SCGA Team Play is one of the longest-running and most popular competitions conducted by the SCGA. The Team Play Championships began in 1900 and has grown to include more than 230 SCGA Member Clubs – more than 8,000 player-participants compete in this Championship annually.
SCGA Team Play is open to all SCGA regular member clubs with at least one 18-hole golf course of at least 5,000 yards in length. Participating clubs may enter one 16-person team in each of two leagues – one league plays conducted on Thursdays and the other plays on Saturdays. Clubs are divided into Groups of four clubs, and each team in a Group plays in a series of three round robin (home-and-away) matches against the other clubs in its Group, for a total of six Group matches. Each match includes both single and four-ball match play competitions. Group winners move on to play in single-elimination playoff matches, culminating in an 18-hole Team Play Championship Match to end the season.
ERMGC Participation in Team Play
The Encinitas Ranch Men’s Golf Club has historically fielded teams in both the Thursday and Saturday Team Play leagues ever since the Club’s inception. The ERMGC teams have enjoyed considerable success, winning several Group championships and, in 2010, earning a trip to the Saturday Team Play Championship Finals for a Runner-Up finish that year!
The ERMGC Team Play squads open their seasons in January, alternating home and away matches against their three Group opponents. The ERMGC has typically been a member of Groups made up of other invited clubs from North San Diego County and/or nearby areas. The ERMGC’s recent Group opponents have included Twin Oaks, Bernardo Heights Country Club, Cross Creek, Bear Creek, Vista Valley Country Club, El Camino Country Club, La Costa Resort, and San Vicente Golf Resort. Playoffs begin in early March with the 32 Group winners meeting in a regional playoff round, and culminate with the Team Play Championship Finals in April. Finalists must win four sudden-death playoff matches against other Clubs representing Groups spanning the full breadth of the SCGA’s jurisdiction.
How to Join ERMGC Team Play
The ERMGC develops its Team Play roster for an upcoming season beginning in the fall of each year. The ERMGC typically carries 22 to 24 members on each of its Team Play rosters, from which the 16 team members competing in each weekly match will be selected. Selections are generally the result of a predetermined rotation so that each team member participates in a similar number of matches.
The ERMGC Team Play rosters are built through a combination of (1) veteran team members from the previous season’s squads and (2) new team members who are either nominated by the Team Captains or invited to play based on their participation and success in the Club’s member events. Club Members may also submit their names to the Team Captains for consideration. Team members may participate on either of the Thursday or Saturday ERMGC teams, but are barred from playing on both teams under the SCGA’s rules. (Note: A Club Member, however, may play on an ERMGC Thursday or Saturday Team and on another team from another course in the league.) Team members must be 21 years of age and a regular member of the ERMGC, and team members must have posted at least ten qualifying scores from rounds played in the calendar year preceding the season of play. Players must have a Low Handicap Index (LHI) of 18.4 or lower, determined by each player’s handicap index record over the past 12 months. A player with an LHI of greater than 18.4 may participate in Team Play, but his LHI will be reduced to 18.4 for all Team Play matches. (Note: The SCGA uses a strict Handicap Reduction Policy to monitor the legitimacy of handicap indices, which is one of the reasons only regular Club Members whose handicaps are verified by the Club’s Handicap Chairman may participate in Team Play. A verifiable LHI is used to establish course handicaps for each match.)
For each weekly match, the ERMGC Team Captain selects 16 players and two alternates from the Team Play roster and serves the lineup on the opponent’s captain during the week prior to a match. ERMGC team members selected in play in the weekly match are ranked in order of course handicap (1st through 16th) from low to high; using these rankings, each player is paired with a partner to form a Pairing. Each Pairing is matched up against a Pairing from the opposing team, ranked and paired in the same manner. Each player then plays an individual match play against one of the members of the opponent’s team Pairing AND a concurrent four-ball match play with his partner against the opponent’s Pairing. Results from each of the 16 individual match plays and the 8 team Pairing match plays are totalled, and the winner of the most matches is declared the overall winner of the match between Clubs. At the end of the six Group matches, the Club with the best record within the Group moves on to the playoffs to play other Group winners.
If you are interested in playing on the ERMGC Thursday or Saturday Team Play squads, contact [insert name or title – should be Duane Spring, but we should check with him first and we should find a contact for the Thursday team].
Additional information regarding SCGA Team Play Championships, including current standings, matches and results of play, is available at www.scga.org (see the “Team Play” link on the Championships menu).