Saturday, February 27, 2016

Golf Wagering Games - Join us in the digital age.

In my previous blogs I talked about standard features of Golf League management software and how easy it is to create events and manage players and scores.  In this episode of my almost every week blog I would like to discuss wagering games.  

Wagering games in golf have been around since the sport was invented, I'm making this up but I'm sure there was an Scottish man somewhere that said: "I betcha that I can get closer to that pole than ya!" (You read that with a Scottish accent didn't you?).

Anyway, betting or wagering in golf can be as simple as "I bet you I make that putt" to a full on 2 (every combination of team of 2 from the 2 team players) teams round robin match play Nassau with auto 2 down presses.  Did you get that last one? Because when I first heard of it I had to take a minute.

Aren't you in luck (Scottish again? maybe?), Golf GamesKeeper just release it's new wager calculating platform, don't worry, it doesn't accept payment or will it ask you to take the Reds with 2 in the fourth, it is simply a way to help you help calculate all those complicated games you play.

Wager Calculating Platform? Tell me more !

In it's new release, Golf GamesKeeper now allows golfers to setup Team Round Robin (Foursome) wagering game.  Since you play a round robin (every team against every team), you cannot predict the outcome therefor you cannot collect a pot.  This allows for a fully dynamic game that can be very lucrative or very painful.

Here are the options available when setting up foursome:

You are now going "NO, THIS CAN'T BE !!! ", it is ... it is.
The team round robin is comprised of 4 games, here they are:

Team Nassau

This game is not very complicated, your team will play a Nassau (Front, Back, Total) against every other team.  Each player will be responsible to either pay every other team or collect from every other team.
When setting up team Nassau you have only 3 options
  1. Stroke Play (this one is not really an option)
  2. How many low scores per team per hole
  3. Bet amounts, you can choose what you want each component of your Nassau.  Be careful when you setup the amounts if you have 5 teams, your exposure is 12 bets.

Team Strokes

Another fairly straight forward game, in this game your team will compare total strokes with every other team and you pay or collect based on the difference between the Totals
This game only has 2 options
  1. Max net score (to limit the damage)
  2. Bet amount, once again be mindful or your amounts here, I've seen this one be the kiss of death since it takes into account ALL players net scores

Team ONs

This one is simple in concept however people seem to have a hard time understanding it.  Your team get an "ON" every time all members of the team get a par or better.  When you get an "ON", every team members pays your team the ON bet.
This game only has 2 options
  1. Numbers of pars or better to be ON
  2. Bet amount, I could say it again and I will, be careful when setting this number, it happens more often than you think.

Team OFFs

Very similar to team ON, but different.  This time, you need to have a certain amount of pars or better as a team not to fall "OFF".  You will set a number of par per team to stay ON (not fall OFF), if you go bellow this mark, you will get an OFF and like the other games, every player on your team will pay every other team when you are OFF.  There is a twist to this one however, if you set the pars required to stay ON at 2, you can set another option to allow double OFFs if you get 0 pars.  Fun game isn't it :)
This game has 3 options
  1. Number of pars to stay ON (usually 1 or 2)
  2. Allow 2 OFF, you usually check this optionif you have set the first option to 2 and you want groups to penalized twice if they get 0 pars
  3. Bet Amount

Now I don't have to tell you that these can will go up quickly and you should be very aware of that when you set your options.  Someone could easily walk away owing a small fortune.
Here is an example of a game I ran as an example and the results.  

As you can see, the results are clear and concise and the result page provides you with all the explanation necessary to understand what you got yourself into, maybe a little late but your brother-in-law said it was a friendly game as he takes $200 off of ya.

What else you got?

What? I did not get you enough to get you going for a while? Oh, OK, I have something more for you.  The game is called "Wheels".

This game is a little more complicated to explain so please, put your phone down and read slowly.  I'm typing slower so you should be able to follow.

The basic concept is that two team of an undefined amount of players compete against each other in all possible 2 man/Single low net event and the winnings are individual.  I just re-read that and it made no sense, but it's what is happening.  

Let me explain how this would work with and example.  Team 1 has 3 players and so does team 2.  Player 1,2,3 in team 1 and player 4,5,6 in team 2.  Each team now creates all permutations of unique team they can, like this:

Team 1
  1. Player 1 and 2 (Team 1-1)
  2. player 1 and 3 (Team 1-2)
  3. Player 2 and 3 (Team 1-3)
Team 2
  1. Player 4 and 5 (Team 2-1)
  2. Player 4 and 6 (Team 2-2)
  3. Player 5 and 6 (Team 2-3)
Now, we play !!!
In this example, there would be 9 matches and since you play with different partners, your winnings are individual.  

Also, there is nothing that is stopping from having a team of 2, 3, or 4 competing against a team of 4, 5, or 6.  Just remember again that when you set up all your options, you have to think about your exposure.  2 guys against 6 is dangerous for the 2 guys, but then again, they may just be that good.

Here is the setup screen for this bad boy:
Your looking at this and thinking, it's not that bad only 9 matches, well, OK, maybe ... BUT, think about having teams of 5 or 6, in a team of 5, you have 10 unique teams of 2 competing against 10 unique teams of 2, that's 100 matches.  Better get your math right !!! 

Before I show some of the results, let's look over some of the settings.  All pretty standard stuff

  1. Move players from the player's pool to Team 1 or Team 2
  2. Team Size: Right now teams of 1 or 2 will work
  3. Auto 2 Down, if this option is turned on, the system creates a bet automatically when the match is up/down 2
  4. Front, Back, Total, and Press bet amounts.
Pretty simple right, and I'm sure your thinking "AUTO 2 DOWN!! REALLY", well that's more screaming than thinking but yes sir'ee, auto 2 down.

Once you have setup everything, hit the GO! button and watch the magic happen.

This creates results in a new browser window so you can run it over and over again with different teams, as you wish.
Here is a look at what the results would look like.  Please keep in mind that the results read as rows with the totals for the teams in the rows.  Meaning every thing that is positive in the row is a negative in the column.

Like I promised, nice and clean but I know you're bothered by this and you say: "How can I trust this? You keep winning!!!".  True and there is really only 1 reason for that: I chose the right events to show you :).   All kidding aside, for all the skeptic out there, these in depth reports are also provided.

So, if you want to spend your time trying to figure it out or if you feel you got cheated and think you can take a computer on with a pen and a calculator, go right ahead but make sure you've paid your bet before you start because everybody else will be gone by the time you realize that everything is OK.  Oh, and if you do find a mistake, check it again and maybe your calculator failed you.

Now, if that's not enough to impress any golfer that like to put a little money here and there, I don't know what will.

You've made it all the way here, there is only one thing to do and it is to visit Golf GamesKeeper and get started.

Until then, hit 'em straight.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How to get the most of your Gold Tee Membership.

How to get the most of your Gold Tee Membership.

In previous blogs, League Management Part 1 and Part 2, we concentrated on your league and how the League administrator can use the features of Golf GamesKeeper to run his/her league quickly and efficiently.  

However, after talking to many of our members, I realized that there was a need to help them get the most out of their Gold Tee Membership.  

So here it is:

The Gold Tee Membership

Every league membership includes Golf GamesKeeper premier individual membership; "The Gold Tee Membership" !  
Here are some of its features as listed on our website:

  • Create Multiple Groups (unlimited)
  • Scoring for 5 players or more.
  • Companion Mobile App (iOS & Android)
  • Personalized Dashboard
  • Skins (Gross/Net) calculation after every round
  • Stroke Play, Stableford, Chicago, Best Ball, Shamble, Nassau (only on companion mobile app), etc. Gross and Net
  • Tracks and calculates friendly, competitive games between players
  • Multiple Tees in your group events
  • Live On-Course scorecard (gross & net)
  • Live On-Course Leader-board (gross & net)
  • Live Pace of Play
  • Hole-by-Hole Scorecard with Handicaps
  • Score History (all rounds use Equitable Stroke Control)
  • Current Handicap (Recreational or USGA Handicap Index depending on geographical location)
  • Personalized Web Portal - Setup games in advance, view completed rounds, post scores for handicap, view/print handicap information, invite friends to join, etc
  • Group options: Track Handicap, Self-Registration (with registration deadline), net skin handicap %, scorecard playoffs, set multiple administrators
  • Event options: Number of foursomes, private events (invitation only), multi-day/multi-round
  • Notification Center to accept/decline group and/or event invitations
As you can see, you get a lot features from this membership.

What should I do first?

You should start by creating a group and start inviting players that you play with on a regular basis.  Since the player invited HAS TO (Through our notification center) accept your invitation to be part of your group,  you want to start setting up your group as soon as possible.  Also, if you invite a person that is not yet a Gold Tee Member, they will be asked to join Golf GamesKeeper as a Gold Tee Member (at a cost of $26.99).  

You will notice that setting up a group is very similar to what we did in Part 2 of the League Management series, with the exclusion of Logos and Sponsors.

For a group, we suggest a different approach in creating and managing the options.

Group Name
First, you should create a group name that represent your group, not a specific event; For example, Wager Group or Wednesday Cash Game, or even JF Bertrand's Group.  This way you create your group once and people will relate to it from now on.  Also, please note that once a person is added to your group, they will be able to see and watch live ANY events that you create.

Allow Self Registration
When allowing self registration, it's important to understand how this option works, and for a group of friends, you want to allow them to register up to the last minute, so I suggest 0 days prior to event.  However, if you have a more structured group that requires tee time confirmation, 0.5 days prior to event (12 hours) should work just fine.  It's really up to you and the course you play on to come up with a number that will work for everyone.

Net Skins % and Scorecard Playoffs
These are pretty easy to setup and should meet your group's players skills.  If you play in a Net only league, you may want to set the Skin % at 100%, however if you have a mix of Gross and Net players, we found that setting the Net skins at 50-60% is usually best.  

We only support 2 formats for scorecard playoffs: 

  1. Hardest to easiest hole, or
  2. Hardest, easiest, 2nd hardest, 2nd easiest, etc ...
Once again, the decision should fit the players skill

My group is Created, now what?

Once your group is created, you may have to wait a few days for everyone to accept your invitation.  This shouldn't take long, however, if you don't wait, your players that haven't accepted the invitation will not show up in your event roster.

Your players all responded, it is now time to create your event.  When you create an event you have a few different types of events;

  1. Outside registration event - This is an event where the group organizer doesn't use the tools provided by Golf GamesKeeper to track event registration.  This means the event is tracked and organized by email or text.  To create such an event, you need to have Self Registration turned off at the group level and simply create an event.  The Group Administrator will be responsible for adding each player 1 by 1 into the event from the Players tab.
  2. A public Self Registration Event - This event will take advantage of the Notification Center built in the Golf GamesKeeper website.  To create this type of event, you first need to have Self Registration turned in your group settings.  When you create an event, the system will automatically send an email to all the players in your group, they will then have up to your self registration deadline (also group settings) to register for the event.  Note that if you always add a player manually from the players tab as part of event creation.
  3. A private Event - You want to create an event with only a subset of your roster, or you only have 2 foursome and don't want to create mayhem.  You can accomplish this by creating a private event (checkbox on event creation page) and selecting the players you want to invite from the Players tab.  Only the players selected will be allowed to join your event, however every other player in your roster will be able to see an follow the event.
Regular event creation is a 7 step process presented to you in the form of a wizard:

  1. Event Information - This is where all the basic information about your event is defined; Name, Number of foursomes, private (public), date, time, tee time (or shotgun), scoring (strokeplay, team event, scramble, etc), and the course and tees. 
  2. Scoring Options - On this tab you can select additional games like 2 men best ball or 4 men 2 best ball, Gross and Net etc.  You can add as many as you want.
  3. Players - On this tab you can add players to your event.  You simply click on the player to move him from the roster to the event.
  4. Players Option - This tab allows you to change options for a specific player. Options include Index, Tee Box, Gross Skins, Net Skins and Prize pool participation.  You can also remove a player by click the Garbage can on the right hand side.
  5. Flight - First select the number of flights you need, then Press the Reset button.

  6. Hole Assignment - For a shotgun you can modify the starting order, there are 2 quick click button for Forward and Reverse shotgun.  You can also assign a starting hole for a tee time event if your group starts from both tees.
  7. Pairings - On this tab you can move players from foursome to foursome.  To move multiple players at a time, hold the shift key and select all the players you want to move from the originating foursome, then, while still holding the shift key, select the players in destination foursome.  Once you have selected the same amount of player in the destination foursome, the player will swap places.

When you have completed these steps, you can simply hit save or Pairings Details and you will be taken to the Pairings sheet.  This page allows you to print a multitude of media to setup your event, from scorecards to cart signs to Alpha list.

Your event is now created, your players added, all you have to do now is wait for the day of the event.

During the Event

One of the best features of Golf GamesKeeper group membership is the ability to keep track of live scores and view results as you play.  Before this can happen, make sure that all your players have downloaded the app for their respective phones, you can download it here:

App Store Google Play

New players will have their user name as their email and their password as their last name. If a player successfully logs in to the app 2 hours prior to the event start time, any action on the home screen will automatically take him/her to the event.  The event will not be accessible until then.

From the home screen

  • If a game is active, pressing 'Current Game' or 'Check In' button will automatically direct the user to the current event.  
  • The 'Rounds' button allows the player to see his last rounds and add rounds as needed to keep a proper handicap index.
  • The 'Events' button allows the player to see future events and look at the results from past events (you also have the ability to calculate Nassau from this screen)
  • The 'Logout' button will log the user out of the app
The 'Current Game' and 'Check In' button should take you to the start game screen

On this screen you can:

  • Add bets with player in your foursome
  • Remove a player from the foursome if they are a no-show
  • Change the starting hole
  • Start the game
After you start the game, you will be taken to Scoring screen:

You will be on this screen for the duration of the round, for every hole, starting on your starting hole until the end of the round, use the +/- buttons to update each players score and the < > button to move from hole to hole.  The 'gear' button in the middle is your options button, you can access the scorecard for your foursome and the leader board for the event.

Once you have completed the event, verify the scores with your peers and click the 'Save and Close' button to make it official.  Even though you will not be able to update scores after you Save and Close, the event organizer can always change a score as he/she verifies the event.

During the Event (part deux)

You can always watch an event live as it is being played using your smart phone or your computer (if you weren't lucky enough to participate).  To do this, simply login the the web site ( using the same credentials as you would to login to the app and select Watch Live off the event Menu.

Verifying an event

After the round is completed, you can chose to verify the scores (or change them) if you see fit.  This is an optional step, and we provided a Verify All button for your convenience.  To do this, as an administrator of the event, you can select the Verify button off the event menu, or the Enter Score menu item if your players did not score the event using the app.  This step is useful to resolve conflict, however, not necessary.

What now?

After you have completed (and verified) your event the system will automatically calculate all of your games and resolve ties based on your group settings for scorecard playoffs.  Please note that for some games; Stableford, Chicago, 2/4 men events, you will need to Verify your event to initiate the calculation.

Your players can now enjoy a screen that looks like this

As an added bonus, players will have the ability to share on Facebook and Twitter after the round is completed.

Enjoy your round and don't forget to use Golf GamesKeeper.

Visit the website to get started.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Setup your league on Golf GamesKeeper




In Part 1 of this series we looked at all the cool features offered by the Golf GamesKeeper league management software.  Today, we will look at how to properly set it up.

Once you have been provisioned and you login to the web site, you will be taken to you dashboard, it should look something like this.

This is your dashboard, let's run through this really quickly
  • On the top right corner you have a snapshot at your personal information, Index, and a quick link to your profile
  • The next section is what we call the You/Foursome section, all Golf GamesKeeper users have access to this section.  This is where you manage all your scores that were not played during a league (or group) event, any league events will automatically show in this section.  You can Post a Score, create personal events (up to 4 players) and see your last 5/20 rounds.
  • The next section is our Group/5&Up section, this membership is provided to you and all the members of your league at no charge.  In this section, players of your league can create as many groups as they want with as many players as they want.  Every member of any league gets this feature and can be added and play in any number of groups
  • The last section is what you are here for, YOUR LEAGUE.

Now that you are logged in and looking at your dashboard.
Click on the menu on the left side of your league title bar;
You should see 4 menu items:
  • Manage
  • Manage Players
  • Create Event
  • Standings
After clicking on Manage, you should see this:

Notice how all the other sections are closed so that you can concentrate on the task at hand.

Manage your league basics

Before you can create an event, you need to setup your league so that it fits your needs and for that, you have to understand the effect of each option on your league.

That's where we will start.

Group Name:
Your League name

Track Handicap:
When this option is selected, Golf GamesKeeper will calculate a handicap with only the rounds played within the league.  Please note that any players added to this group will be added with a handicap of 0.  Also, your personal index will show in the player snapshot on the top right and your league index will show on your league title bar.

Handicap Day (optional):
This option appears only when Track Handicap is selected and allows the group administrator to select a day of the week where the group handicaps are calculated.  For example, if your league plays on Sunday, we would recommend to calculate your handicaps on Monday.

Allow Self-Registration:
When this option is selected, Golf GamesKeeper will send an email notification to all members of your league (unless the event is private or the players opt-in options are set to not receive event notifications) when a new event is created. Every player is then allowed to register themselves to an event. Even if a player opts-out of event notification by email, the notification will be saved in his/her notification center accessible through the Dashboard.

Registration Deadline (optional):
When Self-Registration is enabled, this option allows the group administrator to set hard deadlines for event registrations. This option accepts decimal, 1.5 days is 36 hours, so a deadline of 8pm on Thursday for an event at 8am on Saturday.

Net Skins:
The % of the player's course handicap to be applied for net skins.

Scorecard playoffs:
This option allows you to select the handicap hole order for a scorecard playoffs. We do not offer USGA scorecard playoffs at this time.

You now know all of the options, what do they mean for you? Here are a few Q/A to help you understand how to setup your group.

Q. I want to create a group that tracks handicap, however, I need to start with a handicap for each guy.
A. The best way to do this is to originally create a group that does not track handicap, this way as you add players to your group, Golf GamesKeeper will use their personal index as the group handicap. Once you have played a few rounds within the group, you can turn on track handicap and Golf GameKeeper will now update the handicap for all your players. Please note that in a Group Handicap Calculation, Golf GamesKeeper will not replace your handicap with a non calculated 0.0.

Q. I created an event and none of my players received the invitation email to participate.
A. Please make sure that your League allows for self-registration, if it does, your player may have opted-out of event notification. To opt-in for Event Notifications, login to, go to your Profile, Opt-in Options tab, check Event Notifications and click the Save Options button.

Manage your handicap scheme

You want to keep sandbagging to a minimum, however, you want your players to have a handicap as soon as possible.  Golf GamesKeeper offers a quick handicap calculation and a USGA handicap calculation.  With the Quick calculation your players will get a handicap after only 3 rounds and by the 9th round both calculation are equivalent.

Setup administrator

Administrators can add/remove players, create/verify events, setup challenge holes so you can see the value of having more than one.  As part of setting up your league, you can setup one or more administrator to help you in the weekly routine of creating and managing your league.


Everything in Golf GamesKeeper is segregated by season, this is also the way Golf GamesKeeper controls the access to the league.  You can only have one active season at a time and for your season to be active, you have to be in good standing with Golf GamesKeeper.

Logos and sponsors

Logos and sponsors allows you to customize your event (phone app, scorecard, cart signs, and result page).  You can load only one league logo and as many sponsors as you want.  Please note that for best results your logo needs to be 140x140px and your sponsors 320x50px.

Your logo will show on the scorers page on the app and every sponsors will rotate, one by one at the bottom of the screen as your scorers your round.  The sponsors will also be displayed on the live scoring board during the event.

You are now an expert at managing your league, join us again next week when we teach you how to manage your players.

Until then, hittem straight !!!

Visit the website to get started.