maintenance at golf courses (British Columbia was different insofar as courses were not mandated to close).
Wood says she has been so impressed by the resilient, smart, group across the country.
“Looking back, there have been challenges presented for every person in the pandemic, but golf course supers are pretty ingenious, proactive and flexible and can come through any type of challenge pretty well,” says Wood. “They are very flexible and able to deal with the different challenges they’re faced with.”
At Cutten Fields in Guelph, Ont., head superintendent Bill Green tells a story of adaptability – a key for 2020, more than ever, he says.
He says he had one-person work for him this year – Ashton DeBello, a second-year chemistry student – who last summer worked in the halfway house at the club. Her bosses loved her and wanted to her back in 2020. But when the course opened, there was no halfway house due to COVID-19. She joined Green’s team – along with a chef and a clubhouse maintenance worker, who pivoted gigs to help keep the course in top shape – where DeBello learned construction skills.
Now? She’s operating an excavator, installing drainage and building bunkers.
“It’s brought the entire club, staff-wise, closer,” says Green about having people from other parts of the club’s business see what it takes for superintendents to get their jobs done. “Even if it’s just a few people, they understand what we’re doing on the golf course a little more. The members know my staff. Usually we’re in the trees and no one sees us.
“I think anybody in any business or any walk of life… everybody has had to adjust and change their life in many ways in a lot of cases and we’re no different.”
In Manitoba, Darren Kalyniuk is president of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association and the superintendent at St. Boniface Golf Club. He, like Green, says the staffing and budget issues were the biggest challenges they had to face in 2020.
Still, superintendents did what they always do – persevere.
“A lot of superintendents put on their rally caps and really did whatever they had to do with limited resources to get the courses back up and running properly,” says Kalyniuk.
“Everyone was asked to work with limited staff because there were so many uncertainties with revenues at the beginning and it put a little bit of a challenge on the courses and supers to do more with less.”
Doing more with less has been demanded of so many across Canada. Combine that with the increased safety measures installed at workplaces, and you’ve got a challenging season – not to mention there were record-breaking numbers of people coming out and playing golf, too.
But David Hunter, the superintendent at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley’s Hoot and North Courses says he’s seen his staff embrace the challenge.
“We’ve been really excited to provide great course conditions for the whole season,” says Hunter. “It’s been a banner year for our staff and we’re incredibly proud of this group of people.”
As Canadian golfers, we should all be incredibly proud of superintendents from coast to coast.
And to them, on September 23 and every day, we say thank you.
Golf is both thrilling and maddening, a way to have a singular escape or meet with friends, and a game for a lifetime that can be played by both the health-conscious and those who take it as an opportunity to raise a Steamwhistle and crush a hot dog.
But, when you’re looking for something even more for your next 18 holes, we’ve got you covered with an explainer of some fun games you could play with your group.
Games played on the course can be as simple as a match against a friend or family member all the way to a complicated tracker of accomplishments (or lack thereof) resulting in, perhaps, a couple of loonies passed between hands.
While the new Golf Canada app is perfect for posting scores using regular stroke play, we know that not everyone takes to the course to play nine or 18 holes counting all his or her shots. Playing games in a group is way to spice up your usual round. Even for the most experienced golf group, there may be something new below that you’ve never tried!
Read on to learn more about some of our favourites.
1. Alternate Shot
Otherwise known as ‘foursomes’ this is a completely different kind of golf that North Americans usually only see on TV during the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Trying this out with your friends will a) make you understand why the best players in the world struggle with it and b) maybe make you try to find some new friends, depending on where your partner leaves you to hit from.
Alternate shot is, well, that. One player hits then the next player hits from where she or he ended up. It could also be modified to where each twosome hits a drive, you pick the best one, and you alternate shots from there to the hole.
Must play with four golfers.
This is a simple match-play format that allows you to play with everyone else in your group and not just a single partner for the duration of the round.
The 18 holes are divided up into three six-hole matches and you can use any scoring format you choose. Even if you get defeated soundly in one of your matches, you have two others to try to redeem yourself.
Must play with four golfers. If you are riding in carts, the usual format is ‘carts’ (those in the same cart), ‘drivers’ (those who are driving), and ‘opposites’ (a driver and a passenger).
A points-based game, this one takes a little planning and some concentration (perhaps try to find an accountant to play with?) but it’s a dramatic one that makes for some great stories by the time the day is done.
There is a ton of other ways to track points and add bonuses to your Wolf game, but here are the basics:
The order of play is determined on the first tee. The ‘Wolf’ always tees off last. The order in which golfers tee off, regardless of score, rotates every four holes so each player becomes the Wolf on a continual basis.
Once each player hits his or her tee shot, the Wolf decides to either take a partner (based on the locations of the tee shots) or go as the ‘Lone Wolf’ and try to beat the other three players on his or her own ball.
Variation: You could also be the ‘Blind Wolf’ and declare, before any of the tee shots are hit, that you are going to go at it alone
Points are collected as follows
Wolf and partner win the hole: two points
Non-Wolf partners win the hole: three points
Lone Wolf wins: four points
Lone Wolf defeated by any player: The other three get one point
Must play with four golfers.
4. Bingo, Bango, Bongo
Another fun one that doesn’t need to involve four players, and it’s perfect for golfers who have a higher handicap but still want to get in on the action during a round. It’s another game of points but one that’s wrapped in being ‘first’ to do something.
The first player to hit his or her shot onto the green gets a point (Bingo!), the player whose ball is closest to the pin when all balls are on the green gets a point (Bango!), and the first person to hole out gets a point (Bongo!).
At the end of the round whomever has the most points wins.
Can be played with two, three, or four golfers.
Another team game, this one can get out of hand if you’re applying a monetary value to each point – but it’s a unique twist on a usual ‘scoring’ game.
Teams are decided on the first tee and scores are not added, but combined. If Player A makes a 4 and Player B makes a 5 then their score is 45. If Player C makes a 5 and Player D makes a 7, their score is 57 and Team AB wins the hole by 12 points.
The lower score always goes to the front of the combined score.
Must play with four golfers.
6. Best Ball
A Best Ball match is just that, and can be combined to any number of other team matchups on the course. Teams of two play straight up, but as the name suggests, the ‘best’ score on the hole counts as the team score.
‘Best Ball’ is not to be confused with a ‘Scramble’ (very popular for family or corporate tournaments) where all four members of a team hit a tee shot and they continue on to hole out by choosing the ‘best ball’ out of the bunch every time.
Must play with four golfers.
Golfers apply points (or dollar amounts) to each hole and the lowest score wins the pot.
If any two golfers tie the hole then the point or dollar amount carries over to the following hole. Things can add up quick and make the holes later in the round even more exciting!
Can play with two, three, or four golfers.
Another opportunity for the higher handicap golfers to earn points against their lower-handicap friends, the Stableford system of scoring is so popular even the PGA Tour uses it for one of their events.
Points are applied to scores and the higher the better, in this instance.
For example: Three points for an eagle, two points for a birdie, one point for a par, no points for a bogey, and minus-1 point for a double-bogey or worse is a good way to start.
Can play with two, three, or four golfers.
Playing a Nassau is the most popular of golf games and the one with the most variations, too.
At its simplest, a Nassau is broken out in to three games: low front-nine score, low back-nine score, and low 18-hole score. Dollar amounts or points are applied to each match. Say you were going to play a $5 Nassau, the most you can lose is $15. If you win all three, you win $45 ($15 from the other three players).
A popular move when playing Nassau’s is to ‘press’ (basically double-or-nothing on the original bet), which you could do if you were down a few strokes and wanted to try for a late-round charge.
Fun add-ons, called ‘junk’ can be added to the original Nassau game.
Hit it in the water but still made par? You could add a ‘Fishy’ to your Nassau. Knocked it off a tree but still made par? Congratulations, you made a ‘Barky.’ Chipped in? Well done, you earned a ‘Chippie.’
Golf is a fun enough game as it stands, but over 18 holes and with the same group round after round, there is no shortage of little games you can bring to the course the next time you tee it up.
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