Ned Brown

Trend or Mirage?

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Other fantasy golf games

Friday, March 09, 2007


Last week I covered how to play best ball games and this week I thought I would cover some other games that are played in the office. One of these is a wild variation of the best ball game. The other two games are long time horizon types of games that are based on part of the season or the whole season. Again knowing the trends and how to play them gives you a leg up on the other players.

Things to do before picking up players

The best ball variation game has mostly the same homework as I described last week. The one extra piece of homework is that you will be looking at the player's bogey percentage. The games where you have to pick a result in the future are quite different in the preparation.

In game that are based in predicting an outcome weeks down the road you can only look at the long-term trends. I print up the past performances by players on the course where the event is being held. I personally will take a look mainly at the last three times an event was played on that course. You are able to get a feel if a player will play in that event and how he does on that course.

Next, I go to the London bookmaker's odds. They are making a market in the Majors right now and that is useful see what they think. Besides seeing that they like Tiger Woods in every tournament, you will see the trends they are making book on that you might not have seen otherwise.

Setting a lineup

Duffer's Leagues

A duffer's league is based on the best ball format. The object of a normal best ball league is to use four golfers to achieve the best score for a hole. The duffer's league the object is to score the highest score on a hole. It sounds easy, but it's not, because these guys didn't get to this level in the game by being bad.

The strategy is completely different in a duffer's league. Instead of playing four players, it is preferred to play one player and three inactive players. You just have to pick the player that is going to shoot a lot of bogeys. There are times on easy courses that you might prefer to play four inactive players. Of course if you pick the player that plays poorly, you will have a choice after the cut, if you are going to pick a player up from the field that is left or play four inactive players. It is a quite different and a very fun way to play a best ball game.

Major's Game

My fellow worker Bob-Rob had a question posed to him this week about a Major's game. Everyone in the office makes a list of 25 players before the Major's are played. The players on that list are your players for all four Majors. Before each Major you will pick 5 players that you think will do well. Once you pick those players they can not be used again.

I haven't played this particular game, but looking at it I would play the favorite players at the Masters. The course is known and the players that play well there are known. The course where this game could get interesting is the British Open. They hadn't played at Carnoustie in 24 years and the guys in charge decided to set the course up in1999 impossibly. The result was total carnage for the field and the legendary meltdown of Jean Van de Velde on the final hole of the Open. They say the course will be fair this year, but I'll believe it when I see it. My gut reaction to this game would be to pick Els and a group of European players in the Open Championship.

Since there is a little time before the Masters and a reader asked us to write about it. We'll write a column before the Masters handicapping this game.

The One and Done Game

Bob-Rob asked me at the beginning of the golf season if I wanted to play a game with bunch of his buddies. I asked what kind of game it is and he told me it is a one and done. The object of this game is to pick a golfer that you think will do well on the week, but you get to play that player only once. What ever the golfer earns the week you picked him is your score for the week. The player with the most amount of money at the end of the season wins.

I have played this down at work where we pick every week. Bob's version is that you pick the entire season at the beginning of the year. My jaw just about dropped on the floor when he told me that, because there are so many new tournaments this year. I found the nice part about the new schedule is that everyone is in the same boat, so the regulars at this game really didn't have an advantage over a new player like myself.

It was a big job to figure out the season, but it has helped in my other fantasy games and I have enjoyed watching how everyone's predictions come out. The game has been fun also because no one has been able to run away in the league. The new schedule has everyone bunched up, so that even the teams that haven't done well yet could be in the lead if they predict a winner.

The game is a bit of work for the person running the pool, but I have found it to be fun office game.

The Trend is your friend

The duffer's game is a short-term trend type of game. The Majors game and the One and Done game only use the log-term trends. Once you are able to identify the trends you should be able to beat your fellow office workers in these games.



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