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How to Start Your Own Fantasy Golf League

Feb 2, 2015 2:30 PM
Tags: Fantasy Golf
  
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It's over. Another football season into the history books. If you are one of the estimated 37 million fantasy football players you don't have to spiral into withdrawal symptoms waiting for next year's draft. Why not play fantasy golf? There is no better way to make the tournaments until the Masters mean something. Wouldn't you like to have an actual rooting interest in whether Brooks Koepka is winning a WM Phoenix Open?

 

Here's how we do it. Start with the tours you want to use to formulate your teams. For us, it is the more the merrier. We draft 15 players from either the PGA Tour or European Tour, 5 players from the LPGA and 5 players from the Champions Tour. We also add one player by lot to each tour from that year's tour qualifiers which is a great way to follow the progress of complete unknowns. At draft time fantasy owners can select players from any tour when it is their turn to pick until they fill up their rosters. There are not as many senior stars as top PGA pros so there may be greater fantasy value in selecting a Bernhard Langer ahead of a Jordan Spieth. And in fantasy golf Lydia Ko may be more valuable than Rory McIlroy. That is where the strategy comes into play.  

 

Then decide which statistical categories to count towards fantasy league play. The golf world has gone stat-crazy in recent years so the choices here are almost endless. We use six: Tour Wins, Tour Money Won, Top Tens, Tour Rounds Under Par, Major Wins and a made-up category we call Major Performance. We award points for a player's finish at each major as follows: 25 points for Top 5, 20 points for Top 10, 15 points for Top 15, 10 points for Top 20 and 5 points for finishing in the Top 25.

 

The rationale behind these categories is to force fantasy owners to build a balanced team between stars and grinders to be successful. Tiger Woods, for instance, when he was on his game would have been a top choice for Wins, Money, Major Wins and Major Performance but would be a less attractive selection for Top Tens and Rounds Under Par since he has never played more than 17 events in any one year. Conversely good players like Cameron Tringale and Brian Harman who routinely play more than 30 events every year and pile up over 100 rounds but are seldom in contention to win are better choices to help out in the so-called accumulation categories like Rounds Under Par.

 

Once the teams are picked fantasy golf plays out just like any other fantasy sport. Each week stats are recorded and totaled for each team. The teams receive points in each category based on where they rank in a cascading fashion from most to least (6-5-4-3-2-1 for a six-team league, for instance). All the points from each category are totaled and the league standings calculated. That's all it takes. Imagine, you could be riveted to your seat the next time Graham DeLaet is playing the 17th hole on Sunday trailing by a shot…       

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