Jump to content

Modified rules for a golf trip


Recommended Posts

I've been going on a golf trip with my dad's high school friends for going on a decade.  I'm about a 16 handicap, and I'm one of the least skilled players on the grip of about 40 or so guys.  There is a lot of gambling going on between fairly evenly matched players using a handicap system, and as a result, they have a pretty basic and simple modification to the rules.  There is a triple bogey rule, and when it's raining or wet out, our leader will call for winter rules for the round.  That's basically it.  Some people are more serious than others, but if you want to play by the rules it's pretty straightforward.  Those two modification keep pace of play moving pretty well, and nobody is getting frustrated over plugged lies or mudballs, etc., when the conditions are less than ideal.

I started my own golf trip two years ago.  This trip had 16 people of varying abilities.  We had two true beginners.  One had only been on a course once, after committing to the trip.  We had a bunch of people hovering around a 20 handicap.  Then we had a few high single digits.  Managing fair gambling and rules for such a varied group was not as easy.  I decided to use my other trip's triple bogey rule as well as the winter rules, which was pretty well received.  My dad's trip is mostly people 60+, so we play senior tees in Myrtle Beach, which are often similar in length or difficultly to public courses from the whites locally.  I decided to stick with the senior tees on our trip, which was initially met with a lot of resistance, but after the trip, literally everyone agreed it was the right call after all.  I also decided to allow one breakfast ball (a tee shot mulligan) anywhere on your first 9.  For the sake of pace of play and simple enjoyment, I also instructed the beginners to improve all their lies as much as they wanted, when they didn't have a good shot/look to throw the ball back into the fairway, to take no more than one shot out of a bunker before throwing the ball out and putting.  I don't recall any further instruction, but basically, I told them to do whatever it took to enjoy the round and not hold anyone up.  

So far we've just gambled using longest drive, closest to the pin, longest putt, etc.  Eventually we want to incorporate low gross, low net, skins, etc.  My question is:  Does anyone have any experience managing trips with golfers of varied abilities, and how do you modify the rules to keep things competitive and fair?  Right now, I'm thinking about making an arbitrary cut off where I ask the very inexperienced/true beginners to only gamble on the closes to the pin, longest drive, longest putt type stuff, and then separately manage everyone else on a handicap system for low net, low gross, skins, etc.  Thoughts? 

Titleist 913D2

Ping G2 3W

Ping G2 3H 18*, 4H 22*

Mizuno JPX900

Cleveland CBX 56, 60

Odyssey White Hot RX #2

Snell MTBX

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have put together many trips and ran golf leagues. The participants could be from a single digit to a 24 handicap. The beauty of the handicap system is it puts everyone on an even playing field. Just make sure everyone has a handicap or create one for them based on a few scores. You can do all the work up front if you know what courses you will be playing. Just create a spreadsheet with the score card info and based on the card handicap by hole you know which holes the players would get strokes on. All the gambling can be done up front for each round. Typically everyone puts in an amount per player up front. $5, 10, whatever. Then at the end you figure out who won what. Ties can be split or carry over to the next round.  

Any rules are across the board. You can role the ball over in the fairway. One club length move if you are in a trouble area. Lift clean and place. One tee shot mulligan. But since it is handicap based you can't mess around with tossing out of the bunker after one attempt. There would be some cranky people when money is on the line. 

  • Like 2

:ping-small: Driver, G400 11* SR Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you recommending capping gambling participants at say 24 or something similar?  When we let people self report handicaps the first year, half of the participants listed their handicap as being 30+.  Now I play regularly with a lot of these guys, and I know them to have handicaps more in the 22-26 area, but I guess that isn't particularly far off.  I delegated the keeping of scores to another friend, but we have all the handicap information now that is based on actual posted scores and if I recall there are only about 4 guys that actually played to a 30+ handicap.  I guess I could cap it at 30.  Then 12 of us could reasonably compete while the other 4 only pay and compete for longest drive, closed to the pin, longest putt, etc.  I don't think I'd get a ton of pushback about not having the 30+ guys compete fully, or allowing them to play based off of modified rules just to make things easier/more fun.  

I suppose I could also make it elective.  Explain the rules and let the higher handicaps choose to gamble and play by the rules, or not gamble and play by more lax rules.  To better explain the lax rule necessity, consider a 30+ handicaps round.  On a par 4, let's say they slice their tee shot OB.  On their third shot, they drop about where it went out, punch out.  Top the ball.  Advance the ball 80 yards.  Advance the ball a short ways again.  Then have to pick up before reaching the green.  That's not a recipe for fun.  When I had a true beginner in my group, I'd have them take a tee shot.  If it wasn't playable, they'd hit their second shot from wherever the best ball ended up in our foursome.  Then if they were getting close to triple bogey, they'd pick up and at least get a chip and putt to get the practice in.  Now I appreciate that they didn't even really play the hole, let alone follow the rules that way, but they did get to hit a tee shot, fairway shot, a chip, and a putt minimum, which gives them more of a feel for playing golf in my opinion.  The true beginners really did seem to enjoy playing that way, and it doesn't hold anyone up.  Seems like a win-win.  

That said, playing that way wasn't for everyone.  We had another true beginner that basically hit 7 iron off every tee, and just kept at it until he was at triple every hole.  He seemed to enjoy getting the practice in, and although he rarely got to practice chipping or putting, he seemed to have a great time just banging away at the 7i.  He did manage a closest to the pin win on about a 140 yard part 3.

Anyway, I guess my point is that I basically let the true beginners do whatever it took to enjoy the rounds as long as they didn't hold anyone up.  I like your idea about a hard cap.  I think 30 would work given our handicap data.  Then below that I could make gambling optional.  

 

 

 

Titleist 913D2

Ping G2 3W

Ping G2 3H 18*, 4H 22*

Mizuno JPX900

Cleveland CBX 56, 60

Odyssey White Hot RX #2

Snell MTBX

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

This is always fun. I have a group of 16 that take a golf and drinking weekend. Handicaps range from 2 to 32 with the majority in the mid to high teens. We use handicaps and if you don't have one your a 0. I tell guys to get out and get 5 scores. use last years scores if you can't get 5 in before a month before the trip. We have a guy that will do the math and what he says you are is what you are. 

Gamboling: We put $100 into a kitty for KP LP. We don't do LD as there are only about 5 of us who can go over 280 and keep it in play. We also payout top 3 net scores. 

Rules modifications: Breakfast ball first tee only for the day.

If your ball is in the fairway and in a divot, move it out of the divot no closer to the hole within 12" of original location.

Pick your ball up anytime you want but your score will be a 10 for that hole. 

If your ball goes OB, bring to the fairway 1 club length in for a 2 stroke penalty. (I believe is the actual rule now with USGA but not positive). 

Last year we did a ryder cup style team event on top of everything else for $50 per player. It was supposed to be losing team buys steak dinner, but with flipping covid that changed. 

That's it. we all have fun and haven't had any issues other someone having a bad round. 

 

There are side games grudge match's going on as well. 

 

Good luck with your games. 

  • Like 1

Epic GBB driver 10.5 turned down to 9.5 Hzruds 6.5 smoke shaft. 

Titleist U15 1 iron 

Callaway X Hot irons stiff shafts 4-AW, Lost the 3 iron.

Callaway 56 and 58 wedge. 

Odyssey White Ice 355G putter

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can always make gambling optional for the true beginners or those who just can't afford to. If the trip is over several days make each round its own event. This way they have a option to get in the ne t day. Nothing better than watching someone who didn't get in the pot get closest to the pin and gets nothing. Sure enough he will be in the next day. 

  • Like 2

:ping-small: Driver, G400 11* SR Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have run golf trips for a long time...Have experimented with many options. The go to game that works best is a rotational best ball of partners. We play 9 hole matches and have a system accessible which spreads out play so you partner once and play against everybody else twice. For 8 guys. 7 matches and play against everyone twice. point a hole...2 point bonus win match. 11 points per match. We also incorporated a one time press option. So any hole you can press and make that hole worth 2 points vs just 1. We play off 100% handicaps and play per 4some you play off low guy. We throw $ in kitty and pay 3 spots for 8 guys. It's a great game for 8. When you go to groups of 16 or more...basic stuff like G/N long drive, close pin.....maybe a stableford...That rewards birdies and such. and skins always good.    

Epic Flash 9 &15

Titliest 915 18&21

Staff 5 to G

Ping SW

Wide Flange LW

TM Spider X

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Modified Stableford is your friend.  

We play a modified Stableford where you score up to double bogey.  If you can't make a double bogey, you pick up.  Your net score is the points you score vs your quota.  For golfers with a handicap, we use that to calculate your quota.  Without a handicap, we base it on 85% of your average score.  And we adjust quotas daily, based on that day's score, and it rises sharply if you beat your quota significantly (the anti-sandbagger rule).  We all throw in money and pay out the two best net teams each day, and we also do closest to the pin on par 3s.  

We allow one floating mulligan per nine.  If you choose not to use a mulligan, you add a point to your Stableford score.  That way, guys who want to play by strict rules don't get penalized for not using mulligans.

If you're going on a golf trip and can't make a couple doubles in a round and contribute to your team, you may want to reconsider going on a trip.  We have plenty of golfers with really low quotas, they contribute just as much as our single-digit players with high quotas, and everyone has a good time.

What's in the bag:
Driver - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
4 Wood (17*) - :callaway-logo-1: Big Bertha S2H2 - RCH 90 "Firm"
7 Wood  - :callaway-logo-1: Big Bertha Warbird S2H2 - RCH 90 "Firm"
5i - PW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
GW - LW - :cobra-small: F8 - N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour105 ( S )
Putter - :ping-small: Craz-e
Bag - :1590477705_SunMountain: 2.5 (Black)
Ball -  :taylormade-small: TP5X Pix
Instagram - @hardcorelooper
Twitter - @meovino
Facebook - mike.eovino

What's in timeout:
3 Wood (16*) - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
4i - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

My group would have gone on the 20th trip last fall, damn Covid. We do Ryder Cup formats handicaps and losers buy drinks one night and dinner on the last.  We started playing "real" golf, play it down everywhere totally by the rules.  2 Captains that would play a match pre trip for first pick. 18 holes, 36, holes, 36 holes, 18 holes on the way home. Have a meeting on those who did not have an actual GHIN. to determine there handicap.  Adjust any GHIN's if we felt it needed.  A dinner pre trip including the spouses to announce the teams and first match pairing.  Matches would be set up blind.  A Players guide that is now bigger than a 5 inch binder.  We have recently gone digital.  We range from a mid 20 hcp down to high single digit.  We started with 8 players have grown to 20 players.  Skins Game , side wolf gammon, what ever your group wants to play in the Ryder cup format.  One of our best stories is a starter looked at us standing on the blue tees, talking a little about our games.  He said "Boys you are not Blue Tee Players" he of course was right so we played white tees.

Over the years we have changed.  18 holes for 3-4 days.  Matches are nine holes, and we have a couple extra on each team that can sub in if needed at the turn.  Breakfast ball on the first tee, in your fairway roll it, oh hell we ain't that good get yourself a decent lie.  That is a root move the ball we are not here to get hurt or damage a club.  Now we set up matches so that everyone does not play with the same people. Captains now sit down and try to come up with competitive team.  Set up fun groups and matches.  Now playing hybrid, gold tees if needed.

The stories have gone from did you see him drain that putt on 18.   To did you have some of that bourbon or Manhattan ?  Our Motto now I would say let's have a great time play some golf, some cards and kick back and have some fun.

So my recommendation is enjoy the trip and don't let golf get in your way.

Edited by mwr57
  • Like 1

Driver Taylor Made M4

Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal

Mizuno ES 21 Wedges

Taylor Made TP Collection Putter

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We’ve had good luck playing across the groups for low net based on handicaps over several rounds, either official or developed by the committee. We use the same setup for our Ryder cup style matches. Nine hole matches make the Ryder Cup great as more points are scored. We play for bragging rights, the two trophies (for the Ryder Cup and individual tournament), and the embroidered jacket. If you handicap it it keeps most interested.

Gambling certainly happens amoungst individual foursomes throughout the trip. This gives folks flexibility to gamble how they want, plus the joy of being there when you drop that bomb putt that you know get in the pocket of your mate. We’ve found playing across multiple groups you never quite know if that putt won until the clubhouse and the drama isn’t quite there. And this takes some pressure off the handicap committee to an extent as folks can agree to their own games each day.

Another way we enjoy gambling is playing Par 3 skins. We play a dollar a hole, with a dollar for closet to the pin and a dollar pay out for birdies. Handicap it if you want to mix groups or group based on abilities. The key is to bring your stack of singles to the course for two reasons. One, sure splitting up the pot at the end of the round make folks square, but the pain of missing that three footer when your mate has his hand out for that dollar right after that moment just amplifies it. Two, you always tend to find out which spouse gave who a hard time for leaving on a trip with a stack of singles in their pocket 🤣

Swing away!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Love this thread, gets me excited for golf trips!

For winter trips I fully support modifying rules of golf. We play courses much tighter than our handicaps are built for. Rarely play full stroke and distance for OB but use the local USGA rule or play everything as a drop w 1 penalty stroke. Speeds up play and doesn’t really impact our partners Chicago scoring system for the gambling portion. 
 

Big believer in partner formats with groups over 8 and rarely try to use single net medal score for our cumulative games.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

For those of you that play Ryder Cup style, do you have less serious golfers on your trips that don't carry handicaps?  I would love to do a Ryder Cup style event, but there are too many non-serious golfers on my trips, and they balk at the idea.  Some of them don't even like the quota game.

At the First Tee where I volunteer, we do a one-day Ryder Cup right around New Years when all of the college kids are home.  It's always a blast, so I know a trip based on this format would be fun if we had the right group of golfers.

What's in the bag:
Driver - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
4 Wood (17*) - :callaway-logo-1: Big Bertha S2H2 - RCH 90 "Firm"
7 Wood  - :callaway-logo-1: Big Bertha Warbird S2H2 - RCH 90 "Firm"
5i - PW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
GW - LW - :cobra-small: F8 - N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour105 ( S )
Putter - :ping-small: Craz-e
Bag - :1590477705_SunMountain: 2.5 (Black)
Ball -  :taylormade-small: TP5X Pix
Instagram - @hardcorelooper
Twitter - @meovino
Facebook - mike.eovino

What's in timeout:
3 Wood (16*) - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
4i - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/6/2021 at 5:16 AM, SwagBag79 said:

Love this thread, gets me excited for golf trips!

For winter trips I fully support modifying rules of golf. We play courses much tighter than our handicaps are built for. Rarely play full stroke and distance for OB but use the local USGA rule or play everything as a drop w 1 penalty stroke. Speeds up play and doesn’t really impact our partners Chicago scoring system for the gambling portion. 
 

Big believer in partner formats with groups over 8 and rarely try to use single net medal score for our cumulative games.

It does speed up play but FYI, the USGA local rule option for OB is drop with 2 stroke penalty.  So off the tee, you would be lying 3, similar to going back to the tee and hitting again.

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...