Fantasy Golf Leagues
How to Play Fantasy Golf
Fantasy golf is a fun and challenging way to add even more interest in following your favorite golf players week in and week out, by assigning points for their real life play and competing against your friends. Golf, just like any professional sport that has a large fan base, offers anyone an opportunity to compete in fantasy golf leagues.
How to Play Fantasy Golf
Learning how to play fantasy golf is super easy.
A fantasy golf league can be organized in a variety of ways, so I have provided a general overview of how to play. To set up your own league, take the parts you want or feel free to modify anything you like. The nice thing about most fantasy sports, golf included, is that as long as everyone competing understands the rules before starting, there is no “right” way to run a fantasy golf league.
Fantasy golf leagues are based on one of the major professional tours, like the PGA, LPGA or European tour. Leagues can have a wide number of teams in them, but 6 is the least number of participants that will make a good league, and anything over 16 is hard to manage. Each team will have a set number of golfers, and a set number of “starting” golfers each week.
A good number to have is 6 golfers with 3 starters each week or 4 golfers with 2 starters each week. The main reason for this is that professional golfers only play a certain number of events so players need options when some of their golfers are off for the week. These are not hard and fast rules. Use whatever numbers you think work best for your league.
Drafting and auctioning players are the 2 most common ways for teams to acquire golfers. In a draft fantasy golf league, players determine a draft order, usually by chance, and choose available players for their team.
Fantasy Golf Draft Leagues
Using a serpentine draft system is best for a fantasy golf draft league. For example, a six team league draft would go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, etc.
Fantasy Golf Auction Leagues
In an auction league, each team starts with a set number of auction dollars to spend on their team and each team manager bids on the rights to the golfers they want. All of the golfers that are not chosen in the original draft or auction are considered free agents and may be picked up by any team in the league. Many fantasy golf leagues place a cut off date on transactions, usually late in the season. Trades are also negotiated and made in most leagues.
Diehard fantasy golf players often enjoy “keeper” leagues where each team is permitted to keep a set number of players from one season to the next. The remaining golfers are placed back into the player pool and a new draft or auction is conducted each year.
Fantasy golf leagues can be set up as a competition for overall points for a season, or half season, or teams can compete in a heads up style each week. In leagues using a heads up scoring format, there is a playoff at the end of the golf season, just like the real life football or baseball playoff systems.
Fantasy Golf Scoring Systems
Scoring systems for your fantasy golf league are just like everything listed above. There is no set format, so this is just a guideline. I have included sample points if you want to use this system.
Points can be awarded on any or all of the categories listed below.
- Hole-in-one - 50 points
- Eagle - 20 points
- Birdie - 5 points
- Bogey - negative 5 points
- Double Bogey - negative 20 points
- Miss Cut - negative 50 points
Tournament Finish Fantasy Golf Scoring
- 1st - 300
- 2nd - 250
- 3rd - 240
- 4th - 230
- 5th - 220
- 6th - 210
- 7th - 200
- 8th - 195
- 9th - 190
- 10th - 185
- 11th - 180
- 12th - 175
- 13th - 170
- 14th - 165
- 15th - 160
- 16th - 155
- 17th - 150
- 18th - 145
- 19th - 140
- 20th - 135
- 21st – 25th - 100
- 26th – 30th - 75
- 31st – 35th - 50
The best thing about organizing a fantasy golf league is the complete freedom you have in the design and time intensity required. If you want a league that only requires a few minutes a week, you can accomplish it, but if you are addicted to pouring over statistics and making strategic judgments, you can design a league that requires constant study and hard work to win. Any competition that offers this many options is worth looking into by golf fans of any level.
We'll have additional articles about how to play fantasy golf soon. These will cover nuances of the game including strategic considerations.