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Fantasy Golf
By Snyper on 5/31/10
Matt Snyder is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions of Matt in the comments. Don't hold back- because Matt won't.

Fantasy sports have become quite the rage for fans of just about any and every sport. As a big sports fan myself, I have been playing and absolutely in love with fantasy sports for quite some time now. If you haven't dabbled in the fantasy world yet, I'm going to spend the rest of this column trying my best to convince you to start your journey in fantasy sports as soon as possible.

For me, fantasy football was where it all started. I began in a small league with several friends who talked me into playing because they thought that I would really enjoy it. After hesitating for a little while because I knew so little about it, I agreed to give it a shot. Well, my friends were right. I fell in love with fantasy football and haven’t looked back since. After a couple years of football, I was again persuaded to try another fantasy sport. This time, the name of the game was baseball. Now, baseball is a lot more intense than football. Because teams are playing everyday, you have to keep up with your roster way more often than just once a week like football. Regardless, I enjoyed it just as much as football and was soon hooked on my second fantasy sport. Since then, I have branched out into multiple fantasy baseball and fantasy football leagues, but never explored any other sports. Well, that was true until this past spring.

I had a feeling that fantasy golf might just motivate me to spend a little more time watching the Tour and following the players. Turns out I was right.
While talking to some friends at work this winter about the upcoming golf season, they asked me if I was in a fantasy golf league. My answer was "no". To be honest, I knew that it existed, but that was about all that I knew about fantasy golf. After a brief conversation, I was pretty easily convinced to give it a shot. I love golf and I enjoy watching it, but I would usually wait till Saturday or Sunday afternoon to catch the last hour or two of coverage. I had a feeling that fantasy golf might just motivate me to spend a little more time watching the Tour and following the players. Turns out I was right.

In the league that I joined, we pick two players every week. If it’s the week of a major, we pick three players. Your picks must be made before the first tee time of the tournament. You can only pick a player one time throughout the course of a season, so you must pick the big names wisely. The money that is accumulated by the players that you pick from week to week determines your position in the standings. It is a pretty simple concept, but it turns out to be way more complicated than you think.

To make good picks from week to week, you have to be aware of a lot of things. You have to know who is currently playing well, who traditionally plays well at each venue, and who is most likely to play well without being picked by other guys in the league. Figuring out two players that fit those descriptions every week is a little more difficult than you might think. To put it simply, it requires an aggressive study of statistics as well as a lot of time watching the best guys in the world play the sport I love the most. Needless to say, a mathematician who loves golf is an easy guy to hook on fantasy golf. And I am officially hooked. I have watched more golf in the first quarter of this season than I have in the last two years combined. On Thursday and Friday, I’m tuned in to see if my picks are going to make the cut. Usually, I’m fortunate enough to have at least one guy make it to the weekend, which keeps me involved through Saturday and Sunday. The few times that I have had a pick in contention for the win, well, lets just say that I don’t get much else done on those Sundays. In the past, there were a couple of guys on tour that I would cheer for and get excited about when I saw them on the leader board. Now, I feel that way about two different guys every week. For example, I had picked Billy Mayfair a couple weeks ago when he took the lead into Sunday. I was the only guy in the league to pick him and I was glued to the television already congratulating myself on the brilliance of picking a Monday qualifier that was going to win the tournament. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite play out that way and my heart was broken bogey by bogey as he fell down to 14th by the end of the day. But, you better believe I that I didn’t miss a shot till it was over. That’s the power of fantasy sports. Fantasy golf gives me reasons to watch coverage of every round every week. Sure, I love the game and I always enjoyed watching it before, but not nearly as much as I do now.

Listen, watching golf is great. Watching golf when you have fantasy golf picks on the leader board is awesome!
It should be noted that fantasy golf leagues can be set up all kinds of different ways. For example, some leagues pick four or five guys every week. Some leagues allow you to make an additional pick after the cut has already been determined. I’ve also heard of leagues that include picks from other tours from week to week. Another common difference is how many times you can pick a player per season. In fact, I was surprised at all the variety that exists in fantasy golf. It is difficult enough for me to keep up with only picking two guys a week. I can’t imagine how intense the leagues are that have more players from multiple tours.

Listen, watching golf is great. Watching golf when you have fantasy golf picks on the leader board is awesome! If you enjoy the game and you like to watch golf, you have got to join a fantasy golf league as soon as possible. It’s not too late to join one this season. Most websites have public leagues that start at various times during the year. If you can’t find enough of your buddies to form a league, public leagues are the next best thing. You can join them for free and they are a great way to get acquainted to fantasy sports if you are a rookie. So, check it out and let me know what you think. If you are already in a league, fill us in on your secrets for making good picks!

* Matt's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of oobgolf.

photo source

[ comments ]
mjaber says:
I dislike any fantasy team sports (baseball, football, etc.) because it creates a weird dynamic. I've sat and watched games with guys who are in fantasy leagues and they'll be rooting for individual players (ie. they want Brady to throw a TD, but not to Moss, because Brady is on their team but Moss is on the team they are playing that week). I joined the Fantasy Golf league on Yahoo! this year, just to see what it's like, and I've found I just don't have the time to spend making sure that the guys I've picked are in the running and have made the cut. It's fun, it's just too time consuming. I'd rather be out on the course.
sepfeiff says:
I never could get "into" fantasy sports leagues. Lots of friends who like to do it and have a blast.

Fantasy arrest league would be more fun. Who will be indicted, charged, arrested, investigated or prosecuted this week? :)
falcon50driver says:
sepfeiff, I love it, I remember one year someone predicting the Cowboys to go 13 and 3 that season. 13 arrests 3 convictions. Matt I usually agree with you on everything, but this looks a little too time consuming...hmmmm like golf itself.
Gutta Percha says:
If you're just getting into fantasy golf you should check out my site at www.kerplookee.com. We are a small, independent company but offer a great fantasy golf game. We offer your choice of Free to play or Pay to play with great prizes available in both games.

Come check us out.

Chuck aka Gutta Percha
mjaber says:
I'm not really sold on Fantasy Golf. I'm still plugging away, but it will probably end after this season.

What I do like is the "pick 'em" pools I do every year. A local morning show runs a weekly football pick 'em, and a "Majors" pick 'em. For football, you're basically just picking winners, with an option for an elimination pool, where you pick one team every week, if you're right, you stay for the next week, if not you're out.

The "Major's" pick'em covers the 4 major golf tournaments. You pick your top 10, and the order you think they'll finish. If they finish in the top 10, you get points (bonus points if you had their place right. There are prizes for the most points for a tournament, and a prize for the overall winner.
golffreak says:
I found a great fantasy golf website where you can will up to 10 million dollars.
It free to play at www.golftunes.com They have weekly prizes and a grand prize plus you can enter two tournaments both the US pga tournament and the European Pga tournament.
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