Golf Tips: Best Strategies for Best Ball Tournaments

Best ball events are extremely popular when the person or organization that is putting the event on has access to accurate handicap information. As a reminder, all SCGA members have an official handicap.

It may be necessary at this point to explain the difference between “best ball” and “scramble.” A scramble is where everyone hits and then selects the best shot. After agreeing, everyone plays from there.

In a best ball event everyone plays their own ball all the way into the hole and only the lowest net or gross score counts, hence best ball.

Putting the Team Together

If you have the opportunity to put your own team together, there are two important requirements for having a strong team. You need one player that is as close to a scratch golfer as you can find. Their job is making sure the team has nothing worse than a par on every hole. He or she will also probably be a good coach for the other golfers helping them with strategy and shot selection.

The average has very little knowledge about good strategies for scoring better or they would. It is easy to take a golfer that shoots around ninety or higher and get them around the golf course in five to ten shots less without changing their swing at all.

For the rest of the members of the team, it is best to have players that hit the ball far enough to have a chance to hit the green in regulation and preferably a handicap of eighteen or higher. This means the golfer has the potential to be on any green in regulation and is able to “two putt” for net birdie. If a golfer has more than an eighteen handicap that is even better provided they can get the ball close to the green in regulation on holes where they have two shots.

Playing Strategies


Don’t worry about who had the lowest score on the previous hole. You want your best player hitting first for several reasons. If the best golfer hits a good drive, it takes pressure of the other players which improves their chances of getting a descent tee shot. It also helps your “A” player not to have to watch the others tee off. That makes it easier for them to have a positive image in their mind when they plays the shot.

Approach Shot

On the approach shot, have everyone hit ahead of your “A” player so that they knows exactly what he needs to do. If they have one or two players on the green with good chances to make net birdies, the last golfer can go flag hunting. If no one is one the green, then they know to play conservatively for the middle of the green. That will which lessen the chances for birdie.


Once you get on the green the strategy changes a little. You do not necessarily want people putting in order of who is farthest from the hole. You want to make sure to lock in a par and let the others have a free run at it.

If you follow the suggestions laid out here, it will greatly enhance your chances of finishing strong. The best thing that can happen is one of your high handicap golfers getting hot. That will lead to less pressure and more motivation to the group.

Written by BP Staff

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