Pingolf: splitting up the qualifying field

I’ve was the TD for Dory Hill Pinball Campout the last two times it was run. 18 holes of pingolf are played on Saturday, and then a direct play finals happens on Sunday (where the field is roughly split in half).

In the past, we had around 70 players. Play on Saturday would start around 10am, and people would finish around 4pm-7pm. (There was no schedule, just go at your own pace. People would stop for lunch, naps, etc).

This year, it’s possible we might have 100-120 players. I’m concerned that there won’t be enough time for everyone to get through 18 holes, as we could have as many as 30 foursomes, rather than the standard 18ish.

However, it’s reasonable that we could have enough machines for 3 separate nine-hole courses…and evenly distribute the groups so that everyone plays two of the three nine-hole courses. With that, there would be significantly less waiting (and it would give people a few hours after dinner to play for fun with friends, as has traditionally happened).

Of course, then it would be a little problematic comparing scores across players to determine finals (since with some players you’d only have half of your holes in common).

I have some ideas of how this could be done, but wanted to put it out there to see if anyone else has suggestions.

My plan for Sunday is to have three separate courses, and A, B & C divisions. Ideally 32 in A, 32 in B, and the rest in C to play an indirect format.

Every little bit helps. In that category, I recommend balancing your foursomes by skill level: a top player, a couple middle players, and a new player.

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There was a pingolf event in town recently that had two banks of 9 holes where participants had to choose between the two and took the top X from each bank through to the finals, rather than comparing performance across banks. Could something like that be reworked for your purposes?

A good idea, but not something we would do for this event (for lots of reasons).

Another problem with that is that there will be three different courses, and they will all have different average scores (because it’s not feasible to create perfectly balanced objectives where all 27 machines would have the same average). So, sucks for you if you get the two hardest courses.

Yes, totally possible, although I think I would assign banks at random rather than giving choice. Make three different groups: holes 1->18, 10->27, 19->9 and take the Top 10 from each group, plus two others to fill out a 32 player field.

The downside here is that the distribution of top players could matter a lot to your chances of advancing if you get an unlucky grouping.

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In the past, foursomes have always been self selected. I’m not willing to change that. (However, assigning holes based on who is in the foursome is something I’d be willing to do…but not super excited about (based on the time it would take to meet with each group, make an assessment of their skills, and then place them on courses accordingly)).

Could you require people to preregister as a group in order to play together? Then you would at least have the information you need for seeding/distribution ahead of time. I’d probably use IFPA rank as the metric that needs to be decently balanced between the three courses, starting with prefabricated groups and then filling in players without partners. Not sure if this level of prep and player expectations jives with the vibe of your event, so I’m just spitballing.

Not impossible, but doesn’t really fit the vibe. A good idea though.

I think there are too many people that are going to show up or drop out the day of the vent.

I could probably just assign courses on the fly to try and spread out the top players.

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I run a PinGolf event (Sprisse Masters) with 3 different nine-hole courses in qualifying. Top 8 per group qualify and to determine seeding after qualifying I compare (#strokes by the player/average stroke needed in its particular qualifying group) - f.e. first in A has 20 strokes, in B 19 strokes in C 22 strokes. Average strokes in Group A is 4.5, in Group B 4.6, in C 5.2 => 20/4.5=4.44; 19/4.6=4.13; 22/5.2=4.23- Top seed after qualifying would be first from Group B, 2nd seed first from Group C and 3rd top qualifyer from Group A.

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