Two-person team event tees off on Aug. 27 at Black Butte Ranch
Quick question: What is your favorite professional golf tournament? Perhaps it’s the rich tradition of The Masters, the sheer brutality of the U.S. Open, or the rugged links conditions of the British Open.
For others, it just might be The Ryder Cup. After all, nothing generates more passion in golf than competing for country as part of a team.
Well, Black Butte Ranch can’t quite offer the experience of playing for your country. But with a new 36-hole, two-person team format, the 2016 Battle at the Butte can at least offer the thrill of competing as part of a team.
The Battle at the Butte will tee off on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28, and there is still space available to play in this signature event held at both Glaze Meadow and Big Meadow. Once an individual stroke-play tournament, the Battle at the Butte’s new, fun format includes one round of two-person best ball and another round of scramble.
The Battle at the Butte’s new format is just another tip of the cap to a growing trend in golf: Competing in a team format is becoming more popular.
“Each year it seems we hear that there is more and more interest in team competitions,” said Tom Baker, the head golf professional at Black Butte Ranch. “We have seen it first hand with the success of the Central Oregon Shootout each spring. Quite simply, it’s been our experience that most amateurs prefer team formats, especially those with handicaps, to individual formats.”
Black Butte Ranch is no outlier. Across the country, golf courses have seen a spike in interest in the team game. A Wall Street Journal column written earlier this year making the case for making golf a more team-oriented game, used the rapid growth of team organizations like the PGA of America’s Junior Golf League and Nextgengolf to make the point.
Local golf associations, including the Oregon Golf Association, have added more formal team competitions. And the USGA added the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball championships in 2015, citing the “popularity and enjoyment” of the team format at the amateur level.
“It actually makes a lot of sense when you think about what drives people to play the game,” Baker says. “Team tournaments tend to have fun atmospheres. Even if an individual tournament uses handicaps, you are on your own and it feels more competitive. ”
Because of the popularity of team-formatted events, Black Butte Ranch expects the Battle at the Butte to fill, too.
Cost to play is $450 per two-person team. That includes fantastic tee prizes, lunch at Robert’s Pub, an awards barbeque after play, merchandise payouts, and the thrill of challenging two of the most beautiful golf courses in Central Oregon.
Entries are limited to the first 120 golfers, and open, senior and women’s divisions are available. (The maximum course handicap is 36 for men, 34 for women.) Discounted lodging packages are also available for Battle at the Butte golfers.