Scrambles

Sebastian Wyczawski
3 min readFeb 9, 2024

My Views on Best Ball Golf

Let’s start with the premise that I am not a scratch golfer. If I can play bogey golf, I’m playing well. I golfed fairly well when I was younger, hurt my wrist playing winter golf and stopped for years. I went back, playing a few times, and it was just a struggle. A few friends were just starting out, and we’d go to outings where it was best ball.

The first time, we all struggled, but usually at least one of us had a decent lie. We didn’t score well, it was a big outing and went slow, but it wasn’t the usual frustration trying to shoot through the trees, out of the sand, on hills where the ball ended up at knee height. Our biggest mistake was not bringing in a ringer, like some of our other friends did.

At another outing, we were given a ringer. While I didn’t need to get out of the cart, we used 1 of my shots, it was fun seeing how ‘top tier golfers’ play a completely different game than I do. I have the added bonus that I can claim I got a double eagle, and there is a scorecard to prove it. We came in 2nd place. We finished 14 under par. I didn’t set the rules, so I consider it valid.

One of my friends and I started playing together once or twice a week, and we both would generally struggle, so we went with best ball. To judge our individual scores at the time, we could rival basketball scores. So we decided to just play best ball, hoping one of us could hit a halfway decent shot. We played a season like this, at multiple courses.

Our first few rounds were ugly, but we started to get better. We started off hoping for 2 or 3 good holes. After a month or 2, it slowly turned into 2 or 3 terrible holes. Our score dropped from the mid 90’s to the high 70’s on the score card. At the time, by myself I was always in a battle with over/ under 100, though I snuck in an 88.

We ended up playing on a weekend with a slow round, matched with 2 other people, so we decided to play our own ball. It went surprisingly well. We both played well on most holes; sure there were a few debacles. Most of my 1st putts were for par.

I will admit, when you are with a significantly better golfer, it is not as much fun. At the outing I mentioned, there was mostly no point in my even getting out of the cart. Sitting there watching someone hit a 5 iron further than I can drive the ball gets dull. I have played my own ball with my friend; he is very tolerant when it takes me 3 shots to catch up to him. He did also give me a few tweaks that helped me hit the ball better, without messing with my swing.

I have asked people I’ve been matched up with if they want to play best ball. No one has ever said yes. Based off how they hit the ball, it would have saved them a lot of aggravation. Let’s just say these are the same people that insist on playing the blues, then can barely reach the white tee on their tee shot. I generally stay with the whites, if there is no one around I might play the blues just to change it up. I find it funny that most o the time, when I tell them I’m playing the whites, they move up to the whites.

I don’t understand why people are so against best ball. Most won’t even consider it. I get the people coming out intent on match play versus a friend. On public courses on Long Island, you get a lot of groups who can barely hit the ball. Then they insist on hitting from terrible lies, and are up around 8 or 9 by the time they get to the green. Yet we wonder why we get 6–7 hour rounds on weekends.

If these players played best ball, they wouldn’t be as frustrated. I have seen some end up furious, we’ve all been there. The rest of us would benefit as it would cut at least an hour off the round. For the better foursomes, you should try it on occasion and work together for a great score.

By Sebastian Wyczawski

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Sebastian Wyczawski

Throughout a financial services career spanning 22 years, Sebastian Wyczawski has brokered deals of more than $100 million on behalf of clients.