Although daily fantasy golf, or DFS, has become the popular choice for fantasy players there are still some of us that keep into and enjoy a season long fantasy golf league to follow along the PGA Tour season. I mention to people that I am in a full year fantasy golf pool and many seem perplexed as to what I mean so I figured it was worth my time to go through what a full season league is and the different types of pools that you can set up and play.
What Is Fantasy Golf?
If you have no idea what fantasy golf is in the first place, you can check out our write up on the game here – What is Fantasy Golf.
What types of full season fantasy golf leagues are there?
When you are talking about a season long fantasy league for golf there are three different types to play in:
- Salary Cap Fantasy Golf League
- One and Done Fantasy Golf Pools
- Snake Draft Fantasy Golf Leagues
Let’s take a look at each one and discuss a little further.
How To Play a Salary Cap Fantasy Golf League
An organizer or “commissioner” of a league will set up certain parameters to set the contest boundaries. Many times there is an artificial salary cap of $20 Million used to pick 10 PGA Tour golfers using their money earnings from the previous season’s final results which are published on the PGATour.com website. Fantasy players can pick any 10 golfers they want for their team provided the total of their salaries do not exceed the $20 Million cap. Those 10 golfers are then the team’s players that will compete in events on the PGA Tour throughout the year and when the Tour Championship is done the total earnings by each golfer is tallied up to form the total for the year. The team whose total earnings are the highest wins the pool. Most often a pool like this will have an entry fee of $5-50 depending on how many people are entered and how much of an appetite there is to play. It is a league that is easy to setup and can be run by someone individually or through an online service. The ones I am in are simply done through an Excel document and updates are emailed out each Monday after a tournament is completed.
How To Play A One And Done Fantasy Golf League
Each week when a PGA tournament is held, a fantasy player has the opportunity to pick one golfer for the week and his earnings that particular week get totaled with the previous week’s earnings. The catch being that you CANNOT use the same golfer again for the rest of the PGA Tour season. Some pools will divide the season into segments of 4 so that prizes can be awarded to the leader of a segment allowing to distribute winnings four times in a season as opposed to waiting for the entire PGA Tour season to be completed. You can also award prizes at the end of the PGA Tour season for total earnings throughout the year to determine an overall champion. Some pools will allow for an alternate golfer to also be picked in case a golfer withdraws at the last minute, is disqualified or did not start the tournament. Each week a fantasy participant is required to send in their pick (or picks) to either the league commissioner or to a website prior to the start of the tournament on Thursday (or Wednesday if it’s an overseas event).
What Is A Snake Draft Fantasy Golf League
Much like the salary cap league where you pick players for the whole season, a snake draft fantasy league is one where a draft order is assigned based on how many players are in the fantasy pool. If you have 10 participants in your league, each person is assigned a draft number from 1-10 and that is the order for drafting PGA Tour golfers for your team. Each golfer can only be picked once so after a golfer is chosen, no other fantasy player can pick him again. After the first ten picks are done, the next 10 picks then go in reverse order so that the person who originally picked 10th, now gets the 11th pick and the person that picked 9th gets the 12th pick and down in goes until the person that originally picked first makes their pick. This process is then repeated until each team has picked the predetermined number of golfers needed to complete a team.
The order of picks in the first two rounds looks something like this:
The draft is conducted that way to help offset the advantage the 1st pick has over the 10th pick and is a popular method in fantasy leagues but is more suitable for a smaller player size. Generally a snake draft pool has 10-20 participants and can be done online through websites or through video conference media such as Zoom or Skype and was a popular way of being completed in person allowing fantasy players to get together for a day and complete a fantasy golf draft.
Difference Between Full Season and Daily Fantasy Golf
Season long fantasy golf games have been around for a long time whereas DFS has only become popular in the last decade or so (and continues to grow). Season long is as the name suggests, for the whole PGA Tour season which means if you have bad picks, or injuries or guys that don’t enter many tournaments your fantasy season could be over quick and you have to wait until the next year to try again. If you have a great team, the downside is that you need to wait until the end to claim your victory and collect your winnings. Daily fantasy golf is basically played weekly so you can pick a new team every week and if you have a bad week…just try again the following tournament. You can also play in daily contests that you only have to pick a lineup for the one day as opposed to the entire tournament. DFS fantasy golf is done online through sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings (the two largest daily fantasy golf sites) and can be played with friends in a private league, with a group of strangers in a public league or even head to head against one other person. There are big money contests to play in some with very little entry fee but millions of dollars can be won! If you don’t have many friends that share your passion for fantasy golf, daily fantasy golf is a great way to get in on the action, have fun and win some money. If you are more risk averse, have a lot of friends that also love fantasy golf and like the idea of having one team to follow for a whole PGA Tour season then full season fantasy golf games are a great way to enjoy the tournaments each week.