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Golf formats: Such a thing as 'worst ball'?


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#1 bulls9999

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:15 AM

My club recently had a golf tournament with format changing every 9 holes:  Alternate shot, Best ball, Scramble.  Which had me thinking of additional formats; is there such a thing as 'worst ball'? ....that puts pressure on both players to do decent as opposed to allowing one player get away with a high score. If not, then I just invented it!!

Edited by bulls9999, 12 October 2017 - 08:16 AM.


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#2 NorthMNgolfer

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:58 AM

I played an event years ago that had 4 man teams and you had to use the best and worst score on each hole for the team score.  You also had to have a min team handicap of 60.  Made for a fun format.

That's as close as I have ever heard of a "worst" ball event.
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#3 RayGorman

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:06 AM

Only played that with my friends when it is two on one. Their best ball score against my worst score of the two balls I play. Not very often and not so much anymore since my game isn't what is was and courses are too crowded these days.

Certainly helped create a game with consistency (I hoped...)

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#4 MrJones

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:23 AM

My buddy (scratch) and I (about an 8 at the time) made a bet one afternoon. We'd each play 2 balls and I alone would choose which ball he had to play along with picking which ball I played.

I beat him but didn't cover the spread so I lost $$. It was fun though.
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#5 hollabachgt

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:23 AM

Never heard of worst ball as a team event but It's a frequently used format for tournament preparation. I'll often play a few 9 hole rounds of worst ball prior to a tournament, helps you better focus on how to score when not hitting it perfectly and how to scramble out of potentially compounding problem areas. I remember a few years ago Tiger shot a worst ball score in the mid 60's, which even for Tiger is pretty impressive.


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#6 wcbjr

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:24 AM

Worst ball results in a loooong round of golf.

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#7 Rusty1885

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:00 AM

As a team no. I play 2bball worse ball once a month against my nemesis. You hit 2 balls on every shot, pick the worse one then hit another 2, repeat til you hole out.

Usually, the first few holes is ok I might be able to scramble for some pars but sooner or later the mental side will crack and I’m deep in survival mode. Good round for me is 93, Best 91. Bad ones was in a good bowling scores. :). The good news it’s I usually play the next round the next day and I would shoot career round the next day. Apparently, I’m all out of bad shots or still too numb to think on the course.
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#8 Sean2

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:20 AM

Prior to the NCAA championship, Alabama was playing a practice round and played worst ball. They showed some highlights on GC. It was funny. :-)
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#9 HatsForBats

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:17 PM

I bet a brief internet search would reveal it has already been thought of.

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#10 fillwelix

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:05 PM

The only way to do that is if the other team selects which ball you play from, if you have two drives, one is 130 away but in thick rough and one is 140 away in the fairway, you could say that the 140 shot is the "worst ball" because it's further away

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#11 Ferguson

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:56 PM

We don't need a special format.    I think we all play that way, at least some of the time.



Exception: The WRXers who consistently drive it over 335 and crank their Christopher Cross / John Parr / Murray Head music mix while playing.

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#12 Argonne69

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 03:11 PM

If I'm not mistaken, the pros used a worst ball scramble, aka reverse scramble, as one of the challenges in an off season exhibition match. It might be ADT Skills Challenge. https://www.pgatour....schallenge.html

"Contrary to the traditional scramble format, the rules of the "Reverse Scramble" call for the opposing team to select which shot its rival twosome must play, adding a new dimension to the competition. The format is especially conducive to the ADT Skills Challenge TV production approach, which showcases the personalities of the players, all of whom are equipped with microphones throughout."



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#13 gretch

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 03:54 PM

Buddy of mine and I play relatively often in a semi serious gambling format.  We play a skins game hole by hole, quad for birdies.  Our usual game is double for birds, quad for eagles but birdies in this game come maybe just slightly more often then eagles in regular golf and we are both around 2.

2 balls from everywhere, opponent chooses your worst, replicate exact lies of original worst ball on second shot everywhere.  If there is a stick or something in your way and you destroy it in the first swing, your opponent will be more than happy to help you find another suitable stick or replicate how shiatty your first lie was. :D   Its quite fun, a little brutal, and I believe it is about as good of mind strengthening you can do.  "nice shot, lets see it again"

I've tried a couple times to get the mens club to do something along the lines but cannot get enough interested to make a real tournament of any kind out of it.

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#14 SixtySomePing

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:00 PM

View PostFerguson, on 12 October 2017 - 01:56 PM, said:

We don't need a special format. I think we all play that way, at least some of the time.



Exception: The WRXers who consistently drive it over 335 and crank their Christopher Cross / John Parr / Murray Head music mix while playing.

I agree, I've always played worst ball. I hit one worst ball per hole, it's pretty automatic now since I've been playing for so long. It helps your recovery game tremendously. I don't speak from experience, but I would assume that hitting the ball straight down the fairway, and onto the green for a par or birdie on a regular basis would get boring. Think of it value wise, get your money's worth. It's like getting a large bucket of balls at the range for one price, when you could get an extra large bucket for the same price. More shots = more play... :dntknw:
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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:16 PM

I have played it on a 4 ball match gambling along with a best ball in other words two seperate bets. Those hustlers in Vegas used to play that and for some reason they called it a 4 way

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#16 dpark

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:29 PM

As a gambling format no. But a a way to practice and get better, yes.

My golf instructor told me that if I wanted to know how good I can play, play two balls for every shot and pick the best one to play from for the next shot. The first time I tried it I shot a couple under par. I was around an 8 hdcp at the time.

Then to see how good I could play under pressure, he told me to play two balls for every shot and take the worst result to play from for the next shot. The goal wasn't to see how bad I could play, but to better understand course management and learning how to play for "old man par". I think I shot close to 90 the first time I did it.

This is when I think I finally understood the meaning of "take your punishment".  When you hit a bad shot and try to get it all back with a hero shot, it became clear to me why this wasn't a good strategy for playing consistent golf. Everyone likes to think they can pull off a hero shot, but the reality is that they are mostly unsuccessful and you can compound your problems very quickly (as seen when you have to take your next worst shot).

Playing worst ball taught me the importance of consistency in my game and when in trouble, hit the shot that you can execute the vast majority of the time to get back in play and maybe save par, worst case bogey, instead of a taking a big number on a given hole.
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#17 865golf

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:42 PM

For several years, Graysburg Hills GC in Chuckey, TN had a really fun 2-man tournament called the BASH Tournament.  Format was 5 holes Best ball; 4 holes Alternate shot; 5 holes Scramble; and 4 holes High score. I played in it for several years and the high score (worst ball) portion was the most nerve wracking 4 holes of golf you could play - you could have a partner on fire and you suddenly start dropping double bogies all over the place.

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#18 dpark

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 05:29 PM

View Post865golf, on 12 October 2017 - 04:42 PM, said:

For several years, Graysburg Hills GC in Chuckey, TN had a really fun 2-man tournament called the BASH Tournament.  Format was 5 holes Best ball; 4 holes Alternate shot; 5 holes Scramble; and 4 holes High score. I played in it for several years and the high score (worst ball) portion was the most nerve wracking 4 holes of golf you could play - you could have a partner on fire and you suddenly start dropping double bogies all over the place.

This is very cool but how the heck do you handicap this event? Do you remember if it was a flighted event?
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#19 ijohnson

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 05:58 PM

I did it with a teammate once in practice - we were basically 1 and 5 handicaps, and were struggling to make bogeys. We did it as a worst ball scramble - which made 5-footers way tougher knowing you had to hit both for one to count. Same with bunker shots, chips into the grain, etc.
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#20 boxerjoe2011

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 06:20 PM

My high school team had an end of the year father-son 9 hole scramble tournament with the last hole being a reverse scramble.  It was absolute comedy watching the last hole.  One year, my father chipped in from a really tough spot off the green and immediately began to cuss up a storm because he knew it was an insane shot and I wasn't going to copy it. The first 8 holes went super fast and the last hole took forever however.


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#21 865golf

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:35 PM

View Postdpark, on 12 October 2017 - 05:29 PM, said:

View Post865golf, on 12 October 2017 - 04:42 PM, said:

For several years, Graysburg Hills GC in Chuckey, TN had a really fun 2-man tournament called the BASH Tournament.  Format was 5 holes Best ball; 4 holes Alternate shot; 5 holes Scramble; and 4 holes High score. I played in it for several years and the high score (worst ball) portion was the most nerve wracking 4 holes of golf you could play - you could have a partner on fire and you suddenly start dropping double bogies all over the place.

This is very cool but how the heck do you handicap this event? Do you remember if it was a flighted event?

It was a one day event and as I recall there were enough teams for 3 flights - I think I remember there being 24 2-man teams.  I don't think there's any way to accurately handicap the event, but there were a lot of good golfers in the event and it seems like every one of them struggled in at least one of the formats. My team - and by that I mean me - struggled in the High score as we finished +4 in the last 4 holes despite my partner having an eagle and 3 birdies.  I still hear about that at least once a month.

I'd be happy to give you more details if you ever want to put on a tournament like that - it really was one of the most fun formats I ever played in.

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#22 2putttom

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:51 PM

it's all about the recovery shot... I'm not playin' out of a poison oak/ivy patch again!
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#23 dpark

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:08 PM

View Post865golf, on 12 October 2017 - 08:35 PM, said:

View Postdpark, on 12 October 2017 - 05:29 PM, said:

View Post865golf, on 12 October 2017 - 04:42 PM, said:

For several years, Graysburg Hills GC in Chuckey, TN had a really fun 2-man tournament called the BASH Tournament.  Format was 5 holes Best ball; 4 holes Alternate shot; 5 holes Scramble; and 4 holes High score. I played in it for several years and the high score (worst ball) portion was the most nerve wracking 4 holes of golf you could play - you could have a partner on fire and you suddenly start dropping double bogies all over the place.

This is very cool but how the heck do you handicap this event? Do you remember if it was a flighted event?

It was a one day event and as I recall there were enough teams for 3 flights - I think I remember there being 24 2-man teams.  I don't think there's any way to accurately handicap the event, but there were a lot of good golfers in the event and it seems like every one of them struggled in at least one of the formats. My team - and by that I mean me - struggled in the High score as we finished +4 in the last 4 holes despite my partner having an eagle and 3 birdies.  I still hear about that at least once a month.

I'd be happy to give you more details if you ever want to put on a tournament like that - it really was one of the most fun formats I ever played in.

I forwarded your earlier description to the head pro at my club to see if he is interested in such an event. If so, I will get back in touch with you via PM.
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#24 deetsal

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:37 PM

Picking the worst ball seems time consuming and annoying in any thing close to serious.   I think you are talking about a four ball format taking the worst score on each hole by the pair.

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#25 Curt_

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:59 PM

I've played reverse scramble. That's where you and a partner hit the same shot, but take the worst one. It gets super tough, especially with putting. Both players must grind to make 6 footers. Super fun, but can be rather challenging...


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#26 cmagnusson

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:59 AM

A guy in here described a game he and his buddies made up called Cover Your a** a while ago. Basically the worst score in your group counts, but whatever the other 3 guys were net under par reduced it, and that goes on the card. Worst ball with bonuses, essentially. Seemed pretty fun, yet to give it a try myself.
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#27 DaveLeeNC

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:21 AM

I used to play a game we called "Hi-Lo". Two man teams competing in a foursome. You got a point if your best score beat the opponents best score. And you got a point if your worst score beat the opponents worst score. 0's otherwise. It was a fun game. My game was a good bit better than the other 3 guys, and 'Bob' was a good bit worse than all the other guys. So we paired together for interesting matches. One time on the 18th hole all Bob had to do was four putt from 50' to win the match. We ended up tied.

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#28 dpark

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 11:46 AM

View PostDaveLeeNC, on 13 October 2017 - 09:21 AM, said:

I used to play a game we called "Hi-Lo". Two man teams competing in a foursome. You got a point if your best score beat the opponents best score. And you got a point if your worst score beat the opponents worst score. 0's otherwise. It was a fun game. My game was a good bit better than the other 3 guys, and 'Bob' was a good bit worse than all the other guys. So we paired together for interesting matches. One time on the 18th hole all Bob had to do was four putt from 50' to win the match. We ended up tied.

dave

We play a game with the same name, but it is a little different. It is basically a best-ball format, BUT if the 2 low balls tie, the 2 high-balls count.

So if the the two low balls are 4-4, you turn to the two high balls to determine the winner of the hole. If the two high balls tie, only then is the hole a tie.

What is fun about this format is you can have win-lose putts, instead of just win-tie or lose-tie, and makes it very interesting. This occurs when one of the teams wins the high ball, but the low ball has not been decided yet.

Team A has ?-6 and team B has 4-5 and the team A player still has a birdie putt left after everyone has holed out. If the player on team A makes the birdie putt, they win the hole as the high balls don't count. But if the low player misses the birdie putt and makes par, team A loses the hole because team B wins the high ball 5-6.

We don't play with strokes so the teams are always low handicapper and high handicapper vs. the middle handicappers and it works out pretty well. If you allocate strokes, you can set up the teams any way you want.
Old stuff:
1962 Tommy Armour AT2W Driver
1953 Macgregor M65W EOM 3 wood
1978 H&B PowerBilt Citation 4 wood
1984 Ben Hogan Apex PC 2-E
1968 Wilson Dual Wedge
1964 Acushnet O-SET M6S Bullseye Putter

New stuff
Cobra ZL 10.5 driver
Adams 5050 14.5 fairway wood
Adams A2P 20* hybrid
Titleist 716 MB irons 4-PW
Titleist SM6 wedges 52, 56, 60
Odyssey RX #9 putter

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#29 dpark

dpark

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 11:47 AM

View Postdeetsal, on 12 October 2017 - 09:37 PM, said:

Picking the worst ball seems time consuming and annoying in any thing close to serious.   I think you are talking about a four ball format taking the worst score on each hole by the pair.

Correct. Would never do it for a match. I only did it when playing as a single.
Old stuff:
1962 Tommy Armour AT2W Driver
1953 Macgregor M65W EOM 3 wood
1978 H&B PowerBilt Citation 4 wood
1984 Ben Hogan Apex PC 2-E
1968 Wilson Dual Wedge
1964 Acushnet O-SET M6S Bullseye Putter

New stuff
Cobra ZL 10.5 driver
Adams 5050 14.5 fairway wood
Adams A2P 20* hybrid
Titleist 716 MB irons 4-PW
Titleist SM6 wedges 52, 56, 60
Odyssey RX #9 putter

29

#30 BIG STU

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 07:04 PM

View Postdpark, on 12 October 2017 - 04:29 PM, said:

As a gambling format no. But a a way to practice and get better, yes.

My golf instructor told me that if I wanted to know how good I can play, play two balls for every shot and pick the best one to play from for the next shot. The first time I tried it I shot a couple under par. I was around an 8 hdcp at the time.

Then to see how good I could play under pressure, he told me to play two balls for every shot and take the worst result to play from for the next shot. The goal wasn't to see how bad I could play, but to better understand course management and learning how to play for "old man par". I think I shot close to 90 the first time I did it.

This is when I think I finally understood the meaning of "take your punishment".  When you hit a bad shot and try to get it all back with a hero shot, it became clear to me why this wasn't a good strategy for playing consistent golf. Everyone likes to think they can pull off a hero shot, but the reality is that they are mostly unsuccessful and you can compound your problems very quickly (as seen when you have to take your next worst shot).

Playing worst ball taught me the importance of consistency in my game and when in trouble, hit the shot that you can execute the vast majority of the time to get back in play and maybe save par, worst case bogey, instead of a taking a big number on a given hole.
Where is your sense of adventure as in no as a gambling game??? LOL just kidding I could not resist. But you can get yourself in a can playing a 4 way especially if it is match play with two seperate bets and a 2 down automatic press. You better hope you and your partner play well on every hole

Driver: Titleist 915 D-2 Mitsubishi Diamana 65 R
3 Wood Adams Super S 15* Bassara Regular flex
Hybrid - TM Rescue Mid 19* Pro Launch Blue
Hybrid- Adams A 12 OS  22* Pro Launch Blue 60R
5 Iron 1980 Macgregor VIP TT S-300 High Launch
6 thru PW 2013 Callaway Forged X PXI 5.5
GW Vokey 252 series 54 bent to 52 S-400
SW Cleveland 588 56* S-300 Sensicore
LW Cleveland 588 60* S-300 Sensicore
Putter - Scotty Santa Fe 1997 vintage rusty as heck nicknamed "Rusty"
Bag Old School TEE 3.5 stand

Founding Father of the Outlaw Golf Association Member #1 To heck with the USGA
Redneck Hippie Golf-- When the tailgate drops the BS stops
Vintage for now
P-40 Macgregor Super Eye O Matic 2 wood
3 wood Macgregor 945W
1 iron 1967 Spalding Top Flite
Irons 3 thru PW 1990 Hogan Grind
SW-- 1965 Wilson Staff Triple Duty 56*
Putter (for now) Acushnet 35 R Standard Bulls Eye

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