While many of us take to the golf course to get away from it all and enjoy the peace and quiet of a solo round, others prefer playing competitive matches on a weekly basis.
It’s for this reason that golf leagues are so popular right now, as people at all levels of the game can compete against other players in their area. So, below, we explain how you can join a golf league, what you need to think about, and how to potentially set a league up yourself.
By the end of the article, you will have all the information you need to dive into competitive golf and join a league in your local area.
How Do I Find a Golf League to Join?
One of the best ways to find a golf league to join is to contact the local public and private courses in your area. Many of them have golf leagues that you can join when you become a member, or they might even host leagues that are open to members of the public.
If you don’t want to contact golf clubs directly, you could look online on a platform like MeetUp.
While MeetUp golf leagues tend to be casual and better suited to people who want to enjoy the social side of the game, they’re usually very friendly and welcoming if you’re new in town and hoping to get to know some people.
Another good place to look is on social media. Many golf leagues have Facebook groups, so you can reach out to the group admins to find out how you can join the league.
Some will have handicap requirements, while others will be open to golfers of all abilities.
You should also bear in mind where the golf league takes place and what the joining requirements are for the course in question.
Naturally, if the golf league takes place at a private golf course, you will need to become a member before you can participate in the golf league.
How Much Does a Golf League Cost?
Most golf leagues charge a small fee, usually no more than $5 per round, which contributes to the administration of the league, prizes, and other additional costs associated with its running.
The biggest cost associated with joining a golf league is the green fees that you will pay to the golf course. Whether this is in the form of a membership or a one-off fee, you will have to pay this to the pro in the clubhouse before you tee off.
When you play golf at peak times (weekend mornings), you will be required to pay higher green fees, and rounds take considerably longer.
As such, if you’re hoping to save a little bit of money, opt for golf leagues that run during the week or late in the afternoon, as they will cost considerably less as far as green fees are concerned.
Although every golf league is organized differently, you will find that most are free to join.
You will just need to cover the costs associated with your green fees and for the tournaments that you enter, but make sure you enquire about the necessary costs before committing to a golf league.
How Many People Do You Need for a Golf League?
As a minimum, you should probably look to invite at least three other golfers to join your league. Therefore, when you play as a four-ball each week, it makes tracking your scores relatively straightforward and gives you even more reason to compete against your playing partners.
The beauty of golf leagues is that they can consist of as many or as few golfers as you like. Some golf leagues have less than ten members, while others have as many as 100.
If you’re putting together a big golf league, it’s best to split players into divisions, as it makes things a lot easier to manage.
In addition to deciding how many people to include in your golf league, you will need to decide on its structure, as well as how fixtures are allocated and how scores are kept. After all, there are so many ways to score a game of golf, be it stroke play, match play, or Stableford.
If you can’t find a golf league to join in your current area, there’s nothing stopping you from setting one up and inviting your friends to join. We explain below how to set up your own golf league and manage its associated schedule.
How Do You Set up a Golf League Schedule?
The easiest way to set up a golf league schedule is to use a spreadsheet with either Excel or Google Sheets. Depending on how many members your league has, you can plan out all the fixtures from the same place and set up a WhatsApp or Facebook group to keep members in the loop.
This is the best way to set up a golf league schedule without spending a great deal of money.
You might also want to think about launching a simple blog or website that you can use as a point of reference for your group. You can also post updates directly to your members about the latest scores and positions.
If you don’t fancy developing a golf league schedule by yourself, you could utilize some software like EZ Golf League to help you out. For a monthly fee, you can run your golf league on your smartphone, automating the entire process.
The app enables you to pay fees, input scores in real-time, utilize a live leaderboard, and chat directly with other league members.
Using software to help you is a smart move, as the administration of a golf league can be time-consuming and can lead to a whole host of arguments, particularly as your league gets bigger.
How Long Do Golf Leagues Last?
Golf leagues typically run throughout the golf season, starting in spring and ending in late fall. This is because the conditions are most favorable during these months, and you can play golf without worrying too much about the weather.
During the wet and cold winter months, it’s much more difficult to schedule regular golf matches, which results in a backlog of fixtures and may even cause the league to be canceled.
That being said, some organizers and clubs run golf leagues through the winter; they just usually have fewer fixtures.
When you’re planning your golf league, you will need to think carefully about its duration. It’s best to consult with some of the other players to get an idea of what everyone thinks is a good idea.
After all, many golfers only play the sport in the summer months, so you need to host your league when everyone is available.
If your league is particularly popular, you could always run an out-of-season league or cup competition that keeps players active all year round.
While it might not be as well attended as the seasonal league, it’s a good way to keep things going during the off-season.
How Do You Win a Golf League?
While every golf league is different, you can win your league by finishing at the top of the pack. Of course, this means that you will have to play consistently good golf, beating your competitors in your weekly match-ups.
Your handicap will play a big part in your golf league performance, so you will need to take it into account. As mentioned, some golf leagues have different divisions for players between certain handicaps, be it 1-9, 10-19, and 20-28, for instance.
This gives you a great opportunity to compete against players of a similar standard to you and means you won’t be demoralized by coming up against a scratch golfer every week!
It’s also easier to manage a league that has been split up based upon handicaps, regardless of the way the fixtures are scored.
The bottom line is that to win a golf league; you need to play well every week and beat the person that you line up against. And as is the case with any sport, the person at the top of the pack at the end of the season will be declared the winner.
How Do Golf Leagues Score?
One of the most popular scoring systems in league golf is Stableford, where players are awarded points based upon their performance throughout the round against their handicap. In this format, your points will accumulate throughout the season, and the winner will be the person with the most points.
Alternatively, some golf leagues might focus on stroke play. In other words, the person with the lowest score after handicaps are considered will win.
Again, the league may tally your weekly scores, and at the end of the season, the person with the lowest score will be declared the winner.
Finally, another popular way of scoring golf leagues is match play. This is where you compete directly against players throughout your match. If you win the game, you will be awarded a certain number of points (perhaps 3), and you may even share the points if you tie.
The total number of points will be tallied in the league throughout the season, and again, the person with the most number of points will be the winner.
As you can see, there are lots of different ways in which golf leagues are scored, so you need to ask the right questions before settling on a league to join.
Conclusion: Join a Golf League Today!
Joining or starting a golf league from scratch is an excellent way to enjoy the social side of the sport. Leagues offer friendly competition and ensure things remain interesting throughout your rounds.
After all, if you’re only ever playing casually with your friends, it’s easy to become complacent, and you don’t necessarily play your best golf.
So, we hope you’re now in a position to join or start a golf league in your local area and can enjoy the social side of the game that makes golf such a popular sport.