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League Management Software/App


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#1 evgolfer

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:51 PM

If you are like me you are trying to set up a golf league and you’d like an app for live scoring/live leaderboard, and you would like to manage handicaps for your league and track season points for a league champion. Ideally, you’d like this for low or no cost.

The bad news is that there is no free software or app that does all of these things. The best apps cost around $100 or more a season based on the number of players. I’ve heard generally good things about keepscores.com, Golf Genius, and Golf League Tracker. These should do what you need if you are looking for a paid solution. I have not used and cannot review these options.

This review is for the rest of you that want to maximize the money paid out in prizes, and are willing do a little leg work to avoid paying for software or apps.

If you want to save money you have to split up live scoring/live leaderboard and the league management tasks. There are plenty of apps that do live scoring. Below are the two best that I found:

Live Leaderboard/Scoring:

Best Option: Iwanamaker.com

I was running a league with 24 or fewer players. This made iwanamaker.com free to use. I found setting up events, rounds, and scoring methods to be relatively simple. It allows you to add others to be managers of the event, volunteers, or golfers playing in the event. It will automatically generate pairing sheets as well as a flyer for golf carts that has the pairings, time, tee #, and a multi-digit code to access the event quickly and start scoring on your smartphone. You don’t need an app to access the event, you can use the browser on your phone to do it.

What iwanamaker could not do for me was track league points for the season, or manage player handicaps within the league. I could assign handicaps, or import players and their handicaps from a spreadsheet. Bonus points for easy scramble and Ryder cup event set up, with youtube video tutorials explaining how to set these up.

Honorable mention: TheGrint

I played around with The Grint and I liked that you could get an official handicap with it, track individual stats like GIR, putts, etc. and you could create events and do live scoring. It did not have as many of the event features that iwanamaker has. I also didn’t find that I had as many options for scoring methods as I did in iwanamaker. However, it is free and it appears to allow unlimited players. This would give it an advantage if I had a 36 player league. I found the Tours (event/league option) to be difficult to navigate and setup. It did allow custom point scoring. This seems to be geared toward individual golfers, or buddies on a trip, and not so much at large leagues.

League Management

Best Option: Excel spreadsheet

Yep, sorry. The free options (which I will discuss below) did not allow me to track end of season points, or tailor scoring methods to my league. For me, I found having a tab to track player differentials for each round was the best option. I was going to have to track season points manually anyways and I didn’t want to use three different methods of tracking this league. There’s no pretty way to do this and no off the shelf solution. Just come up with something that works for your league and doesn’t require more than 30 minutes of work a week.

I only have about ten events and roughly 16 players. So take that into account in evaluating your own needs. Figuring out a differential for a player on a course is as simple as (Score – Rating)*113/Slope. You then have a bunch of options depending on how you intend to deter sandbagging. For example you can tell Excel to find the min of all differentials for a player and then multiply that by 0.96 to get the players handicap for the next event. Again, your needs may vary.

Honorable Mentions:

Fringegolfers.com: This is the website that could have been a contender except for two fatal flaws. First, it didn’t allow for tracking end of season championship points. It allowed for stroke play and awarding points, but the point scale couldn’t be adjusted that I could find. I wanted to use a custom point scale. Second, almost none of the courses my league plays, or in my area, were in the website. This meant timely data entry any time we wanted to add a course, or set of tees. The software was easy to use and navigate, and it was easy to add events and scoring methods. I liked that it had both stroke and match play options. It also had a decent system for tracking player handicaps.

Leaguesync.com: If you only have match play events, and you don’t need to track points for a season long champion this software may be for you. I needed a season with a scramble, stroke play events, and a Ryder cup style event. This couldn’t do that and seemed to only offer match play for scoring. The menu system was confusing and difficult to navigate. Even so, I found a number of reviews of people who used this software and capably managed their league. Also, it appeared to already have pre-loaded all courses in my area. Also, it had a capable system for managing player handicaps.

The also-rans: These are apps/websites that just disappointed for one reason or another.

Itsgoodgolf.com: No handicap management system that I could see. I did not like the navigation system. I could only select points by round or points by hole. It looked like I would be entering all courses into the system manually. I didn’t get very far with it. It appeared sparse and didn’t meet my needs.

GolfGameBook: I heard good things about this and then I heard it was abandoned. I have no idea. No support for android, only iphone. I did not care for the game creation engine. Maybe it has potential, but I didn’t get very far with it.

18birdies: This appeared to be free for personal use but mentioned to contact for pricing for the tournament+ features. I don’t know. This was enough to keep me from signing up for an account.

Blue Golf: This is free for scoring personal rounds with a few friends, but costs money for the league management features. I found the interface difficult and limiting, but this could be that it was locked from using the better features. It was essentially useless for managing a league from the free version. The potential of the pay features looks awesome (season points, handicaps, etc.) but I have no idea, and who knows if they are any better than other paid options.

Who Am I? This is my first time starting and managing a league, and I signed up for and researched so many software options, and found a dearth of info in the forums, and wanted to save others some time. I’m not an expert. I didn’t apply any objective or scientific approach to evaluating these options. Maybe there are great features buried in some of the options I rejected. I hope this will give you a place to start as you plan your league. Maybe others will chime in with their own choices or successes with software/apps.


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#2 Trane5

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:48 PM

Thanks for this Evgolfer.....great info!!! I use the Grint for personal handicap and have ran several tourneys within our Grint club over the last few years. I haven't really used their on-line league; it seems it's geared more for players that can't get all out together but still want to compete using the honor system and the app. I've used spreadsheets myself to track the handicaps, net scores, and payouts. Again, thanks for taking the time to post this!!
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#3 mozes

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:09 AM

Great Post!

I am actually starting a league up that sounds quite similar to your.
16 players. Individual Net Stroke.

Does the Grint have a live scoreboard?   I have used it personally for years, but the league setup seems a bit confusing.   I agree with @Trane5's point "it seems it's geared more for players that can't get all out together but still want to compete"

I would be quite curious to hear more details about your league @evgolfer.

So you use iwanamaker and excel combined to run the league?

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#4 evgolfer

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:45 PM

 mozes, on 21 April 2017 - 11:09 AM, said:

Great Post!

I am actually starting a league up that sounds quite similar to your.
16 players. Individual Net Stroke.

Does the Grint have a live scoreboard?   I have used it personally for years, but the league setup seems a bit confusing.   I agree with @Trane5's point "it seems it's geared more for players that can't get all out together but still want to compete"

I would be quite curious to hear more details about your league @evgolfer.

So you use iwanamaker and excel combined to run the league?

The Grint has a feature called "Tours." You can start a tour, and you are then the organizer of that tour. You can then add events and set up rounds for those events. You can then invite people to participate in those events. I reasoned that you could use this for league events, but you are correct it seems primarily for smaller groups or buddy trips.

This is the inaugural year of my league. I had liked several leagues I had seen, including one local to me, that were set up like mini tours. However, I wanted something with a group of guys at work and geared more toward average golfing ability. We are planning to play our first event, a scramble, at the end of this month. That event is not handicapped. We then play every other week alternating between two different 9 hole munis. After two rounds we have a major at a longer, more challenging muni. Then two rounds, another major, two rounds, and the tour championship, the final major. We will cap off the season with a Ryder Cup style event. So there is a scramble, 6 net score stroke play events, three majors that are net score stroke play, and a ryder cup event. The rounds are always at the same two 9-hole munis that are executive length, and the majors, scramble, and Ryder cup are at longer more challenging courses.

The regular rounds have a point system, and points are doubled during majors. The scramble awards money to the first place team, but no points. The Ryder Cup doesn't award points either. The player with the lowest gross score gets extra points equal to 10% of first place. Players can skip any two events, other than majors, and still be awarded half the points of a last place finisher. The players with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd highest amount of points at the end of the tour championship are paid out from the championship prize pot. There are prizes for the bi-weekly events as well.

I picked munis to support some local courses I love, and to keep costs down. We might pick different courses if there is a second year. At this point, this is all theoretical, I'm still trying to sign up enough players to get it off the ground, but should be able to do it. There's been a bit of interest.

I started this thread because after searching for info in this and other golf forums, and signing up for just about every golf league app or website, I wanted to leave some waypoints for future league managers.

I have set up my events in iwanamaker for live scoring. I then have a spreadsheet to track league points and handicaps. The only event I have a hiccup for is the first round after the scramble. I plan on using the Callaway scoring method to assign a handicap for that round only, and then all future rounds league scores will be used to assign handicaps for the next event. In future seasons, handicaps from the prior season could be used for the first event.

Edited by evgolfer, 21 April 2017 - 01:50 PM.


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#5 evgolfer

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:53 PM

I should add the Ryder Cup event is matchplay with five holes four-ball, and four holes foursomes, also net score.


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#6 crazygolfnut

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 06:42 PM

I have a homemade excel spreadsheet that works but would like to try something better.  I don't like a subscription based program. Hoping for a few more ideas.  Thanks.

Edited by crazygolfnut, 07 June 2017 - 06:45 PM.

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#7 larrybud

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 08:58 PM

I'm the owner of Golf League Tracker. Feel free to shoot me any questions.

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