what is a shotgun start in golf

The golf tournament format is discussed in this article. For the blank cartridge powered internal combustion engine starter, seeCoffman engine starter.

Ashotgun startis agolfA tournament format in which all groups of players tee off from various holes at the same time. To herald the start of the competition, a shotgun is fired into the air. Each hole on a course will serve as the starting point for each foursome. Group 1 would begin with hole 1, Group 2 with hole 2, and so forth. Each group begins play at the same time. A shotgun start allows a tournament to terminate at the same time it takes the slowest foursome to complete a full round of golf, or 18 holes. If there are more than 18 teams, some will double up as A and B teams at the 4 and 5 par holes.

The December 2004 issue ofGolf DigestJim Russell, the head pro at Walla Walla Country Club, stated in May 1956 thatWalla Walla, Washington, fired a shotgun to sound the start of play.[1]This is allegedly the first time such a beginning format has been utilized in a tournament. Today, a siren is used so that golfers all over the course can hear the signal to start, or a specific time is designated.

This style is ideal for charity events since everyone begins and ends at the same time. This provides for a post-event lunch during which the rewards may be given out. It may also be utilized for big group and corporate tournaments, as well as occasions when everyone rides together on a bus to the location.

When scheduling this sort of event, most golf venues have tight restrictions and procedures in place (since the amount of people engaged effectively limits the course to other golfers), which may include one or more of the following:

  • There must be a minimum number of participants. If this minimum cannot be met, the course may revert the tournament to a first tee or split tee start.
  • Deposits for this type of event may be higher than normal first tee starts. Cancellation notifications may also need to be sent in advance.
  • These events may be restricted to being held on weekdays or specific days of the week. On weekends, most courses do not allow this sort of event.
  • A surcharge may apply to quoted rates.
  • Most courses have start times that are limited to either 8 a.m. or 1 p.m.
  • The competition is normally required by the club to have a post-event supper at the clubhouse.
  • The club may impose a minimum prize purchase requirement from the club pro shop.
  • The course may require the tournament carryweather insurance.
  • Even though the host group generally opposes carts at their events, the course may mandate required carts for all competitors.
  • Some clubs need membership permission for certain competitions.

European Tour[edit]

The European Tour of professional golf has utilized the format three times to play ahead of the weather due to weather concerns; the final round of the 1994Czech Open, the final two rounds of the 2015Portugal Mastersand the final round of 2018Alfred Dunhill Links ChampionshipTo beat the weather, everyone utilized shotgun starts. The lead group teed off at the first hole, with groups going by order, with the first golfers on the 18th, then the second group on the 17th, and so forth. There were two groups at some holes, with six of the 18 holes featuring two groups. The second group teed off five minutes after the first group in certain situations.[2]


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