What is the golf game called Ambrose?

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“Golf is the only game where the worst player gets the best of it. He obtains more out of it as regards both exercise and enjoyment, for the good player gets worried over the slightest mistake, whereas the poor player makes too many mistakes to worry about them.”David Lloyd George

By Ian Hardie

The golf game called Ambrose is a variation of golf that although not widely played

Is an exceptionally useful way for people to play the game on the odd occasion

As the basis behind the game of Ambrose is that it creates a level playing field

For players of varying skill levels to be able to compete and participate as a single team

This means that it’s a form of the game that will be most commonly be played;

On mixed (males and females together) fun days – such as start or end of season events

As a way of introducing new players to the game by pairing them with established golfers

During company or business golf days where a lot of non-golfers can participate

Or on occasions such as just after major course maintenance has taken place

And the golf course is not in good enough shape for regular golfers to enjoy their game

There are quite a few different variations of Ambrose which means it’s always a good idea

To check out exactly what the rules are that day before you start your game

Most commonly you will find that all players in the team will tee off individually

The best shot from the tee will then be selected by the team

With all players hitting again from within a club-length of that spot

Note: that hitting the next shot from within a club-length is only available until the green is reached by the team at which point hitting from the exact spot is done using a ball marker

The best second shot is then selected by the team with all players hitting again

This process repeats until the ball is holed out on the green

As you may have worked out – that simplest form of Ambrose gives a significant advantage

To a team who may have one or two extremely good players in it

Which is where the variations of Ambrose start to come in – to even things up a little

Some Ambrose events will require each team member to have

A certain number of drives chosen or used as ‘the best’ during the game

Which as you will figure negates the advantage of any long drivers in the team

As well as causing some interesting debates throughout the game!

Other variations of Ambrose have a rule that the player whose shot was chosen as ‘the best’

Is not able to participate in playing the next shot

Which takes away the ability to rely solely on any experienced golfers in the team

And allows all the players in the team to contribute to the team’s outcome at some stage

One of the other features of Ambrose that make it a good game to play in the right situation

Is that there are plenty of ways to come up with a handicap for the team’s

Regardless of the number of players or mix of regular and non-golfers in each team

This is achieved by adding all of the regular golfer’s handicaps together

Then giving the non-golfers a ‘handicap for the day’ – which is usually a guess at best

However, considering that Ambrose is almost always played as a fun event, the fact that

The final handicaps won’t be as accurate as they would be in a normal golf event

Usually makes little difference to the players and in fact as any experienced golfer will know

A non-golfer or two with high handicaps are extremely useful members of an Ambrose team!

Once all of the handicaps are added together, the team handicap is found after;

For a 2 player team – the handicaps of the two players are added together and divided by 4

For a 3 player team – the handicaps of the three players are added together and divided by 6

For a 4 player team – the handicaps of the four players are added together and divided by 8

For a 5 player team – the handicaps of the five players are added together and divided by 10

For a 6 player team – the handicaps of the six players are added together and divided by 12

As the handicap calculations can sometimes come out with less than whole numbers

The traditional way Ambrose is scored takes that into account by using the fractions

Or decimal points as part of the handicap – for example 9 ¾ or 6.5 both being possible handicaps used for a game, meaning that at the end of the game, the winning team is

The one that has the lowest net score (the score they actually achieved less their handicap)

The other advantage that Ambrose provides is related to the scores for the day

As you can have a large amount of players playing in each team but only a few scorecards

It’s an extremely quick process for the organisers of the event to work out the results

Combine that with its ability to create a level playing field for players of varying skill levels

To be able to compete, participate as a team and have a lot of fun

Plus the fact that it can give some people their very first experience of the game of golf

It’s surprising that it’s not played more frequently around the world than it is

Play well

 

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