Replacing Phantom Ball Option for 3-Man Teams (New in 2019)

In the past we have had the provision for 3-Man Teams to play a Phantom Ball during some of the team games. The purpose of this was to compensate the team for the lack of a 4th player. The phantom ball was rotated each hole by the 3 participants and required the designated “phantom” to play two separate balls for the particular hole. 

This was never a very satisfactory solution to “the 3-man team problem” for two main reasons:  1) It required each of the 3 players to play 6 extra holes of golf or 24 holes total (18 + 6 = 24). For most of us this was just too tiring, especially if you were walking. The result was frequently that all 3 players were exhausted for the last 3 or 4 holes and their golf games (and enjoyment factor) suffered accordingly.   2) Slow play often resulted from the fact that one player had to play two separate balls on each hole.

After considerable discussion,  your Committee has decided to try an alternate solution this year. This applies to 3-man teams only: There will be No phantom ball.


  1. TEAM GAMES where participants also play their own individual ball: (4-man Best Ball, Team Net Stableford (new in 2019), Team Gross Stableford (new in 2019)

Each of the 3 players will play their own ball and record their individual score in the normal way. After the round  a 4th player will be assigned to the team by means of a blind draw from the other participants of the day. We will endeavor to draw the 4th from the same flight as the missing player (using A and B flights). The Scoring Coordinator will adjust the 3-man team scorecard accordingly. The person whose score was used as the 4th will only be eligible for prizing on their original team.  

02. TEAM GAMES where participants do not also play their own individual game: (Scramble, All-In Scramble).   

A  “Phantom Player” will be rotated among the 3 players in the order on the scorcard. The designated phantom will play only one ball, however,  they will be allowed one “do-over shot” per hole.  The do-over shot can be a tee shot, a fairway shot,  putt or any shot between the tee and the hole. You must declare the intent to make a do-over shot. You can then choose to play your original shot or the do-over shot.  Remember, this is for scrambles only.  

We recognize that it will never be possible to have a 3-man team compete on a completely equitable basis with a 4-man team. The success of these changes will be re-evaluated at end-of-season.

  • Don Gardner    Captain, Loyalist Mens Golf League.