What Is A Shotgun Start In Golf? [Complete Guide]

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Slow pace of play is something that often happens at golf tournaments around the world. This is because all players start on the first tee, regardless of their handicap. This means that golfers sometimes have to wait for hours to tee off. This often results in players of differing abilities getting stuck behind one another and traffic forming on the golf course.

Fortunately, golf tournaments can be made quicker and easier with shotgun starts. In this guide, we will look at what a shotgun start in golf is and why it is such a benefit for you if you are planning to organize a golf tournament but want it to be effective and efficient while still being enjoyable for everybody.

What Is A Shotgun Start In Golf?

During a shotgun start, players begin from different points on the golf course at the same time. It is possible for players to catch up and overtake each other as they move from hole to hole. Golfers can play faster because of this.

Using one starting hole per group is often considered to be a more streamlined approach to tournaments. It is also likely to reduce the length of the round and make the event’s overall structure more flexible. They came about from May 1956, when a country club head pro named Jim Russell used a shotgun to signal the tournament start with golfers on tees spread out throughout the golf course. (TheSandTrap)

However, it’s important to remember that this format isn’t appropriate for every event. This is because a tournament with a shotgun start will need to use one fewer starting hole, which may differ depending on the venue.

Shotgun Start Vs Tee Times

Shotgun starts differ from standard tee times as each player will have a different start time from the same hole in a traditional format. Tee times allow for a more flexible approach as players can choose a tee time based on their schedule. However, shotgun starts allow a tournament to be completely much faster as players don’t need to wait to tee off.

When Should I Choose A Shotgun Start?

Choosing a shotgun start for a tournament makes sense when you want the event to move as efficiently as possible, with a relatively large number of participants. As a result, the overall length of the day can be better set and the event can be planned more effectively.

Shotgun starts can work well for amateur events, with players of relatively equal ability as golfers with a similar ability will take an equivalent length of time it takes to play 9 or 18 holes of golf.

Shotgun Start In Golf Summary

The shotgun start tournament format will involve golfers starting from a single hole simultaneously, which makes it a more streamlined approach to the start of a tournament. This will ensure that players are able to play more quickly and that overall event timing is kept as efficient as possible.

Compared to the standard tee time format that we regularly see at professional golf tournaments, they will be faster but don’t allow golfers the flexibility to choose a tee time to start that suits their schedule.