Running A Golf League

My old golf league flamed out last spring following a couple of years of decline. The long-time organizers finally stopped keeping track of scores and pairings. Grumbles from players were audible. Late last fall, the founders announced that they were out of the golf league business and would just play ad-hoc money games on Friday mornings (they’re retired). That was the end.

For a long while it looked as though nothing would rise from the ashes. I thought about organizing another league, but this year’s teaching load has been nearly overwhelming (three preps, including two AP Classes, one of which has never been taught in the District) and I let those plans slip. My golf plans for the spring consisted of quick nines on the way home.

In recent weeks, however, two colleagues did a lot of last minute legwork and found a nice new home for some of the refugees from the old league. They negotiated a really good deal, scheduled twelve weeks worth of tee times, and drummed up enough teams to make it worthwhile.

I got stuck with the scorekeeping end. That’s what I get for being the GolfBlogger.

I’m actually happy to do the job, but am spinning my wheels at this point. We played our first round last Friday and I have yet to sort out the cards. My plan is to use the first round to establish a handicap for everyone using the Callaway system. After that, though, I’m not sure where to go. The players want to do all the things the old league used to do in its heyday, such as team match play in a round robin format, with side games for skins and closest to the pin. If I follow the precedent of the previous league, everyone will buy in to the side games at the beginning of the day, with payouts at the end.

The money payout had always bothered me, however, as I had a feeling that some teams were in the old league only for the money.  Since I’m not entirely sure about the weekly side games, my current thought is to keep track of everything on a points basis: one point for winning a match, one point for a team that gets a skin; one point for closest to the pin. The scoring would add up over the season, and the winning team gets a prize at the end (I’m thinking small trophies).

I’ve also run into a bit of rough in my search for software to help me manage the league. Most of it is relatively expensive and designed for leagues much larger than our six team, twelve man affair. The one reasonably priced application I found is so poorly documented and yet has so many options I’m finding it unusable. At this point, I think I’ll have to keep track of it on Excel and write some scrips to automate things somewhat.

What I really need is a “Guide To Running A Golf League.” After my experience starting from scratch this spring, I may write one over the summer.

I’d love to hear from people on how their leagues are managed, and what kind of side games are run. Leave comments below.


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