How To Create A Masters Pool
If you are only interested in running your own pool maybe for the office or just with some friends I’ll list some of the best ways to go about doing that. They key is to try and keep it simple unless you are playing with only sophisticated fantasy golf players which in that case you can add more rules or point systems to create a more strategic element to the pool.
Step 1 - Scoring System
In order for a winner to be declared you are going to have to figure out a way for scores to be accumulated. In the “keeping it simple” mind-frame the easiest way to do this is just reward points to each golfer in the order of their finish.
For example, you could use this template that is commonly used by daily fantasy golf sites.
- 1st = 30pts
- 2nd = 20pts
- 3rd = 18pts
- 4th = 16pts
- 5th = 14pts
- 6th = 12pts
- 7th = 10pts
- 8th = 8pts
- 9th = 7pts
- 10th = 6pts
- 11 to 15th = 5pts
- 16th to 20th = 4pts
- 21st to 25th = 3pts
- 26th to 30th = 2pts
- 31st to 40th = 1pt
- 41st to 50th = 0.5pt
This is the easiest way to score your pool and you can add a tiebreaker stipulation just in case two or more players end up withe same score. I’d do something like the most total birdies by your golfers breaks the tie or overall combined score of your team, the lower the better in golf.
If you want to get a little more complicated with your scoring system you can throw in extra points for birdies and eagles. And then even another layer of scoring would be to minus points for bogeys or worse. For example, +2 pts for a birdie, +4 pts for an eagle, -1 pts for a bogey etc. Remember the more complicated the scoring system the more work to keep track of each team especially if you have a lot of players playing in your Masters pool.
Step 2 - Pick A Pool Style
A tiered masters pool is the most popular and easiest method to create. You have probably participated in an office pool like this at some point in your life. Why I love tiered pools is because it is simple to create and make picks yet there is some strategy to it that can still give an edge to more knowledgeable players. Here’s how it works:
You create groups of golfers and separate them into different tiers. Each participant then picks one golfer from each group to make up their team. I recommend using at least 4 golfers per group. How you determine the groups is entirely up to you but you can use a couple different sources to guide you:
- Masters Betting Odds
- World Golf Rankings (most popular)
- Draftkings Salaries
- Fedex Cup Rankings
|Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3|
Salary Cap Style
Once again I’ll refer to daily golf sites like DraftKings or FanDuel for you to take a look at for examples of how to run a salary cap pool. There is a reason these sites are so popular it’s great way to make fantasy golf pools and adds a ton of strategy to the game.
In this style every golfer is assigned a salary usually based on their overall rankings or how hot they are on the tour. So the best players in the world like Dustin Johnson or Rory Mcilroy will have the highest price tag. Each pool participant is then given a total salary cap amount they can use to spend on drafted golfers. Your team must stay under the salary cap and not go over to be valid. You can equal the salary cap, just not exceed it.
For example, each player gets $50,000 in total salary which they can use to buy 6 golfers. Here is a screenshot of how Draftkings allocates salary to give you an idea of how to get started.
Pick Whomever You Want Style
Maybe the easiest pool to run of them all is to allow participants to pick whomever they want with no restrictions. You simply set the total golfers per team and the scoring system. If you choose this style I would recommend having at least 6 to 10 golfers per team, anything less and you create the risk of having many ties as players will just load up on the top golfers. The downside to this type of pool is:
- There is not much skill involved at all
- You risk losing casual players who couldn’t name 2 golfers let alone pick 6 on their own
Fantasy Masters Contests
Surprisingly as far as online pools go it is hard to find a legitimate tiered style contest to play in. There are a few sites out there that look like they offer that style but I’ve never played at them and have not heard any reviews so I can’t recommend them until further notice. Check the official pages of the PGA Tour or the Golf Channel to see if they offer anything closer to start date on April 11th.
What you can play is salary cap style at a couple of reputable daily fantasy golf sites that are offering millions in prizes this year. Here are the sites I recommend (we are partners with them) and the best contests they are offering for the Masters:
- DraftKings – $4M Fantasy Golf Millionaire ($1,000,000 to 1st)
- FanDuel – PGA Mega Eagle ($200,000 to 1st)
Best Free Masters Contest
Hands down the best free Masters contest is going on at Fanduel.com. They are offering a prize pool of $10,000 with $500 going to 1st place. In total the top 10,500 places win money. It’s 100% free to play and open to everyone, all you have to do is create a Fanduel login if you do not have one already.