Last year I participated in a fantasy golf league for the very first time. I chose the Golf Channel Fantasy Golf Challenge because I am a huge fan of the golf channel (especially the Morning Drive show). Each week, Winn McMurry, would join the morning show to give her picks. In the early stages I wrote posts each week about my players but found that to be a bit repetitive and I had other topics I wanted to share with my readers.
In all honesty, I had set goals for 2012 for myself and failed miserably. I was very optimistic and didn’t realize how hard it would be to win just one week (which I thought was an achievable “stretch” goal). My best week was when I ranked 1,551 (I finished the year ranked in the mid-5,000 range). On a bright note, I did beat my friend who was playing but not by much (and she missed a few weeks) so this year I really have to be on my toes.
The one thing that I did not like about the league was that the leader-board only showed the ranks for the top 100 and did not show the total number of players. So you could compare yourself to the top 100, the people in your own league, and the Golf Channel experts but that was it. Therefore, knowing my final rank was mid-5,000 really did not mean anything since I had no basis for it expect that I clearly was not in the top 100. But I would have liked to know where I was against all players. I actually wrote the golf channel fantasy team an email at the end of the season and suggested they add the total number of players. Now, they may have been planning it all along but the new player profile includes your overall rank against everyone.
This makes it a bit more fun for those of us that may never be in the top 100. If the number (48,638) in the screen shot is indicative of the number of players last year, then being in the 5,000 range was pretty good for a beginner. Of course, lots of room for improvement.
The Golf Channel has also added the LPGA majors to the fantasy golf game and that makes me very happy. I think it promotes the women’s game and hopefully will expand the fan base for the LPGA.
The other new twist is a Mulligan! You get to drop your lowest score each segment (three segments this year and I’m guessing the segments will be Spring, Summer, Fall). I’m not sure of the date breaks for the three segments because of the shortened PGA tour schedule. In 2013 the PGA will play only 40 tournaments between January and September. Then the 2013/2014 season begins in October which is the tour’s new wrap-around season.
Also, in the spirit of social sharing, the Golf Channel has added Twitter, Facebook and other social sharing tools to the site. I’m not sure it will be meaningful to tweet about my picks but I setup a Pinterest board to follow my fantasy picks. A Pinterest board will allow me to add images and write recaps. I participated in the CME Titleholders LPGA Pinterest contest last year and I had the winning board.
I have set goals for the 2013 fantasy golf season. Obviously I want to win because that is the reason we all play games. I will also be very happy to better my 2012 end of season position and I have set two more goals. First, to win one week (same stretch goal as last year) and second, be in the top 1,000 at the end of the year.
Finally, I never understood the guys at work that did the fantasy football or baseball teams but now I get it. Fantasy games draw you into the action. I have always loved watching golf but the fantasy game makes watching the tournaments even more fun. The result of playing the fantasy game that I did not expect is that I discovered new golfers to watch. Players that may or may not be the next “break out star” but I am now interested in watching them play.