Submitted by Jason Topp @topp66
The Masters is a game that works best with four or five players but can work with three as well. Its format is friendly to groups with varying skill levels. It won’t get too out of hand if you have a bad day at the course, but it also rewards great play.
How to play
The Masters consists of dividing the 18-hole round into six three-hole stroke play matches (1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13-15, 16-18). The first five matches, which take place on holes 1-15, are considered “regular tour events” and are winner take all. The winners of these matches earn a spot in the final match on holes 16-18 called “The Masters.” If a player in the group fails to win an event to qualify for the Masters, he can buy into it by paying double the entry fee. Before the round, entry fee denominations are determined for the regular Tour events and Masters. For example, each player puts in $2 for the regular events and $5 for The Masters. Under this scenario, the most a player could lose would be $20 – $2 for each of the first five matches and $10 to “buy in” to the Masters.
Here are a couple of smaller details of the game
Breaking ties – During regular events, if two or more players tie on a three-hole match, a sudden-death playoff starts on the next hole to determine the winner.
If a tie occurs during the final match of “The Masters”, your group has a couple of options. If you are playing a public course, I would recommend a sudden-death putt-off or chip-off. If you are at a private course or a public course without a lot of people around, you can host sudden-death matches around the 18th green or go to the first tee and playoff until a winner is crowned. Or you can split the pot and go your merry ways.
Handicapping – For handicapping this game, you can use the standard system of playing off your group’s low-handicap and using each hole’s handicap rank.
The other option is to provide players a standard amount of strokes per 3-hole match.
Player A: 0 handicap
Player B: 4 handicap
Player C: 10 handicap
Player D: 20 handicap
Player A gets 0 shots
Player B gets one shot on the first four regular matches.
Player C gets two shots in the first four matches and one in the last two.
Player D gets four shots in the first two matches and three shots in the last four.
If you use this system, it’s recommended to assign strokes to playoff holes based on the traditional handicap system.
This game is great for improving your pressure play because it simulates the feel of closing out a round or match. Or as Tiger would say, it increases your “reps.” Enjoy and reach out with any questions. If you want to submit a game you play for “Game of the Week”, do so here.