Everyone can use a little golf help

Fun Golf Tournament Formats

By Oliver Mauk

Regular old stroke play can get boring after a while, so why not try something new? Here are some fun golf tournament formats to introduce more variety into your competitive or recreational rounds. 

Bingo! Bango! Bongo!: A much newer tournament format, each hole has a total of three points: One for first on the green, one for closest to the hole once everyone is on the green, and one for first in the hole. The person furthest away form the hole always goes first, creating an interesting strategy. Do you lay up off the tee so that you get to hit into the green first? Do you put your ball just short so that you can chip it close? The different strategies with this format are endless, which makes it so much fun for golfers of every level. 

Pros: When you really want to try something different that forces you to go after certain objectives rather than a score overall, the craziness of Bingo! Bango! Bongo! ensues.

Dr. Stableford golf format

Stableford: A classic format invented in the 1890's by Dr. Stableford, it's one of the only times that higher scores are better. Stableford is an upward counting point system, where a certain number of points is given based on your score relative to par on each hole. In the traditional system, 1 point is given for a bogey, 2 for par, 3 for birdie, and 4 for eagle. 


Pros: Stableford can be great for multiple reasons. Firstly, it discourages players from quitting after a few bad holes, because unlike stroke play, it is easy to bounce back from a couple of really high numbers. It's also nice for pace of play, because after you've hit 5 shots on a par 4 you can pick up and take your 0.

stringball golf format

Stringball: Unlike most formats that just change the way you score a typical round of golf, stringball changes the game entirely. Each player is given one foot of string for each shot of handicap they hold (a 14 handicapper receives 14 feet of string.) This string can be used to move the ball to a more ideal location like out of a hazard or into the hole, without the cost of a stroke. One must measure out how far they are moving the ball and cut off that much string. 

Pros: You want a tournament with a format most people have never played or heard of, but is easy to explain, execute, and is fun to play, look no further than stringball. 

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