The most advertised and familiar form of the game of golf to the general populace is tournament golf. This is the form of golf that is played on tours such as the PGA Tour, European Tour and the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. This form of golf is not the normal form of golf played casually by thousands upon thousands in the United States each year and on the North Myrtle Beach golf courses, such as Eagle Nest Golf Club. It is important to understand how tournament golf works in comparison to casual golf.
First, tournament golf is normally played over the course of a multiple days. While a casual game of golf on a North Myrtle Beach golf course normally only requires one round (or day) to complete, a golf tournament collects golfers’ scores from multiple days and adds them together. The golfer with the lowest aggregate score wins the golf tournament. Because this is the case, the player with the lowest score on any particular day does not necessarily win anything.
Tournaments on the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour normally begin on Thursday and end on Sunday, with play also occurring on Friday and Saturday. However, some tournaments, such as the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, may end play on Monday or another day, perhaps due to either tradition or important events on that day.
Another important aspect of tournament golf that does not exist in casual golf is the cut line. The cut line is the score that divides the players who move on in a golf tournament from the players who do not move on in a golf tournament when the cut is made. Cuts are often made halfway through a tournament, and in some cases, multiple cuts must be employed.
Cut lines are not known before the golf tournament begins. For example, the PGA Tour cut rule states that the top 70 in a tournament, plus ties, make the cut, which is employed after the second day of a four-day tournament. However, if more than 78 golfers make the cut, another cut must be employed after the third round in order to trim the field back to 70 golfers. Cut rules can vary from tournament to tournament, and some tournaments may not even employ a cut at all. For example, the Bridgestone Invitational, played at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio each year, does not employ a cut, as only the most elite of golfers are invited in the first place.
Local North Myrtle Beach golf courses may host golf tournaments as well; however, these tournaments may be in a different format than those often seen on the PGA Tour. There may only be two days, there may be no cut, and the prizes may be radically different. However, local tournaments are a great way to involve yourself in the game of golf and to test your game against fine competition.