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How to Set Up a Multi-Format Match Play Golf Event

 Based on the number of requests we get for multi-format match play scoring, you've all seen the Ryder Cup. It's a team event that pits golfers against each other in various formats. Winning a match earns your team a point, and tying a match earns your team half a point. 

Within PlayThru, you can set up a multi-format match play event and track team points across up to six rounds. Set up each round with a different match play scoring format, including foursomes, fourball, and individual. 

This resource will walk you through how to set up one of these events in PlayThru.

PlayThru Multi-Format Match Play Golf Tournament Setup

Event Settings

So, to create a multi-format match play event, we'll first hit the Create Event button and give it a name. 

Next, we need to configure the event. We recommend completely setting up the first round before adding subsequent rounds. When you add additional rounds to your event, PlayThru will copy the setup, tees, and golfers for the first round every time. So, if that one is in good shape, then your job becomes a lot easier as you add more rounds.

Set up the event date and select the format. My first round is in the fourball format, so I will choose two-person best ball and I'll turn on Matches. When you do this, some of the features will disappear. That's by design because they are irrelevant to a match-play event.

The important part here is that you'll want to turn on Team Competition. This will allow you to assign teams to individual golfers or grouped golfers.

Course Settings

Next, go to the course tab, where you will add your pars and handicaps for the tees you're playing for the different rounds.

If you're playing multiple courses, once we add additional rounds, you can add different tees for each.

Managing Golfers

The next step is to go to the golfers tab, where you will add your players. You can add them one at a time by typing in their names and hitting the add golfer option.

You can also import them from a CSV file. So, if I go over to import and choose a file, as long as your column headers align with those listed in the window, everything will funnel into the right spots. I will hit upload, and now I've added all my two-person best-ball golfers and teams.

On the right, I can add Team Names. In this case, I will have two teams—Parents and Kids. You can have as many teams as you need, but we're just going to have two for this demo. For the team scoring to work, the teams must be added to each round. 

The next step is to assign opponents for the matchups. On the right, under Select Team Opponent, you'll see a list of all the 2-person best ball team names. Find and assign each golfer an opponent. 

Okay, now all my team and opponents are set up, this round is ready.

Unlock Multi-Round Scoring

Because we're doing a multi-round game, we've got to upgrade the event with the multi-round scoring feature. This feature costs $15, and payments are securely processed through Stripe. 

After upgrading, you’ll see “Round 1” under the event name on the dashboard. You’ll also see the option to add new rounds. If you click this button, another round will be added to the golf event. 

Back in the Outing Organizer, you'll see multiple rounds along the top with the option to add more.

In the Event tab, you’ll see multiple game formats listed along with the round number. Set the format you want each round scored in here.

For example, Round 1 may be a 2-Person Best Ball round, and we can set up Round 2 to be an Alternate Shot, or in match play format, it’s called foursomes. 

In the course tab, you’ll see Round 1 tees grouped together and Round 2 tees grouped together. You can add as many tees as needed to each round.

Editing Golfers In Different Rounds

Back in the golfers tab, you’ll now see a new widget at the top. This module shows which Round’s golfers you are editing, with the option to switch between rounds. 

The golfers table's layout may differ depending on the format of the round you set in the Event tab. For example, the 2-person best ball round will show a 2-person Best Ball team column, while an Individual matches round won’t.
Toggle between the rounds to set up all the matches for each round.

The most important part is to give each golfer a Team name in the Team Competition column and make sure those names are spelled exactly the same across all rounds. If there's any difference, a team will be created for each different spelling. 

Finally, set up your matches.

Match Play Handicaps

A quick, important note about match play events and handicaps. Match handicaps work differently than regular handicaps.

So, let's take Keith, who has a 1 handicap, and Lily, who has a 5 handicap. In a regular event, Keith would get one stroke on the hardest handicapped hole, and Lily would get strokes on the five hardest handicapped holes. 

In a match play event, the golfer with the lowest handicap index plays as a scratch golfer, and their opponent's match handicaps are adjusted similarly to how the lowest handicapped golfer’s is adjusted. 

Going back to our example, Keith will play the match as a 0, while Lily will play as a 4. If it were a four-ball match and Keith (1) and Lily (5) were playing Michelle (10) and Logan (12), their match handicaps would be Keith 0, Lily 4, Michelle 9, and Logan 11. 

Adjusting handicap indexes this way ensures golfers with higher handicaps get their strokes on the most challenging holes. 

Learn more about match handicaps here.  

Review Event Setup

You’ll find your event’s link and QR Code in the Scorecard tab. However, we also have checks in place to ensure that your tees and golfers are properly set up for the event configurations. 

For example, if a golfer in round 2 is missing a Team Name, PlayThru will flag that and instruct you to fix the issue before accessing the scorecard.

Using the Multi-format Match Play Scorecard

With everything set up properly, you can now share the scorecard link and QR code with your golfers. They can open it on any mobile browser. 

The first thing golfers will be asked is what round are they playing? They will select their round and then be presented with a list of golfers for that round. 

The golfer can select up to four names to keep score for, and then they’ll tap the “Tee Off” button. On the scorecard itself, they’ll see:

Under each golfer's name is their individual gross score for the day. In handicapped events, golfers will be notified if they are receiving (or giving for plus handicaps) a stroke on that hole.  At the bottom is the leaderboard snapshot, which shows each match for the players for whom the golfer is keeping score. 

The golfer can also click the “View Live Leaderboard” link to see the full leaderboard.

The Full Multi-Format Match Play Leaderboard

On the leaderboard screen, golfers (and spectators) can see both a Team Leaderboard and Individual Match Leaderboard. 

Team Leaderboard
The Team Leaderboard will show the points earned by each team throughout the event. The total points across all rounds will always be shown here. Golfers earn 1 point for their team for a win and 0.5 points for a tie. 

Individual Match Leaderboard
Below the Team Leaderboard is the Match Leaderboard. This will show the status of all matches for that specific round. For example, if you’re playing Round 3 of your event, the matches listed in the Match Leaderboard will only be Round 3 matches. To view other round matches, you’ll need to reopen the scorecard and navigate to that round. 

The Match Leaderboard will show how much up one team is over another or if they are all-square (A/S). It will also show how many holes are to play. 

If a golfer can tie the remaining holes and still win, they are considered Dormie, and the first column of the Match Leaderboard will show “Dormie.”

If a golfer has won more holes than are remaining, they’ve won the match, and PlayThru will show “Won” in the first column as well as how many holes they won and how many were remaining when they sealed the deal.

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