Last weekend I played in a four day golf tournament hosted by my friend’s software company. We travelled to Calgary and then on to Banff, Golden, and Invermere. It was a ton of fun with a great group of golfers. 16 participants played in the tournament, their handicaps ranged from plus 2 to 15, so there was a pretty wide range of skills, although everyone could play a decent round, there were no hackers. We divided up into two teams of 8. The teams were formed by two captains prior to the event. Each round we played a different format, including skins and KPs on each hole. Skins were calculated by dividing the total skins available by the holes won. Formats ranged from team stableford to two man best ball hi-low to singles matches on the last day.
There was a ton of debate during the event on how the teams would be matched and how the matches would be set. Each night, the captains drafted the matches. There wasn’t much money on the line, the total purse was about $4,000.
I think the odds and payouts could have been more fair by letting the market decide rather than let the captains make the teams. The problem with the captains making the teams was their decisions were open to huge debate, whereas, if we used an auction method to determine the payouts, betters could put their money where their mouth’s were.
I suggest that next year, we employ a calcutta or pari mutuel system. This would bring a price to each match and player, and allow a fair bet for the lopsided matches. In one case, there was a player with a plus 2 handicap playing a 5 handicap, it was almost certain that the plus 2 was going to win 90% of the time. We could have also made more betting markets among ourselves, so that players could offset some of their perceived injustice by the captains.