So, you’ve gotten a handicap and are keen to get out and play some golf. But what now? Where do you find and book a round?
Good news: you have plenty of options!
There are plenty of golf courses all around Australia, so whether you’re looking for a convenient local course or are keen to see some amazing new sights, there’s certainly a course for the occasion. That said, it’s important to be organised in booking rounds, so that you can be entered into the competition. Since COVID, the popularity of golf has been at a high, so there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to play a round without booking in advance.
If you’re new to booking golf rounds, here are a few tips!
Emajin Tee it Up Booking:
First, Check out Emajin’s Tee it Up tab to find courses near you. We have collated a list of over 500 golf courses where you can book and play. Check out: https://emajin.golf/tee-it-up/
At Emajin Golf we run a series of great events at some of the finest golf courses in Australia as well as hidden gems. These provide an opportunity to participate in some well organised and fun golf days, and these provide different options on the day for golfers of all ability levels. Check out https://emajin.golf/event/
Many public courses have moved to online bookings, streamlining the process of finding and booking a game. You can search for and book times when it suits you, rather than having to call in during business hours or wait for replies from emails or phone messages.
Golf booking sites are extremely easy and convenient options to book a game once you get the hang of them. If you’re not tech savvy, here are a couple of booking pages for Australian golf courses to familiarise yourself with!
Sydney’s Moore Park: https://moorepark.miclub.com.au/welcome/index.mhtml
Perth’s Wembley: https://www.wembleygolf.com.au/cms/golf/online-bookings/
Albert Park in Melbourne: https://www.albertparkgolf.com.au/play-melbourne-golf-course/
Once you’ve made a booking, remember to check in at least 15min before your game. You need to be ready to tee off at your tee time, not just arriving to the club.
This is the most common form of golf competition, and will most likely be the format you compete in when you start booking rounds at clubs. Scores are based off a point system, where, depending on the handicap, a player will earn points according to the number of shots they have on a hole. At the end of a round, you’ll submit the number of points you scored in the competition, and the player with the highest points will win the day’s comp. Depending on how you played, your handicap might adjust accordingly; going down if you’ve done better and going up if you didn’t have a great round. Since this competition runs almost daily, it’s a casual way of getting into the habit of playing more golf.
Open days and Back Tee challenges:
Many semi-private member courses offer Open events to visitors with a GA handicap. These are usually on a regular basis, for example, weekly or monthly.
Some events are especially designed to test your game to the limit. These are generally known as Back Tee challenge events that see courses set up at their full length and often with pins tucked in tricky spots.
Though a lot of these challenges are not for the faint of heart, they can be extremely fun and highly rewarding. This is also a great chance to get access to some member clubs which may not otherwise have public tee times.
Make sure to check the details of these events, though. They sometimes include pre- and post-game snacks and drinks, which are included in the price of the event! We’ve listed some example open comps below:
Bankstown: Wicked Wednesday Black Tee Challenge on the third Wednesday of every month: https://www.bankstowngolf.com.au/cms/events/event/wicked-wednesday-open-individual-medley-stableford-black-red-tees/
Oatlands Open comps: https://www.oatlandsgolf.com.au/cms/golf/open-days/
Scrambles and Ambrose:
Ambrose (or Scramble) events follow a team format, which can be heaps of fun to play with friends! Teams are formed of 2-4 players. All players will hit their tee shot, and the team will then select the best tee shot. Everyone besides the player with the best tee shot will pick up their balls, and resume play from where the best shot landed. This process of everyone hitting and then selecting the best shot will continue until the ball is holed. Because players get to choose the best shot each time, the scoring for Ambrose can be very low, resulting in a fun yet still competitive game!
The PGA runs an Australia-wide Scramble (previously known as the Holden Scramble), where teams can compete locally to qualify for regional, and then national, finals.
Sounds like fun? Get a team together and check out the website for details!
There’s also a competition specifically for women: https://thescramble.com.au/womens-scramble
Scramble events are also run at many clubs, and are often the chosen format of corporate or charity events.
Stroke and Medal events:
This is the format most seen at professional tournaments. Instead of allocating points based on the amount of shots taken and a player’s handicap (as in a normal Stableford round), Stroke rounds count only how many shots you’ve taken in the round: lowest score wins. In amateur Stroke or Medal events, there are usually Gross (handicap not taken away) and Net (handicap taken away from final score) winners, so there’s plenty of opportunity for new players to participate in Stroke rounds!
For players interested in a more competitive format, this is how most National and State championships are contested: each state will run regional events and championships annually. There are different categories and events for women, men and seniors (generally those over 50 years of age). Other events include Sand Greens competitions, held on regional courses that use sand scrapes for putting surfaces instead of grass greens.
Golf Australia also provide an Event Calendar with a full schedule of events in each state. Check out: Golf Australia Event Calendar
Exploring golf through playing events at different courses is one of the game’s great joys, and competing using your Emajin membership lets you track your progress wherever you go.
So, what are you waiting for? Book a game today!