Yesterday, I left you hanging. I quickly left a brief statement that I did not have the time to explain the sure way of winning a golf tournament! Well today, I am going to explain my view and why I think this way!
Before I explain my methodology, it is important to explain that this methodology transcends all tournaments, but there are some variations for each format. For today’s explanation, I will focus on the scramble format. My suggestions work for me, but I have found that they work regardless of the team composition. Are you interested?
Last Wednesday, I entered in Men’s Night at Osprey Links Golf Course. The format was a 9-hole 4 man scramble. Our team consisted of myself, Blair, Mike and John. John was a 70ish year old man, Mike was a big hitter, Blair hit the ball well, and I was the anchor. After 7 birdies on the first 7 holes, we stalled and pared the last two. It was a fun round and the score was only the start of what my golfing epiphany.
To win golf tournaments there are two stats and only two stats that you must be at the top of the stats board in greens in regulation (GIR) and putting! These two stats are key to winning any tournament and I have a methodology on how to be successful!
My strategy to playing in a scramble tournament is fairly straight forward. It is proven by winning many scrambles over the years. Here is my strategy and why:
- I like to have our team set up with the more experienced players going last. First, it allows the more novice players to take part all the time. However, they role is to make sure their ball is in play.
- I like the long hitters to go first on par 5s. I like to keep some shorter, but consistent players in reserve in case they do not find the fairway. As each player hits, the become less aggressive to ensure we have a ball in play.
- On par 4s, each player tries to keep their ball in play, yet tries to hit the ball further. This allows for the more experience players to attempt greater risk shots to improve the team score: like hitting the ball harder, cutting the corner, and being ultra-aggressive going for the pin.
- When putting, the novice players always putt first. Their only job is to hit the ball past the hole; it allows the stronger putters to see the line a couple of times, thus increasing the changes of the ball going in the hole.
- When selecting the best hitting position, distance is usually my deciding factor. The closer we are to the hole, the better. However, I will take a longer shot if it is not over a hazard or being the team is short sided.
- When putting, we all read the putt. We decide on the putting line; let the first person hit and we adjust as required. I do not tell a player how to putt or where to aim because my experience is that everyone putts differently, but giving a point of aim is valuable.
- Finally, the strongest player goes last. They are the goalie and give all the other players confidence, but their goal is to always have a ball in play!
Back to Men’s Night! Our basic format was pretty straight forward. Our order of play was John, Mike, Blair and myself. During the play, John proved to be very valuable on the greens, Mike on the Par 5s, and Blair through most of the holes. I was the goalie and only had to make a couple of pressure shots.
After the first hole, I told the team that I never wanted to putt all day. As it turned out, I only putted 3 times and sunk 1. The two I missed were 20 feet in length (I lipped out each time). John, Mike, and Blair all made putts of 20 feet. They played extremely well on the greens. Our GIR percentage was 100% and we 1-putted 80% of the time. Hence, our final score of 29.
Mike was our big hitter and his skill did not go to waste on the par 5s. Blair hit many approach shots and I just tried to hit inside of Blair. As the round progressed, we all became comfortable with each other’s game and our strategy worked very well. The pars on the last two holes were the result of the last player, me, not doing my job, but that happens sometimes.
As it turned out, we tied for first place, but lost in retrogression (this is the third time Blair and I have lost this way). I won a glove for closets to the pin. Overall, our strategy worked as expected. My strategy has served me well over the years and I think this is a proven method to win a scramble tournament.
What do you think? Do you use similar strategies?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!