Proven Fantasy Golf Strategies

J.P. Melkus
3 min readApr 12, 2024

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Photo by Misunderstood Whiskey on Unsplash
  1. Dance With Who Brought You: Have confidence in your draft. You picked them of your own free will, volition, instinct, and bare minimum of research. So for you, as a fantasy golfer, to not start the highest-drafted guys on your roster who are in the field is a doubly insulting own-goal, the managerial equivalent of trying to become aroused by heeling yourself in the nuts. But see, No. 2, supra.
  2. The Hot Hand: Golfers are human. They have ups and downs. To be too married to your draft order is to bury your head in the feldspar. Pay attention to the results each week and don’t be afraid to start that finally-improving grinder or cocksure rookie from the waiver wire or your own bench over your round three draft pick with the yips if you feel it gives you the best chance to win. How can you tell though? See No. 3, supra.
  3. Go With Your Gut: Golf results, standings, statistics, and metrics can be studied and parsed to Talmudic depths, but nobody — I don’t care if you’re Warren Buffett or Jimmy Buffett — nobody knows who’s going to play well week to week. To try to predict which four guys on your roster will perform best in this week’s tournament is a fool’s errand. So just go with No. 1 and ride it out, or, if you’re having doubts about some of your top guys, go by No. 2. But how to decide which? Stay tuned for No. 4.
  4. Do Your Homework: Golf is equal parts luck, skill, fate, practice, physics, and chaos theory. Sure, you can’t predict the future, but that doesn’t mean you have to ignore the obvious. Every golfer besides the top few have weaknesses. Take them into account at each tour stop and set your lower 2–3 starters accordingly. Dive into stats! Numbers don’t lie. Track results; guys get hot and cold. Keep up to date on injuries. Follow the betting lines. Study the course!: long-bombers aren’t worth much at the Colonial or Hilton Head. Guys who are magic with the irons but short off the tee are at a disadvantage on the longest courses. There’s money and pride at stake here, fellas. But numbers can only tell you so much, and at the end of the day, fantasy golf is an art, not a science, or a sport, or even a hobby, really.
Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

5. The Law of Being Due: Some guys are just due to win. How can you tell if someone is due to win or start getting some top fives? Ask yourself, have they been down for a while? Does it feel like they’re due? Then they probably are. But see, No. 6, supra.

6. Some Guys Just Suck: Sometimes, if a golfer has been playing poorly for a while, they’re not necessarily due; they might just suck. Dudes sometimes suck for a while then get good again, like Rickie Fowler or Jason Day. Some guys suck forever, e.g., Charles Howell III. Learn to figure out when a dude just sucks and know when to cut bait, or not throw good money after bad, or something. You’ll thank me later. However...

7. Don’t Change Horses In Mid-Stream: Golf is hard. Good golfers have bad weeks or bad stretches sometimes. Don’t overreact, but also don’t be too stubborn and prideful. That said...

8. Be Nimble: If what you’re doing isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change strategies. Everyone else is trying to win too, so don’t be too predictable.

9. At Least Try, For Chrissakes: If you’re just going to do the same thing each week, why even bother? We’re all here to have fun. Don’t mail it in, and at least put in some effort. There’s a little money one the line and it’s more fun for everyone if you take it at least somewhat seriously. Having said that…

10. Have Fun: It’s a game, after all, or it is supposed to be.

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J.P. Melkus

It's been a real leisure. [That picture is not me.--ed.]