Fantasy Golf: Welcome to the Majors Challenge
Steve Pimental introduces you to the Majors Challenge, a new format of fantasy golf. You could win a Bushnell Neo Ghost Golf GPS playing for the British Open!
I like fantasy golf as much as the next person, but there is no denying most fantasy golf contests are basically the same. You choose a handful of golfers (usually six) and earn fantasy points based on their results on each hole as well as their overall standing in the tournament. Lately, you might get some contests that only last one day, or during the weekend, but innovation and fantasy golf are two terms that have rarely been used in the same sentence. Majors Challenge is changing all of that.
Majors Challenge offers a unique fantasy golf contest that stands out in the industry. Whether you are looking to get into fantasy golf for the first time or simply want a new challenge, Majors Challenge has what you need. Rather than simply trot out the same old golf contests, Majors Challenge has addressed three of the major issues facing most fantasy golf games.
1. Your entire lineup is ruined by a golfer who withdraws before his tee time but after your lineup locks.
This is the absolute worst. Injuries during a round are bound to happen, but there is nothing you can do as a fantasy player when a golfer wakes up on Thursday and decides the injury nobody has reported is too severe for him to play in a tournament. Your lineup is already locked, and even if you nailed all of your other picks, the best you can hope for is to squeak into the money. More likely than not, that lineup was a complete waste.
Majors Challenge has you covered. In addition to the 12 golfers in your lineup, you choose four alternates. If one of your golfers withdraws before his tee time, your alternate is automatically inserted into your lineup. You are no longer punished when the unforeseen happens.
This also allows you to be a bit more confident when evaluating players dealing with nagging injuries. I usually look to avoid players with any sort of injury issues for fantasy golf. As much as it would kill me to fade Henrik Stenson because he withdrew from the Scottish Open with an elbow injury, the potential to take a zero because Stenson withdrew at the last minute is too great a price to pay. That isn’t nearly as much of a concern on Majors Challenge. You still have the risk Stenson’s elbow will affect his play or cause him to withdraw in the middle of the tournament, but at least you know you are covered if he never even makes it to the first tee.
2. There aren’t enough roster spots.
Whether I am writing FantasyAlarm’s DFS PGA Playbook or simply playing my own fantasy golf lineups, I usually narrow down the tournament field to about 15 players I want to play that week. I then use that player pool to fill out my individual lineups. There is nothing more frustrating than nailing most of your picks but still making modest money because I didn’t come up with the exact right six-person combination needed to finish at the top of a contest.
If you have ever felt that frustration, you should give Majors Challenge a try. You have 12 lineup spots. You don’t need to nail every single pick to get rewarded, but if you pick 10 players who all make the cut, you could be in really good shape. I feel like with 12 roster spots, you get a better test of your fantasy golf prowess. You also don’t have to concern yourself quite as much with which players will be highly owned since there will be many more unique lineups.
I like doing fantasy golf research as much as the next person, but opening multiple tabs in an effort to track down all the relevant information needed to construct a roster can be a headache. Trying to track down statistics, results and course history from multiple sources can take up a ton of time if you let it. Unlike other fantasy golf sites, Majors Challenge gives you everything you need whenever you click on a player’s name. You get not only his relevant stats from the 2018, season but also his record in the four majors and the Players Championship. By clicking the All Tournaments tab, you can view tournament results going all the way back to 2002. If you want to see how Adam Scott did the last time the Open Championship was at Carnoustie, you can easily find out with just a couple of clicks.
In addition to addressing some important issues facing most fantasy contests, Majors Challenge offers several other perks. Chief among them, you can create a league on Majors Challenge to compete against your friends. Your first 50 teams are free, and you receive custom commissioner tools. The custom commissioner tools allow you to modify just about everything about your league, including the schedule. If you only want to play the majors, you can do that. You can take a week off to attend your buddy’s wedding or go on vacation. If you don’t want your league to participate during the fantasy football season, you can make that happen.
Majors Challenge also offers a simplified scoring system that is super easy to follow. The only score that matters is your score in relationship to Par. Whichever 12-player lineup has the lowest score in relationship to par at the end of play on Sunday wins. No more losing points for bogeys or gaining points for an eagle. If Zach Johnson finishes -4, it counts just as much as if Tiger Woods finishes -4.
While creating a custom league with your friends is probably the best way to play Majors Challenge, it isn’t the only way. Majors Challenge is offering a free Open Championship contest to let you get your feet wet. You can compete against me and dozens of other fantasy golf players for a chance at some great prizes. I also love the way you can click on each entry in the standings to easily view that entry’s entire lineup. If you want to look at my lineup and heckle me when half of my lineup misses the cut, feel free.
Speaking of my lineup, I do want to offer some thoughts on how I went about filling it out, but first, I should probably lay out the rest of the rules just in case you are still on the fence. As I mentioned above, your lineup consists of 12 players and four alternates. The entire tournament field is separated into four groups based on Official World Golf Rankings. The top players in the rankings are in Group A, while the lowest-ranked players are in Group D. Each lineup features three players from Groups A and B, four from Group C and two from Group D. Each group gets one alternate.
When it came time to fill out my own lineup, I found the most difficult groups to pick were Groups A and D, though they presented completely different challenges. Group A is difficult because, with so many great golfers in the group, there is very little to separate them. In a traditional DFS game, the price is often the deciding factor. Henrik Stenson is a no-brainer on DraftKings when he costs $3,100 less than Dustin Johnson, but pulling the trigger on Stenson or Tommy Fleetwood over guys like D.J., Justin Rose, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler is tough.
Group D, on the other hand, is especially tough for the majors because the players just aren’t that good. It’s difficult to feel too good about players who have missed half of their cuts this season or else are facing weaker competition in Europe for most of the year.
Choosing players in these groups is made even more difficult because we can’t really go on course history. The Open Championship was last played at Carnoustie in 2007. The course does make an appearance on the European Tour every year, as part of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, but each golfer plays just one round on the course. While I did wind up with two-time defending Alfred Dunhill Links Champion Tyrrell Hatton in my lineup, I can’t help but feel I might be overrating that experience. That being said, I feel like it is worth noting Tommy Fleetwood holds the course record at Carnoustie.
When it came to choosing my players in each group, I took a close look at how the players performed in key stats like Putting Average and Bogey Avoidance. Guys like Russell Knox and Emiliano Grillo who did well in those stats and have had good results of late were easy additions to my lineup.
Creating my 12-player Open Championship lineup was a unique challenge, which is why I am so excited to play Majors Challenge not only this week but going forward as well. As always, check out FantasyAlarm’s DFS Playbook to help you fill out your own Majors Challenge lineups. I hope you will give it a try, and be sure to let me know how it goes.