Backwards Scramble

Jason Edmiston, the 2002 Southwest PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, is the PGA head professional at Rancho Santa Fe (Calif.) Golf Club.

Putting on a fun tournament is always a great way to get your more competitive members out on the course, but it’s sometimes a challenge coming up with interesting ways to make the day more than just another 18 holes. One of our most unique events we’ve come up with is called “The Backwards Scramble,” a variation of the cross-country style tournament. Players start their round at what’s normally the finish, teeing off near the 18th green and playing to the 17th green. They’ll then tee off from next to the 17th green and play to the 16th green, etc., all the way around the course, finishing back at the 18th green. In addition to a full round, we’ve also set up a “backwards” par-3 tournament that kind of has the same feel. My staff and I drive around the course and design the 18 best par 3s we can come up with, regardless of where the tee has to be.

I’ve received positive feedback from these tournaments in the past, as my members enjoy playing what’ll seem like a “different course” once or twice a year to break up the day-to-day routine. We generally get a good turnout for these events, and they are talked about all year round. For a private facility, of course, thinking of fun events that your memberships will remember and talk about is a necessity. If you’re looking for different tournament formats, organize a backwards scramble to get your members looking forward to the next event.