Golf tournaments played in formats that utilize team play are considered a tool by some that can help grow the game of golf. It stands to reason.
Golf played with the help of a partner is often far more relaxing and fun. Something about knowing that the pressure of each shot can be shared with a friend helps put a golfer at ease.
Black Butte Ranch has seen first hand the power of competing with a partner over the last 14 years with the Central Oregon Shootout. The tournament has grown from small, local tournament to the second-largest annual golf tournament in Central Oregon.
Space is still available for the 14th annual Central Oregon Shootout, which tees off April 21-24, but once again it should fill to capacity with more than 300 golfers.
Much of the appeal of the 54-hole tournament comes from its unique team format. The two-golfer team tournament features one round of scramble, one round of best ball and a final-round Chapman spread over three weekend days. The tournament also includes one gross division, four net divisions and and ladies net and gross payouts. And each round is played at a different course: Big Meadow, Aspen Lakes Golf Course in Sisters and Eagle Crest Resort.
“Amateurs like team formats, especially tournaments with handicaps,” said Tom Baker, who helps organize the Shootout as head professional at Black Butte Ranch. “Individual tournaments, even though there are handicaps, you are on your own and it feels more competitive. Team tournaments tend to have fun atmospheres.”
Many of the most popular golf events in the world are played in some team format. And the increasing popularity has been proven true with a new trend in golf competitions.
Local golf associations, including the Oregon Golf Association, have added more formal team competitions. Even 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.
“The partner tournaments always fill in well for us,” Baker said. “At the Shootout, the combination of value of playing three great golf courses in three days, and partners format is appealing to golfers.”
The Shootout is affordable, too. For a $300-per-player entry fee, each competitor plays three rounds of golf with cart at three of Central Oregon’s most coveted golf courses. The entry fee also includes tee prizes, merchandise, as well as continental breakfast and lunch each day. And the prize payout is expected to be more than $20,000 in kind, meaning a third of the field can expect to cash after the tournament.
The deadline to enter is April 16, if space remains available. Already more than 120 teams have signed up. All entrants need is an official handicap (maximum of 36 for men, 42 for women) and a maximum six-stroke differential between partners.
For more information or to register, download the information flyer and registration form here.