Rearranging Cards: How McIlroy’s drop at the Players Championship relates to the valuable Card Golf Tour rule

The Players Championship | Nick Sahrmann

In order to score well on the course, a golfer must understand their odds of hitting a successful shot. The same can be said at the card table. A player must be able to recognize the situation they are in, and how they can maximize each of their turns based on their odds. 
You can play the odds in Card Golf Tour just like you can play the odds on the golf course. From week to week, we will share examples of pros playing the odds during the week’s professional golf tournament. Then we will review how you can play similar odds during your next round of Card Golf Tour.  

Pro Example
This week’s edition of Playing The Odds is from THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, FL. 
In the first round, Rory McIlory’s drive on the par four 7th hole landed in the water along the left side of the hole. Video footage was not conclusive as to whether McIlroy’s drive landed above or below the red hazard line before bouncing into the water. McIlroy felt the odds that ball hit above the line were better because he said he saw from the tee box the ball bounce before it disappeared into the water. Because he thought the ball landed above the red hazard line, McIlroy dropped his ball within two club lengths of where the ball entered the water. If it had been determined that the ball hit below the red hazard line, McIlroy would have been required to make his drop where the ball first crossed the water hazard – which would have been up to 50 yards further back towards the tee box. After the drop, McIlroy went on to double bogey the hole. Below is McIlroy’s 7th hole courtesy of PGA TOURCAST. 

Playing the odds in Card Golf Tour based on game rules is an important part of the game. Just as the above example from THE PLAYERS involved a tee shot, there is an important rule in Card Golf Tour that involves the tee shot. Card Golf Tour tee shots involve turning over face down cards that have been dealt according to the following chart:

A key rule in Card Golf Tour that players can take advantage of to improve their odds of scoring well on the hole is the ability to re-arrange their face up cards before the first player draws their initial card. This applies to par 4s and par 5s since the tee shot on those holes involves two or three cards turned over (see above chart). 

Card Golf Tour Example
Here is an example of how McIlroy can use the rule to his advantage and improve his odds in Card Golf Tour.
For the par 4 hand dealt to him below, McIlroy turned over a green hybrid and black driver as his tee shot. 

A key rule in Card Golf Tour is the ability to match cards of the same color and club to make the column point total zero, rather than the sum of the values on the card. Matching is a key strategy for irons and wedges because they have point values of 1 or more. Hybrid cards (0 points), Drivers (-2 points) and Putters (-5 points) don’t need to be matched because their points values are all less than 1. McIlroy took advantage of the rule that allows cards on tee shots to be re-arranged. He moved the green hybrid into the right column with the black driver. 

He knew he was going to keep those two low point value cards in his hand. He also knew he wasn’t going to need to match them because they are already zero and -2 points. This move also allowed him to continue play on the hole with the remaining two columns of cards available to match - depending on the cards he drew the rest of the hole. Taking advantage of this key rule in Card Golf Tour allowed McIlroy to improve his odds of a good score on the hole. 

Join us next week as we play the odds at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, FL.

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