Last Man Standing Golf Format Explained

"Last Man Standing" is the name of a golf competition format. In Last Man Standing, golfers begin with an allotment of strokes and they play until those strokes are gone. The one who makes it farthest around the golf course is the winner.

Last Man Standing goes by several other names, too, including Tombstone and Plant Your Flag. But it is most commonly known by the name "Flags" or "Flag Tournament."

This format is popular with local golf associations for their "playday" tournaments, and is popular for 9-hole twilight outings. But it can be used for any tournament, whether corporate or company outing, association playday, club event or charity event.

Here's how Last Man Standing works: All golfers use their handicaps to create an allotment of strokes. Take the par of the golf course and add your handicap index to it. Full handicaps can be used, but it is most common to use partial handicaps, with two-thirds or one-half being the most common fraction.

So let's say you have a handicap of 18, and two-thirds is being used. The par of the golf course is 72. So add 12 (two-thirds of 18) to 72, and your allotment of strokes for the Last Man Standing tournament is 84.

You have 84 strokes to use. Go out and play the golf course, and keep playing until you hit your 84th stroke. That's it, you're done!

How far around the course did you get? Maybe your 84th stroke got your ball to the fringe of the green on the 16th hole. If no other golfer got farther on his or her allotment, then you are the winner.

That's the object in Last Man Standing: to get farthest around the golf course on your given number of strokes. And what if multiple golfers make it all the way around? They go back to No. 1 and keep going until their strokes are used up. But using partial handicaps usually means that very few, if any, golfers make it all the way around.

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