Fun Formats for Summer Holiday Golf

Playing golf with friends and family is a great way to spend a long summer holiday weekend

Most golfers are lucky to take advantage of a few long weekends or a few days off that around summe holidays, including Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.  Many facilities during the summer offer activities with patriotic themes such as a Red, White and Blue tournament or a Flag tournament. 

Red, White and Blue Tournament:  Courses in the past have used three traditional colors to differentiate the teeing grounds – red tees for the forward area, white tees for the middle area and blue tees for the back teeing ground.  (If a course doesn’t use these tee colors, you can refer to the event as Forward, Middle and Back Tournament.)  

Here’s the format if you play in a Red, White and Blue Tournament.

  • All players start from the middle tees
  • If you par a hole, you start the next hole from the middle tees
  • If you bogey a hole, you start the next hole from the forward tees
  • If you birdie a hole, you start the next hole from the back tees

Typically this event is handicapped so golfers are using net scores to determine which teeing ground to begin play on each hole.  Tournament organizers could also determine which tees to use based on handicaps or average scores – having single digit handicappers use the back tees, bogey golfers using the middle tees and double bogey golfers using the forward tees.  

Flag Tournament:  Another popular golf format associated with patriotic summer holidays is a Flag Tournament.  In this event, each person has an allotted number of strokes, then plays golf until his/her strokes run out.  Then you stick a flag in the ground where your final shot is played.  (For Fourth of July events, each player is given a small US Flag with their name on it.)  Typically the fairways and greens on holes 15 through 18 are decorated with small US Flags and adds some fun to a Fourth of July golf course event.

Usually the allotted number of strokes is determined by adding your course handicap to the course par.    So if your handicap is 13 and the par is 72, you would put a flag in the ground where you played your 85 shot from that day.  The golfer who has his/her flag the farthest is the winner.  This format is also called “Last Person Standing” or “Tombstone.”  (You can use this same format called “The Tombstone Open” for a Halloween theme.)

Use these suggested formats to spice up your weekly game with friends or family. Regardless, use this time to recharge the batteries and connect with the people you care about while playing a round of golf.