You’re not Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. Your buddies are not Peyton Manning or Tom Brady (though they might be better golfers than the football stars). You’re not playing in a golf cart from Tiger’s personally built tee boxes. And it’s likely your Memorial Day Weekend match won’t be played for millions.
But none of those things mean you and your buddies can’t play in a match that mirrors the intensity and excitement of Sunday’s Match II: Champions for Charity.
In this week’s golf gambling game, we break down how to play your own version of the Match II with your buddies, whether you’re hacking it around for a couple bucks at your local muni or playing like a high roller.
The Big Picture
Our format borrows most of its ideology from the format for this weekend’s match. The game’s ultimate goal is to join with your teammate to win more holes than your opponent.
This format consists of four players forming two teams. Ideally, a foursome will consist of four players of similar handicaps or two pairs of similar handicaps (i.e. a 15-handicap and a 5-handicap against a 16-handicap and a 4-handicap, etc.).
Before your round begins, choose teams and allot strokes. While money isn’t necessary, we encourage you and your buddies to throw a few bucks in the pot for some added drama.
How to play
1. The Front Nine: It’s time to tee off. For the first nine holes, you and your teammate will play a pair of singles matches against the two players on the other team. Matchups can be determined by handicap or random selection. On every hole, the player with the lowest score in each match wins the hole for a possible two “wins” per hole. There are no carryover holes.
Once the front nine is over, the scores from each match are combined. For example, if player A is winning his match 2-up and player B is winning his match 1-up, Team AB would begin the back nine 3-up.
(Note: The dueling singles matches are different from The Match II’s first nine holes, which will be played in a more traditional fourball.)
2. The Back Nine: Modified alternate shot. Each golfer tees off. Then, each team selects the best of their two tee shots. From there, players alternate shots until the ball is in the hole.
It is possible for the match to end well before the final hole. Once the match has been completed, the winning team takes home the pot (presses and other side bets notwithstanding).
3. The Celeb Shot: Also known as “the Charles Barkley,” the celeb shot is to be taken on the first par-3. On this hole, each player flips tee shots with their partner, then playing their partner’s tee shot into the hole.
The aim of the Celeb Shot is to provide players with the opportunity to bail out their teammates. This hole is worth two skins, making it the most important element of the front nine singles matches.
4. The Tiger Tees: Modeled after Medalist Golf Club’s Tiger Tees (a separate set of tees designed to provide an added challenge for the pros), each team is given three “Tiger Tees” per round.
If a team calls a “Tiger Tee,” their opponent must tee off that hole from the tips. If both teams are already playing from the tips, the team that calls a “Tiger Tee” is then permitted to tee off from one of the forward tee boxes. Once a “Tiger Tee” has been called by one team, the other team may not also use their own “Tiger Tee.”
5. In the event of a tie: Head back to the first hole, walk out into the fairway and put your tee in the ground roughly 125 yards out. Continue playing alternate shot until a winner has been decided.
Why you should try it
This Match II-inspired golf gambling game is an adrenaline-filled venture into team golf. All you need is a tee time, a few buddies and a healthy sense of competition. Suddenly, your weekend round might be a star-studded affair, too.
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