Scramble Teams for the Pinehurst Terrapin Classic

by Russell D. Halper


The Pinehurst Terrapin Classic (PTC) is an annual, five day long golf tournament. Sixteen faculty and staff members from the University of Maryland community participate in the tournament. Pairings for the PTC consist of four teams of four golfers for each day of the tournament. We discuss how to create balanced pairings for the tournament. Since the PTC is a social event, pairings must ensure that each pair of players is on the same team at least once during the tournament. Furthermore, both match-play and scramble rounds are played. While match-play rounds are individually scored, in a scramble round a single score is recorded for each team. As a result, pairings for the PTC must also ensure that teams in competing scramble rounds are of comparable ability. Interestingly, we are able to describe a common underlying structure that exists in all pairings for the tournament. We present two different methodologies to create pairings that exploit this structure and their implementation for the most recent PTC.

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