How to host an 8-man tourney at any bar in 8 hours!

By • Category: Contests and prizes, Features, Upcoming Tournaments

Well I’m fresh off hosting my first local tournament, and it went really well! Due to availability and money constraints, we had to do everything over a Sunday afternoon, but we were able to come up with a format that worked great for everyone! Here are the rules I posted for our tournament, which was at a bar with just one Golden Tee machine. However, you’ll find that no one will be bored waiting to play and it will move along quicker than you’d expect!

Banana’s Golden Tee Tournament Information

• TOURNEY DATE – Sunday, June 7, with sign up starting at 11:00AM and games starting around 11:15. The tourney will run until around 7:00PM.

• Entry fee is $20 and players must have an established handicap. This entry fee does NOT include the cost of games played.

• The field will be limited to 8 players for this event, so the prize pool will be $160.

• An attempt will be made to rank players from 1-8, based on their handicap. If the handicap is not yet known, a best guess will be made to that player’s rank.

• Five 4-player games will be played during the tournament. The first game will be among players ranked 1,4,5, and 8, and the second game will be among players ranked 2,3,6, and 7. The top 2 handicap scores will advance, and the bottom 2 will move on in the loser bracket, guaranteeing everyone at least 2 games. The 4 players remaining after the first 2 rounds will all play together during the final round but will only be competing against the other player in their bracket.

• The courses played during bracket play will be as follows: Round 1 – Bonnie Moor and Grand Savannah, Round 2 – Woodland Farm and Sunny Wood, Finals – Black Hills.

• Advanced Play mode will be used, but Prize Play can be up to the individuals playing.

• Handicap will be applied to each match in bracket play. The player with the best handicap receives no strokes. Every other player takes the difference between this player’s handicap and his handicap and multiplies it by 80% to determine the number of additional strokes he gets to take off his score. In the example below, players C and D would advance for having the top 2 handicap scores in that round.

Player    Handicap    Handicap Difference    Strokes Received    Score    Handicap Score

A                  +20                         0                              0                   -17                  -17
B                   +15                         5                              4                   -11                  -15
C                   +10                        10                             8                   -10                  -18
D                   +5                          15                            12                  -7                   -19

• The tie-breaker in the first two matches will be most Great Shot Points. If that is also a tie, players will play sudden death on the back 9 of the course just completed, with no handicap applied. Tie-breakers in the finals will be sudden death only.

• PRIZES during bracket play – 1st place in winner bracket ($70), 2nd place in winner bracket ($30), and 1st place in loser bracket ($30). In addition, the remaining $30 will be split evenly among anyone who gets a hole-in-one or double-eagle during bracket play! If no one accomplishes it, the winner will get $80, 2nd place will get $40, and 1st in the loser bracket will get $40.

A few more notes:
— We chose 4-player matches to get more people involved with each game, and it seemed to go quicker than two 2-player matches.  Plus, you only have to be in the top 2 to advance, so one person can’t kill you right away!  It worked well in the finals too, having two 2-player matches happening at the same time.

— I liked how we played the courses from easiest to hardest and included all of them since we had exactly 5 rounds!

— We played group A round 1, then group B round 1, then the consolation semis, then the winners semis, and then the finals.  Because of that order, the only ones ever waiting around for more than 1 match were the winners of the first round, and that was fine by them!

— We didn’t have to apply any tie-breakers in this tournament, but we did have our 7th ranked player score a hole-in-one for $30, so 4 of the 8 players took home some cash!


So how did it go?  You can check out the image of the posterboard I put together above to see how it all played out.  All of the matches except for the finals went down to the final hole!  Handicap seemed to work great and kept everyone in it.  I failed to advance in the first round because I putted in the water on Grand Savannah #17 and got a double-bogey!  Similarly, Matt failed to advance in the semis because he putted in the water on Sunny Wood #18!  Our friend Rob came out on top, taking advantage of both his handicap and a good day of shooting to win!  I was able to recover after the tough first-round loss and win the consolation bracket.

Of course, it’s easy to expand off this and add qualifying rounds if you wish.  I originally wanted us all to play 3 qualifying rounds any time, any place during the week before the tournament, and I would seed the players off those scores, giving additional prizes during qualifying matches.  But, this turned out to be simpler, cheaper, and just as much fun! It definitely had the excitement we were hoping for!

I’d recommend this format to anyone, and I’d love to hear comments from anyone else who has attempted to have an amateur tournament in a city where it’s tough to get more than one machine in a bar!  This is a great way to pull a group of friends together for a few hours on a weekend and have some hot GT Tourney action!

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is a Golden Tee addict from Chicago, IL, thirsty for tips and tricks!
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12 Responses »

  1. I am wondering where you can find your handicap? I know it is listed somewhere, sometimes after you play a game. I was looking through my info on GT and I could not find it anywhere. Am I just blind or can you only get it on the game itself?

    Don N. AKA BloMe’NLeave

  2. I have not been able to find it online either, so I think you can only see it on the game itself. As you are starting up a new game, right after you swipe your card, the next menu is the method of payment screen. In the upper-right there, you will see your handicap. That’s the only place I know to find it as of now!

  3. also, and i’m sure everyone knows this, but if you miss the handicap during the log on, it will show after you finish every hole if you don’t hit the start button.

    Also Erik, i was curious, did you leave the handicapp the same, or adjust if it changed after each round? in tourneys i have run, i have used what it says at the start of each game. i did this because a +6 who is playing with better players usually shoots better, and i’ve seen where they will shoot an -11, and they will move up to a +7 or +8, so that is what they play with the next round…

    also, if i just play black hills for a week, i’ll move down to a +20, which isn’t fair in a handicap tourney, so if i shoot a good round, it will bump me up fast, which is the way it should be… that is one good thing about their handicap system, its way easier to move up than down!

  4. I did not reset the handicaps after each round, but I will the next time I do it! I agree with your points!

  5. i did not mean to leave an anonymous post, it was me Erik…!

  6. i held a 2011 golden tee tournament that happened just yesterday at a bar with just 1 gt machine
    the format was similar to yours with a few tweaks:
    1. no handicaps at all were applied
    2. there were 16 players in the tourney, and they each played a qualifying round in 4 foursomes. the top 8 scores qualified, bottom 8 got knocked out
    3. there was no “consolation bracket”, if you lost in the 1st round, you`re out for good. the losers in the semis played a consolation round at timber bay
    4. the finals consisted of 36 holes(2 rounds of 18 holes on timber).

    and here is a summary of the tournament:
    one of my friends failed to advance in round 1 group a after finding the water 3 times at laurel park hole 14 and ended with a stroke limit. in that same round, my friend jim double bogeyed 17 and bogeyed 18 and then missed the green on hole 3 of laurel and was knocked out in sudden death. another good friend of mine, bob, also lost in sudden death in the semis after getting by at grizzly flats in group b. he missed the green and a chip at alpine hole 1 and lost the sudden death. he did win the consolation round at timber even though he double bogeyed 18. i was 2nd in the qualifying, 1st in group a, and 1st in the semis, but in round 1 in the finals, i double bogeyed timber bay 11 and bogeyed 18 and am 4 strokes behind with 1 round to go. (we didn`t get to play round 2 of the final yesterday because my son wasn`t allowed in the bar after 10:00, and it was 10:00 just as we finished round 1. round 2 will happen tonight so wish me luck!)

  7. ok just came back from round 2 and that round was UNFORGETTABLE! me and one of my old high school buddies named jack were in the finals, and i was 4 strokes down. jack hits it down the cliff at timber bay 3, i make it safely over, he pars, i chip and putt for birdie,but jack aces the par 3 4th, i miss the green, and goes 5 up on me! he then made this AMAZING pitch for eagle at hole 11 from the trees and i was 5 back with 7 to play. but he screws up and bogeyed 12 and double bogeyed 14, but then i miss the green and then fuck up my short game and eventually made double on 15 and go 2 back with 3 to play! jack has a 1 shot lead on 18, i have honors, setup was REALLY tough, so i lay up, put the ball a little too far and find the rough. jack also laid up but he found the water TWICE! i am just off the green in 2, have a 10 foot par putt, down 8, right 7, and jack`s chip for bogey was past the hole, it rolled back and was headed straight for the cup, but it fell 9 FRIGGIN INCHES SHORT! all of us were like, how the fuck did that not go in? jack had his double, i have a 10 foot par putt that was now for the win, i rarely miss those kinds of putts, i stepped up to the trackball, pulled back to c to prevent a rollover, and smoothly pushed the trackball forward, the ball rolled close to the hole, but it ended up MISSING! all of my friends were stunned at this miss, and i just put my hands over my head, stepped away from the machine, and put my head on a nearby SSB game. it was time for sudden death. we each birdie the 1st 2 holes, as always, but then jack hit it down a cliff again at hole 3! he parred the 3rd hole, i made it through, but a poor 2nd shot gave me par also. i water myself off the 6th tee, and jack found the green, but then he shockingly 3 putted and it was our 7th sudden death hole. the water on 7 at timber bay had bitten jack the 1st time we played the hole in the finals. he found the water off the tee again and then hit a rock on his 3rd shot and ended 7 with a double bogey that cost him the tourney. i was safely on the fringe in 3 at 7, just missed my long birdie putt, and tapped in for the win!

  8. if i was being too long or annoying i am sorry

  9. i happen to be cb on these 3 comments, winning a tourney like this was a great golden tee experience for a total hacker like me, i showed all my friends that i did have some game, which i do even though i keep telling all of you i suck ass at golden tee!!!!!!!!!

  10. I might try this someday. Looks like gold old eagle tried this once too, or is all that shit true?

  11. sorry good not gold

  12. i held my 1st Golden Tee Complete tournament yesterday and used your tourney format. We had 7 players and we only had a 4 hour window due to time constraints of a few players. The top 2 players from group A & B of Round 1 went directly to the Championship Round. Since I had 7 people, the 3 who didn’t make it went to the Consolation Round. The 3rd best score in the Championship round joined the Consolation group to make that a foursome.

    We had a tie in our Championship Round so the Champion was determined in a Sudden Death playoff which only lasted one hole. (Crawdad Swamp #10).

    There was a Hole in One by the Consolation winner on Sapphire Springs #10, and our Consolation winner was decided on hole 18 of Sapphire Springs.

    Thanks again for posting the format, it was very easy to copy. Now we’ll readjust handicaps for the next tourney to make this as even as possible.

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