The Games We Play

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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Whiz » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:29 am

A big factor in this should be the difficulty of the course. On a tough par 5 for instance, the difference between a good shot and a bad shot can sometime be TWO strokes. On a putt, the difference is usually not more than one stroke (no including rolls, OB near the basket etc.). A mulligan should always be used for the WORST shot thrown because the difference between that and a better shot will often be greater than the difference between two putts. If you are playing par 3 golf, often a terrible shot will still result in a three on a hole and you may not wish to take another drive if it is a tough par 3. On a pitch and putt vs. a pro par (ssa 60+) course you will make very different decisions regarding mulligans. From reading how you use your mulligans money21, it is my impression that you are either

a: playing par3 courses or pitch and putts.

b: a poor decision maker when it comes to when to use your mulligans

c. a poor putter where putting is where you would lose strokes and thus you use your mulligans on putts

d. a very, very good player and you have very, very few truly bad drives and you will then use mulligans on your putts accordingly
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Whiz » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:31 am

With that said, a pressure putt is always one on which the game rests. One stoke to win or lose. The only way to get to that shot, as Mark says, is by fashioning the game in such a way as to give the greatest opportunity that someone (either the better or weaker player) will have to make that shot. I actually really like his approach to this and have been searching myself for some ways to improve under pressure. I just might steal it ;-)
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby money 21 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:41 am

whiz I do play alot of par 3 courses but there are others. 2 I don't always use mulligans on putts just have learn over the years of playing cali that putting is where you can make or break a ronund. of couse if i shank a drive the i would use it then. Also the best part of my game is up shots 200'-80' shot i excell at. I am not a long driver but am pretty accurate. i am a good inside the circle putter but not very good out side. My problem with the mulligans is it is not what i do in a tournment. the guy i play with most often is rated about 995 my rating is 915 he gives me 5 strokes at the begining of the round then we play. to be honest the 5 strokes are for him to feel presure. i play as if we are playing straight up till we add scores at the end of the round. because if i play coservative as if i have the lead and play for pars i will usually win but me game doesn't improve because i don't take risks. when i play a hole in a tourney i look at it this way. what will it take to par. Then what will it take to birdie. if i miss the birdie line can i still get par. then decide on my shot. this has put me in the money in the last several tournys played.

I guess this all comes down to how the weaker player feel about it.

When i play with my wife she play every hole as a parr more then me. so for me a par3 her a par4. she doesn't play in tourneys much so this way she can compete with me. we bet doing dishes or back rubs.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Dogma » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:47 am

Mark Ellis wrote:There is no tangible difference between mulligans or any other kind of spot given to the weaker players.
...
A player who is starting to compete in leagues or tournaments has no experience to rely upon. The first time they find themselves in the lead group during a final round they will be under a kind of pressure they aren't ready for-unless- they have been practicing under pressure.

I agree with Money 21 that there is a contradiction here. A spot or a mulligan might have roughly the same effect on the final score, but will NOT have the same effect on the pressure felt during a round for the weaker player. With mulligans, you always have that sense of "I can have a re-do, so this shot doesn't really count" in the back of your head. Whereas if someone simply spots you eight strokes, you have a tangible lead you have to defend and every stroke counts, just like in a tournament.

I'm not trying to nitpick. Just trying to point out that (as the person who usually gets spotted strokes) it feels and plays very differently than having mulligans (even if the score might end up the same) because it affects decision making, pressure, and your approach not only to each shot, but the overall risk-reward strategy you take on each hole.


That said, I appreciate Mark's detailed descriptions of various alternative games. Keep the ideas coming!
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby craftsman » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:41 pm

Speaking of indy, ive had alot of fun lately playing a game of skins with a twist.

I took an old oversized die i won at a carnival as a kid and stickered two sides red, two white, and two black. (indy has red black and white tees)

Each hole the leader rolls the die to decide what tees are played. In a skins round this can lead to some fun for a mixed skill group.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby money 21 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:12 pm

i agree Mark's ideas for game are cool. He is a great asset to the sport. as dogma said he is usually the won give the points not receiving, so coming from a different point of veiw.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:31 am

Yesterday it was me and 3 Ams. We played doubles. I took the weakest Am and we gave the other team one mulligan per hole. After a few holes my team was building a lead and I offered our opponents two mulligans per hole. They declined, joking about how they were going to take it to us. Not surprisingly that never happened and my team won handily.

When a game is out of hand (one team with a big lead) it really benefits no one. I was under no pressure to perform, got lackadaisical and missed a couple easy putts. Not that it mattered, had I made them it would have only increased the lead. The other team was uninspired, too, knowing they had no chance. I should have made a better game.

A couple days ago I showed up with one buddy to a new, small (somewhat dumb) course which was vacant except for us. We played none of the traditional holes. Instead we took turns creating holes and playing match play. We usually created multiple mandos and very long holes so a 7 or 8 might be the winning score. The key to these holes is to design them so the most logical routes take you down fairways or at least mowed areas. When a shot goes cross country into untended areas it is easy to lose discs, especially from long, blind shots.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby money 21 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:37 pm

the other day there were 6 of us for doubles and the level of play between player was such the making even teams was hard so we played a game my freind 3 headed monster. 3 people per team all 3 drive then which who evers drive is used the other players have to finish the hole. When you move to the next hole who evers drive was used on the last hole does not drive so the 2 players drive and again the who evers drive is used the other finish the hole. It was alot of fun and fast to get through a round.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Steady 26542 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:17 pm

Offense/Defense (by Chris Sprague)

This game works best with 6 players of varying abilities but can be played with 4 as well. There are two captains that chose up the teams. Everyone plays the course as it was designed.

The offense goes first. The captain of the offense decides which one of his players throws first. Depending on how the first offensive player does, the defensive captain assigns one of his players to try to beat or tie that offensive player. The offensive captain then picks another one of his players to throw and so on. Play continues until everyone holes out.

Scoring. If you beat the player assigned against you for that hole, you score one point for your team on that hole. Ties score nothing. So if offensive player #1 wins his hole, and the other matches result in ties, then the offensive team scores 1 point for that hole.

Teams switch roles every hole so the offense now becomes the defense and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the round is declared the winner.

Strategy. There are many ways to strategize. If the best offense player goes first and happens to throw a poor shot the defense might put up a weaker player against him in the hopes of obtaining a tie and thus gaining a win with the other two matches. The defense could also put their best player up against the poor throw in the hopes of scoring an easy point and then hoping to halve the other two matches.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:14 am

One of the challenges of making up games is to define the rules clearly enough so the players can grasp them-and understand the reasoning behind them (why the game would benefit them)-and then figure out the strategy which flows from the game.

Yesterday I had a group of 6 of us and proposed a new game which was weird enough that I was surprised the group agreed to it. Heck, it was weird enough that I had to keep a scorecard just to track the rules.

The game was one of INDIVIDUAL HANDICAPPING. Random flip for best shot doubles teams, best score for 18 holes wins.

Each player had individual rules based on their skills. I was the highest rated player in the group and my rule was that I was only allowed to throw my dominant drive on 4 holes. On the course we played I would typically throw a forehand air shot on every drive. So for the round I could only throw that shot on 4 holes of my choosing. Every other drive had to be something else (roller, backhand or overhead).

The two next highest rated players were given 6 dominant drives for the round. The two next highest rated players were given 9 dominant drives. The final player was the weakest player by a considerable margin so he had no restrictions on drives and was given one mulligan per hole. For the 5 of us with restrictions, before each drive we had to announce what kind of drive we were choosing and whether it was a dominant drive or not.

If the players were given handicaps appropriate to their skills (obviously some guesswork is involved) then it should not matter who teams with who. With one hole to play one stroke was all that separated the 3 teams so it turned out to be a fun and competitive game ( more so for my team as we won it on the last hole :D ).

The strategy I used was to save my 4 dominant drives for holes I was likely to deuce on a forehand airshot and unlikely to deuce with any other drive. The longest, toughest holes I was not likely to deuce with any drive but figured I could manufacture a par with a roller, which is what happened.

I ended up throwing 2 backhand drives and 12 rollers. The leaves were thick on the fairways and with a recent rain, still wet. My rollers slipped out on their landings on the wet leaves (like when a roller hits on pavement and does a funky shiver before finding a line) and were marginal at best.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:35 pm

I thought of a variation on best shot doubles but have yet to try it out.

When we play in a best shot dbls league there are often lots of teams and there are often lots of ties for the cashing spots. The ties may split or play sudden death or even do a CTP, depending on the league and the preference of the tying teams.

My variation only acts as the first tie breaker: the team with the MOST WORST DRIVES used wins the tie.

Both players on the team drive. The team can choose either drive but the team keeps track of how many times it chooses to use the worst of the two drives (as determined by the opponents on the card). So if two team tie with 10 under (for example) but one team used 6 worst drives and the other only used 1 worst drive the team using the 6 worst drives wins.

This tiebreaker rewards multiple good drives and sometimes the courage to choose and make the harder putt.

In terms of strategy any time a team has two pretty equal drives they should play the worst of the two (the opponents MUST designate a worst drive even if one is just barely worse than the other). It is common to have two decent drives, neither of which is likely to be birdied but either of which is likely to be parred. On an easy hole it is common to have two park jobs, either of which will cash a birdie. But if one drive is parked and the other leaves a 30 foot putt, now the choice is tougher. A doubles team should hit a 30 foot putt with two tries but it is risky to give up the sure thing.

A team is never required to choose a worst drive (it is best shot, after all) so any team can just play the traditional game (and hope nobody ties them).



As an aside to this discussion it is common in the leagues I play for some teams to play much slower than others. I play fast and usually my group is one of the first ones done (unless we get stuck behind slow groups or casuals). Sometimes I wait around for a half hour or even an hour for the last stragglers to finish. If I sit around for a while my old, decrepit body stiffens up (like temporary rigor mortis :wink: ). By the time all the cards are in and a CTP is declared I have no chance of throwing a good shot.

Today my team finished in a 3 way tie for a cashing spot. When the other teams rejected a split, my team rejected a CTP and insisted on a sudden death playoff. I knew I wouldn't be much help on the first playoff hole but hoped I could help thereafter if we were still alive.

As a 2nd aside, there is no way a TD or League Director can prevent players or teams from splitting. Some TD's try to ban it but no one can stop private agreements so it is a waste of time.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby ATL Scott » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:12 pm

Not sure if there is a name for this one as it is simply a variation of doubles. It works well with 4 people on an 18 hole course. I think it works well when you have players with a variety of skill.

Randomly draw partners to start. You play with these partners for the first 6 holes with each person on your team earning 1 point for each hole won.

You then randomly re-draw another partner (that you haven't played with yet) and play the next 6 holes with this person. You play the last 6 holes with the last person.

You win $1 or whatever amount from each player for each point earned. If there is 1 pro then this way everyone gets to be on their team for a few holes and no one feels "cheated" or unlucky.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby ATL Scott » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:42 pm

Played skins and anti-skins today (with carry-overs) with 2 pros and 2 ams and it was a blast. Thanks for the idea!
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