How to Play a 'Best Holes' Golf Tournament

Best Holes is the name of a golf tournament format (or a game for a group golf buddies to play) in which only a golfer's best scores from throughout the round are tallied to produce his or her tournament score.

Best Holes tournaments are good options for corporate or charity tournaments, and association playdays, because they keep any golfers from feeling they are out of the running if they happen to have one (or more) blow-up holes. Make an 11 on the 13th hole? In a normal tournament — one in which all holes count toward your final score — you just blew it. But in a Best Holes tournament, you still have something to play for.

Typically, slightly more than half the holes are counted in a Best Holes tournament, up to about two-thirds of the holes. The exact number of holes that count is up to tournament organizers, and it can be any number at all the organizers decide on.

But, typically, in a 9-hole Best Holes tournament, the golfers' five best holes are added up for the final score. And in an 18-hole Best Holes tournament, the golfers' nine, 10 or 11 best holes are tallied to produced the final score.

So let's say you've signed up for an 18-hole Best Holes tournaments with your 10 best scores counting, according to the tournament registration form. That means you go out, play your 18-hole round, and at the end of it you throw out your worst eight scores, and keep your 10 best holes. Add up those 10 scores, and that's your Best Holes tournament score.

A Best Holes tournament can use many different scoring formats, from you-vs.-the-field stroke play, to team best ball, to scramble. Best Holes can also be played by a group of buddies, whether two people, three or four out for a round of golf. Just agree before teeing off how many scores will count and place your bets.

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