It isn’t as common as filling out a bracket for March Madness, but an annual Masters pool can be a lot of fun and help spice up interest in watching the greatest golf tournament in the world. It’s a lot of fun to sit around a table over a pitcher of soft drinks and pick players for your team. It’s also a great excuse to make fun of your friend.
A Masters pool can have as many participants as you’d like. It works like a football draft, with each participant selecting a player from the Masters field until they get a team of five or six players. If you have some hard-core golf fans, you might want to pick until every player in the field is chosen. That will really test your knowledge – and your luck.
Our annual pool ($25-40 per person normally) split the money from each participant into two equal pots: one pot was won by the guy who picked the tournament champion, the other pot was split up between the top two or three teams.
How to score it? The best way is cumulative score. Just add the numbers at the end of the day. The low score is the winner.
Don’t’ forget the tie breaker. This can be something simple like the winning score or the number of birdies for the winner on the final day.
Here are a few variations on the rules:
The no-Tiger pool: You throw Tiger Woods out of the pool. No one gets him. This isn’t as big a deal these days, since he hasn’t won the event since 2005.
The high-low round: The participant whose player shot the high round of the day pays a bonus to the participant whose player shot the low round of the day. In our pool this is a $5 bonus. So you’ve got to hope one of your late picks doesn’t start filling the pond.
Most cuts made: The participant whose team includes the most players who make the cut get a $5 payout from each of the other players.
The low old guy: Since everyone will get stuck with a pre-1990 winner, the participant with the best former champion from the bygone era gets a $5 bonus from each of the other players.
Here’s another option: If you don’t want to go to the trouble to organize a pool, but still want to play, you can compete in the David Toms Foundation Masters Contest. The entry fee is $100 and goes to construction of the David Toms Academy, a 501(c)3 charity. First prize is a 2013 Masters pin flag that is signed by the winner, a round of golf for four at any TPC course, a customized Cleveland wedge, a free lesson at the Toms Academy (when it opens in the fall of 2013), two shirts, and a Masters flag signed by Toms. Second place isn’t bad, either: a 2012 Masters pin flag signed by Bubba Watson and a 2012 Presidents Cup flag signed by the entire team, as well as other goodies. There are also prizes for third, fourth and fifth place. https://www.davidtomsfoundation.com/contest.cfm
There are other places to pick teams online, too. Many of the sites offer free participation. But part of the fun is being able to make fun of your friends and make a little spending cash.