Best Ball Golf – A Lesson In Not Taking The Game Too Seriously

I played in a local tournament/business networking event yesterday (SSWBN). Signed up late. The tournament organizers placed me on a team with three new golfers. Great people but not great golfers. The format was a scramble — Florida style. The course, executive style, with a lot of par 3 holes and only one or two par 4s with a lot of water and tricky greens, it’s one of those courses that looks easy at first but is actually very difficult. If your short game is not up to speed you are in major trouble.

women golfers

I was the most experienced golfer in my group but from the first drive I realized we didn’t have much chance of winning. My game was “off” to put it politely, and the other three were all in a bit of a “learn as you go” mode. I’m usually very competitive and like to win, but on this day I quickly determined that winning was not going to be my focus. Knowing that right from the start, allowed me to just relax and let the “competition-thing” go. I was there to meet new people, spread the word about this blog,, and enjoy the day. Of course I wanted to play well and I did get off a few decent shots and my putting was ok, but as we continued to play the course, my goal for the tournament was to be sure we didn’t come in dead last!

When you play in a fun tournament it’s sometimes hard to remember the game is supposed to be fun! I can be very rule conscious and if I thought we had a snowball’s chance in _____ of winning I would have certainly toed the line and insisted my fellow players do the same. (Note: if our team was actually that good, each player would already be very conscious of the rules.) By the time we finished nine holes, we were already five over par. Everyone was hot — the humidity was high and the temperature was nudging 93 degrees in the shade. My team had already frequented the beverage cart a couple of times and I decided that having fun and just enjoying the day outside was the best way to go.

Not all the golfers felt the same. With so many new or nearly new golfers on the course, the play was very slow—not unexpected. I overheard one golfer telling others about the group in front of them. They didn’t quite get the rules right. In a Florida style scramble each person drives the ball off the tee, the best drive is chosen and each player moves their ball to that spot and plays again. The best shot is chosen again and each player moves their ball to that new spot and play continues until a ball is holed. You can’t “test” which shot is best by trying a couple of them and determining which has the best lie. But this group didn’t realize that and when they couldn’t decide which ball of the four had the best lie they would hit a couple of them to “test” and see what happened. They then played the one that landed in the best spot. A big no-no! No wonder play was slow!

On our team, “I didn’t see that!” was the key phrase. But no worries. The game was slow, the sun was hot, the beer was cold, and best of all, we didn’t come in dead last after all. It was a great day!

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What’s your idea of fun when it comes to tournaments? Add your comments below.

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