How to join or run a golf league?

Golf buddies having a drink on the course during a sunny day

Golf was meant to be played with others. Even though it's an individual sport, a casual round is always more fun and memorable when shared with like-minded people. However, finding golf buddies isn't always easy, and even if you have an amazing golf crew back home, maybe they aren't available on the only day you can squeeze in 18 holes.

If that's your case, I have two words for you: golf leagues!

Local golf leagues are a fun and competitive game format that allows players of any level to socialize and compete against each other for prizes in their local golf club or favorite indoor golf venue.

Let's review how to join a golf league, how to run one, and the main differences between a league and a tournament.

What is a golf league?

As mentioned briefly above, a golf league is a prized form of organized competition where local players of any level compete in a social and friendly environment during a scheduled season that lasts several weeks or months.

The playing field is generally leveled with handicaps, and games can be individual or team-based. Following the rules pre-determined by the league secretary, any game format can be played (stroke-play, match-play, Stableford, scramble…).

What are the main advantages?

Golf leagues have several advantages, starting with the social aspect. They connect local, like-minded players with each other. Leagues are also very inclusive because they are open to players of any level who want to compete in a friendly environment.

How do I join a golf league?

Golf leagues are generally organized by members of golf clubs, indoor golf places, or by the venues themselves. You can contact your local golf course or your favorite golf simulator place to join or create a golf league (more about running a golf league in the next paragraph).

All you have to do is sign up to your local golf league, pay the registration fee, and show up to play during the scheduled rounds. If the game -format is team-based, you must find playing partners or join an existing team with the help of the organizer.

Suppose you need help figuring out where to start, or you don't know many golfers in the local community yet. In that case, you can also check out Spark Golf, a network of social 9-hole golf leagues present in over 2000 golf courses in the U.S.A. and Canada. Spark Golf manages pretty much everything:

  • Signups,
  • Payments,
  • Handicaps
  • Live-scoring
  • Statistics…

You can use either the mobile website or the app on iOS and Android.

How to run a golf league?

To run a golf league, here are the main steps you need to follow:

  1. Find a golf course or an indoor golf venue willing to host your league
  2. Define the game formats, the rules, and the prizes
  3. Select a scoring system (generally handicapped)
  4. Schedule the games
  5. Fix a participation price
  6. Communicate to your local golf community
  7. Gather a minimum number of players (the roster)
  8. Manage signups and registration payments
  9. Organize the events and handle the logistics
  10. Ask for feedback to continually improve your golf league.

Golf leagues are usually managed on spreadsheets (Excel, Google Sheets, Numbers, Airtable, Zoho Sheet, LibreOffice Calc…). Depending on the scale of your league, a spreadsheet could be enough.

If you prefer managing your league with golf league management software, here are the main ones out there:

What's the difference between a league and a tournament?

Golf leagues and tournaments often get mixed up but are very different forms of organized competition.

Compared to tournaments that only happen once during one to four days, golf leagues take place over a more extended period.

Also, tournaments are standalone events where your performance at the end of the event determines your position. In contrast, a golf league comprises several games that distribute points, and your final ranking is based on your cumulative overall performance.

Finally, golf leagues provide a more relaxed social environment, whereas tournaments are generally more competitive.

The rise of indoor golf leagues

With indoor golf's fast-growing popularity, most public golf simulator venue feature one or several golf leagues.

Indoor golf venues offer an ideal environment to run a golf league:

  • You can play in any weather condition, any time of the year
  • Save money compared to an average green fee
  • Play a round of golf in a shorter amount of time
  • Enjoy some food and some drinks (depending on the venue's policy)
  • Participate even if you don't own a car (often located in urban areas).

Finding the ideal venue with Screengolfers.com for your golf league

It's not always easy to compare and find the best indoor golf venues in your town or neighborhood for hosting or participating in a golf league.

Here comes Screengolfers.com: the #1 website for indoor golf venues. Effortlessly search among over 1000 indoor golf simulators in the USA for free, all from the comfort of your computer or phone.