Selecting the Right Ball in a Scramble Tournament

I am on a bit of a tangent talking about scramble golf tournaments lately because of the discussion my first question a few days ago generated on Twitter. Today’s post will be the last in this series and then I will start to focus on the Ryder Cup! The theme of this post is selecting the right ball to play after the drive or in the case of a par 5, the third shot if you are on the green. It is a tough decision sometimes, but I have general guidelines I follow that helps easy the decision making process. Continue reading

Do You Like Playing In Scramble Golf Tournaments?

Personally, I love playing in any golf tournaments. Each offer something different and I prepare differently for each. With the Ryder Cup looming on the horizon, I am being a bit nostalgic about not being able to play in any tournaments this year; especially scramble events! However, I did have the opportunity to discuss preparing for a scramble tournament with my friend Blair. He was in a 3 person event about a month ago and we discussed which player should play where; it was really quite fun, but we seemed to differ on the line up. Continue reading

Osprey Links 3 Man Scramble – Results

As you will remember, Geary, Blair and I entered a 3 man scramble last Sunday at Osprey Links Golf Course. Jeff Rogerson, the club pro and general manager, organized a great event with the support of his awesome team. To top off the great golf, Jeff’s team provided a fantastic roast beef meal with all the fixings. It was a perfect way to end our time on the links.

Geary, Blair and I had never played together as a group, yet our individual strengths made us a good team on paper. So we embarked on a journey into the unknown, fun and excitement. The rules were fairly straight forward and not uncommon for a scramble tournament. We all arrived early, entered the skins competition, and prepared for a fun round on the links. There was 38 teams in this event with two teams starting off each hole and one par 5 had four teams. The day remained overcast with little wind and no rain.

Continue reading

Golf Strategy: A Two Man Scramble

The First Tee - Playing in the Rain!

Last year’s 2-Man Scramble on the first tee. Jean is happy to playing in the rain!

Tomorrow is the second time (last year was the first) my friend Jean and I will play in a two-man scramble. It is a low-key event with 20+ teams and handicaps will be applied. Our second place finish last year is something Jean and I will build on to see if we can win it all. The big prize in this event is the bragging rights as most of the players are regulars at my home course of Roundel Glen.

Similar to last year, the rules for this tournament are pretty simple. The handicap of the two players are added together, divided by two and multiplied by 25% (was .75% last year). The multiplying factor is a slight change from last year.

What this means is: my handicap is 3.8, Jean’s handicap is 10.8, combined 14.6, divided by 2 is 7.30, multiplied by 25% is 1.8; everything is rounded down to the nearest whole number. Therefore, our handicap for this tournament is 1. For those non golfers, this means we are awarded one stroke on the toughest hole on the course. So if we shoot a 4 on the toughest hole, we would record a 3 on our scorecard. All things being equal and everyone is honest, this method of using our handicap is golf’s way of leveling the playing field.

Our strategy was straight forward last year. This is how it unfolded:

  1. Jean tees off first on all par 5s and short par 3s.
  2. Jim tees off first on all par 4s and long par 3s.
  3. Jean is first to hit our second shot inside 175 yards.
  4. Jim is first to hit our second shot outside of 175 yards.
  5. Jean chips first by all green.
  6. Jean putts first on all greens.

This year, things will be a bit different. We will play to our strengths. Jean hits the ball farther off the tee than I do, however my short game is a bit stronger. So, I will hit first on all par 5s. Jean will hit first off the tee all other times except for two short par 4s that Jean can reach, so I will put us in play on those holes. Jean will hit first for all second shots, chips and putts. This strategy will be modified as the day goes on to ensure we make the most out of every opportunity to score low.

We are looking forward to improving our score from last year. With a change in the handicap system, the scores might be a bit higher this year, so our goal will be shot a 66 again and see what happens.

Regardless of the outcome, this event is a great time to hang out with my fellow grateful golfers doing what we like to do most – play golf.

Our strategy is set, what do you think? What would you do?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Risk vs Reward in Golf

Risk vs reward is the basis for good golf. Great golfers understand their limitations and try to play to their strengths. Fantastic golfers manage every shot with the intent of setting up the next shot. Professional golfers can do all of these things most of the time. As amateurs, the risk / reward shot can be summed up as a 50/50 shot. Now, those odds are good if you are in a casino, but are very poor if you are on a golf course.

The Bay of Quinte Golf Course is a nice track. It has lush fairways and well manicured greens. Most holes are fairly straight and most greens are wide open to a good approach shot. This is a great course for a mid to high handicap player who wants a challenge. The low handicap player will find the course amusing and fun to play. The value is there for all golfers and overall I would recommend anyone in the Bay of Quinte area to stop in for a round of golf.

There is, however, one hole on the Bay of Quinte Course that makes the entire round worth while for a low handicap player. It is the 240 yard, par 4, 5th hole. I know, you are saying 24o yards, “Come On! What is so special about that hole?” Well let me explain.

The 5th hole is a 240 yard, all carry, tee shot to an elevated green. The green is only 15 yards deep and 45 yards wide. It has a sharp slope from left to right; it is guarded by three deep bunkers; your tee shot must carry a pond; and there is no bail out area. It is a menacing tee shot to say the least!

5th Hole - Bay of Quite

Bay of Quinte – 5th Hole – Tee Shot – 240 yds

Bay of Quinte - 5th Hole

Bay of Quinte – 5th Hole – Looking Back at the Tee.

5th Hole - Bay of Quinte

Bay of Quinte – 5th Hole – Back Left after Tee Shot.

The risk reward for this shot is 50/50 for most players. I have played this hole twice and have made it on or beside the green each time. The first time I was putting for eagle and the second time I was chipping for eagle. Examining this hole from a course management perspective I would play it the following way:

  • Stroke tournament – in the mix to win – short iron off the tee.
  • Stroke tournament – need to make up ground – driver.
  • Stroke tournament – out of the mix – driver.
  • Playing a round – great score going – iron off the tee.
  • Playing a round –  average score going – driver.
  • Playing a round – poor score going – driver.
  • Match play tournament – driver.
  • Scramble tournament – driver.
  • Best ball tournament – driver.

So that would be my strategy to play this fun golf hole at the Bay of Quinte Golf Course. It is my favorite hole at this course and if you ever get a chance to play it, hit your driver just for fun, you never know, a hole-in-one could be in your future!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!