The right tournament format adds value to your outing.

How to get the results you want.

Golf outings are fun regardless of the format. However, with a little research, you can find the right format to make the outing even better. The key is knowing what your group wants:

  • What is the purpose of the outing?

  • How many players are there?

  • What are the ranges of the handicaps?

  • Do they want a competitive format or is it for fun?

  • Is it just for employees or are clients involved?

Most of the time the key is to create a format that everyone can participate in, enjoy, and possibly win some prizes. Here are two different scenarios.

Employees Only

The Modified Scramble: Try to evenly match the foursomes with one “A” player, one “B” player, one “C” player, and one “D” player on each team. Add all the handicaps on a team and multiply the sum by 20 percent. This gives you each team's handicap. Use the basic scramble rules: At each hole, everyone hits a drive. The best drive is chosen, the other three golfers pick up their balls, and all four golfers hit their second shots from where the best drive landed. The process continues until the ball is in the cup. Then add these twists: Each team must use two tee shots from each player and each team must play six shots from the blue tees, six shots from the white tees, and six shots from the red tees, in any order. This format is good for all player levels, which stimulates teamwork and strategy.

Employees and Clients

Two-Man Best Ball: Each foursome is composed of two teams. Each person plays his or her own ball. The better score for each team at each hole is counted. This format will allow your employee to bond with his or her client by creating an opportunity for the two of them to work together, strategize, communicate, and share experiences. Be sure to have lots of prizes if customers are involved, and take pictures of each twosome and foursome at the first tee.

Of course, there are many variables involved when planning a golf outing. One of the most important is the number of players in the group. If your outing includes more than 80 players, then you would do well to use a four-man team scramble in order to finish the round in plenty of time for your evening events.

Will Rhame is author of Business Golf, The Art of Developing Relationships Through Golf. He conducts sales training seminars around the world, teaching executives and sales professionals how to increase sales through golf. Reach him at (813) 269-8129 or