Explaining the 'Beat the Pro' Format

"Beat the Pro" is the name of a popular golf format in which, you guessed it, "regular" golfers attempt to better the performance of a professional golfer. Beat the Pro can take one of two forms, though: a Beat the Pro tournament, or a Beat the Pro contest.

Beat the Pro Tournament

A Beat the Pro tournament requires a professional golfer — typically the head pro or one of the assistant pros at the golf course being played — to play the course and post a number. Then, the golfers in the tournament try to beat that score. The golfer who beats the pro by the most strokes is the winner.

The pro's score is gross (actual strokes played) and the tournament entrants' scores are net (gross minus course handicap strokes).

This version of Beat the Pro is popular with golf association tournaments, corporate outings and such. These tournaments can be 18 holes, but 9-hole versions might be a bit more common.

The pro who is playing the tournament might play along with the competitors (sometimes rotating so that he or she plays at least one hole with each group), or might play earlier so that the target score is known when the tournament begins. Obviously, a Beat the Pro tournament requires tournament organizers to enlist the help of the golf course staff and pick a time when one of the staff pros is available to participate.

Beat the Pro Contest

This version of Beat the Pro serves as a fund-raiser at charity tournaments. Tournament organizers arrange for a professional golfer (again, often someone on staff at the course being played) to be stationed at a designated hole on the golf course.

When each group of golfers playing the tournament reaches that hole, they have a chance to try to Beat the Pro at — depending on whether a par-3 or par-4 is used — getting closest to the pin or hitting the longest (or sometimes straightest) drive. If the pro is stationed on a par-3 hole, then closest-to-the-pin is what is being played; on a par-4 hole, it's longest or straightest drive.

Let's say the tournament's pro is stationed on the tee at a par-3 hole. When your group arrives, the pro greets everyone and then hits his or her tee shot. Players in your group see the result, and now have the chance to try to beat it.

But since this version of Beat the Pro is a fund-raiser, if you think you can beat the pro you have to put some money on it. Let's say you wager $5. If you then fail to get your tee ball closer to the hole than the pro's tee ball, you have to pay $5 into the charity fund. But if you do beat the pro, you get double your bet (in this case $10) back. So if tournament organizers want to raise, rather that lose, money on this version of the game, they need to make sure they have a talented pro on hand.

More games:

Popular posts from this blog

Ryder Cup Captains: The Full List