Golf tournaments are great ways to help local clubs raise money for good causes such as junior golf foundations or giving to local charities. Hosting a golf tournament is not as easy as it looks, and many factors need to be considered, like, sponsors, locations, and catering for players and spectators.
But one of the most significant factors that can either make or break a golf event is the format. Several different starting formats can be utilized, but today we’re looking specifically at the shotgun start.
The number of golfers and the duration of the event, play prominent roles in which format is best and why. So without further adieu, let’s look at what a shotgun start is and why it’s the favored format for fundraising events.
A Shotgun Start In Golf: What Is It?
Simply put, a shotgun start in golf means that all the players signed up for the tournament tee off at the same time from each of the 18 holes on the course.
Every playing group, generally four players, tee off from different holes. For example, a group may tee off on the 16th hole and then move to the 17th, 18th, 1st, and so on. The primary reason that the shotgun start is preferred is that all players start simultaneously, significantly speeding up play.
There is no need for long waits on each of the tee boxes, and play is smooth and consistent. The shotgun start is also perfect for fundraising events and pro-ams because all the golfers generally finish simultaneously, allowing everyone to enjoy the after-round party celebrations.
How Do Normal Golf Tee Times Work For Tournaments?
Traditional tee times for golf tournaments see players teeing off in staggered timeslots generally 5 to 10 minutes apart. Players start on either the 1st hole or the 9th hole, meaning one group will play the front-nine first while the other group will play the back-nine.
Staggering the tee times helps keep play moving at a steady pace which is perfect for tournament golf but not great for fundraising events when you need golfers to finish at the same time for after-party celebrations.
Staggered tee times also allow golfers to choose the time that suits them best. If you’re an early bird, you can select tee times as early as 6 am. There are tee times in the late afternoon for people who have just finished work and many golf courses now have floodlights for night golf.
Hosting A Tournament? Which Format Is Best?
When it comes to organizing a golf event, you need to consider many factors, but first and foremost, you must ensure the participants have fun; if they don’t, it will be the first and last golf tournament you ever host.
As you’ve seen, the type of golf tournament you’re hosting is the most significant factor you need to consider. Are you hosting a fundraising round of golf? A charity event, maybe? Or are you hosting a serious stroke-play tournament? If you’re hosting a fundraising event, then the shotgun start is your best option because all players start and finish at the same time.
A stroke play event, however, is a different story; in this case, your best bet is the traditional staggered tee times. This format allows players to choose the tee time that suits them while keeping play moving at a steady pace.
Remember, no matter what starting format you choose for your golf event, your emphasis must be on ensuring participants have fun and leave wanting to come back for more.