How to Play Horse Race Golf

by Brian Hill

    A horse race might seem out of place on the golf course, but this form of competition, also known as a shootout, is played at country clubs nationwide. In the golf horse race, one player is eliminated per hole until only one player is left at the end of 18 holes. Think of it as match play in the extreme.

    Step 1

    Begin with 19 players if you are playing an 18-hole tournament or with 10 players if you plan a 9-hole tournament. You can run the shootout with or without handicaps.

    Step 2

    Start all players on the first hole. The golfers play the hole under the regular rules of golf. The participant with the highest score on the hole is eliminated.

    Step 3

    Break any ties for high score with a designated skills challenge, such as a closest-to-the-hole chipping or putting contest.

    Step 4

    Assemble the remaining 18 players on the second tee. The teeing order is determined by honor -- that is, the player with the lowest score tees off first. At the conclusion of the second hole, the player with the highest score is eliminated. Again, break any ties for high score before proceeding to the third tee. Continue the competition in this manner until one player remains.

    Tips

    • To speed up the pace of play, hold two separate rounds of 9-hole horse races rather than one 18-hole round. You will need 10 golfers on each nine. Hold a sudden-death playoff between the winners of each round to determine the overall winner of the tournament.
    • You can also speed play by having the lowest-scoring players tee off on the next hole while the highest scorers particulate in the elimination tiebreaker .
    • Allow extra time to complete the tournament because of the number of players and time required for the tiebreakers.

    About the Author

    Brian Hill is the author of four popular business and finance books: "The Making of a Bestseller," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "Attracting Capital from Angels" and his latest book, published in 2013, "The Pocket Small Business Owner's Guide to Business Plans."