What Is a Shot Gun Start In Golf


If you are a golf fanatic, then you have probably taken part in a tournament that was referred to as a Shot gun start. A shot gun start is simply a concept where all players in a golf tournament start playing at the same time, but from distinct places on the golf course. Every player will begin at a different hole when the golf tournament begins and they will continue playing along the course in the order from the hole they started from. For example, if one player starts at hole 15, he/she will continue to hole 16-18 and then move to hole 1 and play till hole 15.

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What Is a Shot Gun Start In Golf

The Invention of the Shotgun Start

The word “shotgun start” denotes the first known use of this starting format. According to a December 2004 issue of the celebrated Golf Digest, during a golf tournament in Walla Walla in May 1956, the Country Club head professional Mr. Jim Russell signaled the start of the play by firing off a shot gun. This was a signal to golfers who were waiting on tees around the golf course. Since then, thousands of tournaments have been played each year that are now called “shotgun.”  However, nowadays, air horns are used instead of shot guns and players have gotten used to its sound. Nevertheless, some golf courses may still use shot guns with blanks once in a while as a reflection of the past when starting some of their golf tournaments.

Benefits of a Shotgun Tournament

There are a few benefits of shot gun start that has made them popular among many golfers. First and foremost all golf players will start on different holes but at the very same time. This is beneficial to players because everyone will be able to complete the tournament at the same time and they can celebrate their wins as a team. This can come in handy, especially if you plan on hosting your friends, clients, or customers to a pre-tournament or even post-playing buffet because every individual involved will have a chance to enjoy each other’s company and mingle at the same time.

Shotgun starts are popular with corporate outings, fundraising tournaments, and association playdays owing to their time management benefits. Furthermore, since all golfers will finish almost the same time, it is easier to get the players and everyone else into any follow-up activities like award ceremonies, lunch, and many more. Additionally, having all participants in one room at the same time gives you an opportunity to recognize and celebrate players with prizes for the closest to the pin, longest drive, most honest team or golfer, and even the lowest scores.

The main aim of a shotgun start is to enable a large field of golf players to go through a round without clogging up the driving range the entire day. Keeping everyone engaged and moving will ensure that the golf course does not have to be used the entire day for the event. In most cases, shot gun starts usually begin with players riding out on their carts to the starting hole.

As you can see, a shotgun start is the way a tournament begins and not a golf tournament competition. With a shotgun start, all the players will start gaming simultaneously and each group of four golfers will tee off on a different hole along the golf course. Shotgun starts are a perfect solution, especially when the length of a tournament is a major concern. This starting technique will enable you to move everyone through the golf course faster and you can clear the course for other activities.

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