What Is a Shotgun Start in Golf

What Is a Shotgun Start in Golf? Let’s Find Out!

Last Updated on May 30, 2023

Golfers, have you ever heard of a shotgun start in golf? It’s an interesting concept that can be beneficial to your game. But what is a shotgun start in golf? A shotgun start is when all the players begin their rounds at different holes simultaneously instead of teeing off from the same hole. This type of starting method has both advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand how a shotgun start works before deciding if it’s right for your next round. Let’s take a look at what makes this style of beginning unique and why some golfers prefer using it over other methods.

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What is a Shotgun Start in Golf?

A shotgun start is a type of tournament format in which all players begin their rounds at the same time, usually from different holes. This method allows for an efficient and orderly way to start a golf tournament. It’s used most often in amateur tournaments, but it can also be seen on professional tours such as the PGA Tour and Golf Digest Liv Golf Invitational Series.

The standard shotgun start begins with each group teeing off from their respective starting hole at the same time, typically after a designated signal sounds like a “shotgun blast”. The groups then move around the course together until they reach their designated finishing hole. During this process, some players may choose to take carts while others will opt to walk between shots – depending on the rules of that particular event or course.

Another variation of this format is known as reverse shotgun starts – where instead of beginning play from multiple starting points across the course, all players tee off from one location (usually Hole 1). After everyone has hit their chosen shot, they are then free to proceed around the rest of the course however they wish until they complete 18 holes.

Finally, there are what’s called modified or double shotgun starts – where two separate groups tee off simultaneously from opposite sides of either par-3 or par-5 holes; thus allowing for twice as many people to finish playing at once. This technique can be especially helpful when dealing with larger events that involve hundreds if not thousands of participants who need to complete rounds quickly and efficiently before sunset or other external factors come into play (like weather).

A shotgun start is a great way to get your golf game started quickly and efficiently. By understanding how it works, you can ensure that your next round of golf will be an enjoyable one. Now let’s take a closer look at how exactly this type of start works.

Key Takeaway: A shotgun start is a tournament format in which all players begin their round at the same time, usually from different holes. This method of starting a golf event can be either standard (all teeing off from various spots), reverse (teeing off from one spot) or modified double (two groups teeing off simultaneously). To ensure an efficient and orderly tournament, it’s important to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of room for error.

How Does a Shotgun Start Work?

All players in the tournament tee off at the same time but from different holes on the course. This method is used by both professional tournaments, such as PGA Tour events and amateur tournaments alike.

A close-up of a golf club that is ready to strike the ball

The typical shotgun start begins with all players driving to their assigned starting hole. The starting signal sounds, and each group tees off simultaneously, usually at a par-3 or par-5 hole. Once all groups have begun playing, they then move to their chosen shot (the farthest ball hit) until they reach the green, where they finish out their round as normal.

In some cases, a modified version of this format called a reverse shotgun may be used if there are an odd number of groups in attendance or if one group needs to get ahead due to inclement weather conditions or other reasons. In this instance, one group will begin on Hole 1 while another starts on Hole 10 (or whatever designated beginning hole). As soon as everyone has teed off from those two holes, all remaining groups will tee off from Hole 1 simultaneously again, like normal, until everyone has finished 18 holes.

A shotgun start is a great way to speed up the pace of play and keep everyone on track during tournaments, but it does require some coordination. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the advantages of using this method for your next golf tournament.

Key Takeaway: A shotgun start is a popular tournament format for golfers of all skill levels, allowing for faster play and efficient use of the course. This involves all players teeing off simultaneously from different holes at once, with advanced level professionals sometimes using modified versions such as reverse or double shotguns to get ahead in their competition.

Advantages of a Shotgun Start

The main advantage of a shotgun start is that it allows for faster play and more efficient use of the golf course. It eliminates any potential delays caused by slow play or weather conditions.

In a normal shotgun start, all players in the tournament begin playing at the same time on different holes throughout the course. A starting signal sounds when everyone tees off from their respective tee boxes, and then they all move to their chosen shot location until they reach hole 1, where they begin their round together as one group. This means that groups are able to quickly move through each hole without having to wait for other players to finish up ahead of them.

Another benefit of using this type of format is that it allows amateur tournaments or professional tournaments with larger fields to be completed in less time than if played using traditional tee times or multiple rounds over several days with fewer participants per round. This makes it ideal for events such as PGA Tour events or Golf Digest’s Liv Golf Invitational Series, which feature hundreds of players competing against each other over multiple courses simultaneously.

The advantages of a shotgun start in golf are numerous, from allowing for faster play to providing better visibility. However, there can be some drawbacks as well, which will be discussed in the next heading.

Disadvantages of a Shotgun Start

The main disadvantage of a shotgun start is that it can be difficult to keep track of everyone’s score. Since all players are starting from different holes at the same time, it can be challenging for golfers to accurately record their individual scores. This issue is especially pronounced when playing in larger groups or tournaments, as there may be several groups teeing off simultaneously, and it becomes more difficult to keep an accurate tally.

Additionally, some players may find the increased noise levels and lack of focus associated with a shotgun start daunting. With multiple groups on the course at once, there will inevitably be increased levels of chatter between other players, which can prove distracting for those looking for a peaceful round of golf. Furthermore, without any dedicated ‘quiet zones’ on the course – such as areas where talking should not take place – this problem could become even worse if people fail to adhere to etiquette rules while playing.


In conclusion, a shotgun start in golf is an efficient way to get large groups of players out on the course. It’s not without its drawbacks, though; for example, it can cause some delays when teeing off and lead to slower play times overall. But with careful planning and coordination from tournament organizers, these issues can be avoided and make a shotgun start an effective tool for any golfer looking to hit the links quickly.

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