Why you should try out PGA Jr. League's team format

PGA Jr. League
PGA of America
Looking for a different way to play match-play golf that's fun and exciting for everyone? Check out the format that PGA Jr. League has created.
By Dan McDonald
PGA.com

Series: PGA

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 | 3:03 p.m.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When you’re out on the course at a charity outing or playing a round with a bunch of your friends, there are many formats and games you can play instead of a straight stroke-play match.

Fourball, best-ball scramble, stableford, etc.

But next time you’re out, you’ll want to try the format of the PGA Jr. League Golf to take your round up a notch to one of those rounds that you’ll remember for a long time.

MORE: Full coverage of the 2017 PGA Jr. League Golf Championship | Photos from Grayhawk

How it works: To start off, you’ll split up into teams of two. The basic format is what you might be familiar with as a two-person scramble. Each player will hit their tee shot and then both players choose which shot to play from next. Rinse and repeat until you finish the hole.

Here’s where the fun part comes in.

Each three hole segment is its own mini-match. Win two of the three holes in that segment and you win a “flag.” Win two of the three “flags” over the course of nine holes and you win the match.

Playing 18? Reset the scoreboard and play again! Maybe switch up teams to mix things up. Or run it back and see if that first match was just a fluke and the losing team just needed some time to warm up.

Some of the rules modifications also help to make sure play continues moving forward and your round doesn’t get bogged down in a ruling argument or diving into that rule book in your bag.

Every rules violation is viewed as a one-stroke penalty. Also, all hazards are lateral hazards, so just drop a ball, take your penalty stroke and focus on the next shot.

MORE: Sign up your child for a PGA Jr. League team near you

Also, the maximum score you can win a hole with is a triple bogey. If both teams reach triple bogey without holing out, the hole is halved and you move on.

In a stroke-play scramble, your team having a bad hole or two can be hard to recover from. And if you have players of all different levels, it can be a frustrating experience if your scorecard explodes to a high number. In this format, a bad hole or a string of bad holes is insulated to just one “flag” and it’s a lot easier to truly forget that bad shot and focus on striping the next one.

This format is especially great for families to get out on the course and have some healthy, fun competition while helping young kids focus on developing their game instead of concentrating on their score.

If you’re able to have even half as much fun as these kids at the PGA Jr. League Championship are having playing this format, you’ll be in for a great golf experience with your golf mates or even make some new ones in the process.