PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf driven by Avis launches
May 04, 2015
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- May 04, 2015
- ShotLink technology will be utilized in the PGA TOUR's new fantasy game. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Devotees of PGATOUR.COM may remember from long ago a fantasy game that utilized statistics beyond scores, results and earnings. It was a concept before its time. Now, in 2015, in a world literally at your fingertips, that time has arrived.
Infused with the latest technology and influenced by the evolution of gaming, PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf driven by Avis launches this week.
PGA TOUR FANTASY GOLF DRIVEN BY AVIS: Sign-up to play
Beginning with THE PLAYERS Championship and concluding with THE TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, the newest game at PGATOUR.COM will not only consist of two segments of 10 tournaments per, but it will be energized by a series of gamer-friendly options and all kinds of wrinkles that appeal to the spectrum of gamers, casual to hardcore.
Utilizing ShotLink technology, PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf driven by Avis assigns value to every shot in some fashion. It relies on a dedicated scoring system that rewards good play (as it should), but it does so using the specifics that yield the good play.
Those details serve two purposes. First, they will help frame the value of the rank and file that often goes overlooked in all of the other games that ignore the data that ShotLink provides. The second element will play a direct role in owner strategy, which as any gamer already knows, embodies the essence of why we play in the first place. This marriage of the old and the new presents the next generation of fantasy golf gaming.
Gamers will set a lineup of six golfers. Four are starters; two will sit on the bench. Your chosen six are locked once a tournament begins, but you'll have the option to move golfers from your bench into the starting lineup for any round. This is not unlike some options on the current landscape, but PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf driven by Avis has solved one of the most frustrating problems elsewhere. Pay attention to this as it will quickly become a regular step in your weekly decision-making.
If a round has started but you have a golfer on your bench that hasn't teed off, you can still move him into your starting lineup as long as one of your starters also hasn't teed off. This control will be particularly handy when a second round bleeds into a Saturday morning due to weather and the third round is scheduled to begin very soon after a cut falls. But, of course, there are any other number of reasons why you'll want to wait out a lineup decision. Just know that you're empowered like never before.
You're allowed three starts for every golfer per segment. One round in the starting lineup consists of a full start. Bonus points are awarded to all golfers in your starting lineup in the final round. Gamers will receive the equivalent of one-tenth of every FedExCup rounded to the nearest whole number.
As for game play, it's going to take time to get a feel for the scoring. As a result, begin with the macro approach regarding strategy throughout a tournament. You're familiar with the Modified Stableford scoring system and DFS has exploded with a multi-layered approach to assign value, so you already know that memorizing how points are awarded (and surrendered) isn't as critical as the end result.
The angle that PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf driven by Avis takes is that you can focus on what you need to compete because the dedicated scoring system assigns point values to every stroke en route to the score for the hole. Quite literally, every shot counts.
All facets of the game tee to cup are measured with tiered scoring. Hitting fairways off the tee will be a quick way to collect points. While Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, J.B. Holmes, Jason Day and Brooks Koepka rank 1-5, respectively, in distance of all drives on the PGA TOUR (through the Zurich Classic of New Orleans), if they don't find fairways, you're setting yourself up to lose if you don't balance out your lineup elsewhere. So, think accuracy over distance most of the time. PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf driven by Avis will reward extreme success, but the risk taken is directly correlated.
On top of investing in golfers with high percentages of greens in regulation, proximity-to-the-hole splits will become commonplace in the analysis. I should add that all of the scoring is hard and fast, not relative to the field. So, on difficult courses, your overall scoring will probably be lower.
Putting is probably the simplest component since the ball is already on the green. Just as in reality, one-putts are preferred. The difference is that longer conversions -- there are four ranges measured -- have greater value. Scrambling is also included in the evaluation.
Gamers can play publicly or set up private leagues. If you go the private route, you can cherry-pick your schedule. Knowing so many of you start and stop at different points in your home games, that feature should appeal to you immediately.
And, of course, there are numerous prizes for winners of tournaments, segments and the season. The grand prize includes a complimentary foursome at a participating TPC course as well as a Titleist driver, Scott Cameron putter and Vokey wedge.
I'll be including insight, analysis and projected lineups for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf driven by Avis in the Fantasy Insider every Tuesday. Much like how you choose one golfer for one game and another for a different game in the same tournament, I suspect that there will be similar reasons to endorse golfers in this game as I do others, but because of the unique scoring system, there will be different reasons to invest. I'll get into this a little more in the FI beginning this week.
Enjoy the game and reach out to me at any time at @RobBoltonGolf.