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Takedown your 2024 One and Done golf league

Takedown your 2024 One and Done golf league

Over the last ten years, golf one and done contests have continued to surge in popularity. It is easy to see why. One and done leagues are easy to understand, you are rarely ever out of the competition, and it provides a fun way to follow your golf season. Increasingly, these contests have seen the ability to play for real money and bigger prizes. This year, golf one and done competitions have a few factors to take into account when making your decisions. With the majority of competitions starting at next week’s Sony Open, it seemed the optimal time to compile your ultimate guide to the 2024 One and Done golf season!

What is a One and Done golf league?

Most readers have likely already played in a one and done before, but it is probably worthy a few lines to recap how these contests work. In a one and done competition, players will usually pick one golfer for each tournament during the season. Once a golfer has been selected, they are then unavailable to be selected again during the year. Hence, the name “one and done”. Players are rewarded with prize money earned by the golfer in the tournament. The player with the most accumulated money across the season is the winner.

Unlike other fantasy golf contests, you are rarely completely out of a one and done competition. One big win, even late in the season, can give you enough prize money to catapult you back into contention. It provides a fun way to stay engaged with golf throughout the season.

The first action you should take is learning the rules of your contest. You should obviously know at which tournament your contest begins. But, just as importantly, you need to be aware what is the last tournament when your competition ends. You would be astounded how many times I hear of OAD players left still holding an elite player because they thought they would use them in the Tour Championship, but their season ended at the BMW Championship. Formulate a plan with how you will approach the year, and you will already be ahead of many of your competitors.

Finally, for smaller One and Done golf leagues you can play safer as you will need less money accumulated to take out a top prize. The larger the league, the more risks and money you will need to earn over the season to win.

Map out your golf One and Done season

Once you know the general rules for your one and done, I highly recommend mapping out your season. Specifically, not all tournaments are built equally in terms of the prize pool available. Additionally, you don’t want to be left trying to fit 5 elite golfers into 4 tournaments at the end of the year. I’m not suggesting you should know exactly where you will play each golfer at the beginning of the season. But plot a rough plan of how you will approach the season.

Key to this are the signature events, majors, and playoffs. A typical season will consist of 31 tournaments (Sony Open until the BMW Championship, with Zurich Classic excluded). But not all events are built equal. The 7 signature events, The Players, the 4 majors, The Players, and the 2 playoff events account for 65% of the total money available from the One and Done golf season. Individual prizes are roughly double what they are in the other events. Pick the winner in a couple of these events and you are already on your way to a successful One and Done golf season!

Obviously, we are going to want to use our best golfers during these events. It wouldn’t make sense to burn a Rory McIlroy at the Valero Texas Open when your potential return is so much greater elsewhere. The signature events do have one positive: they are all no cut events, so you are guaranteed a payday.

Then there is the question of LIV Golf players. Unless a miraculous deal is finalised and they’re granted immediate access to the remainder of the PGA Tour season, they will only be available for selection in the 4 majors. Very few have guaranteed qualification, although they can still qualify for the US Open and The Open Championship.

One and Done Golf tiers

Next, I have formed three lists of players. Firstly, elite stud players you will absolutely want to use in signature events, playoffs, or majors. These 6 golfers are the only golfers who average over +2 SG: Total over the field for the last 12 months.

Elite Studs
Scottie Scheffler
Rory McIlroy
Patrick Cantlay
Viktor Hovland
Xander Schauffele
Collin Morikawa

You can likely add Max Homa to that list, who was just under +2 SG: Total for the past year but was +2.23 SG: Total over the past 6 months.

The only other golfer to earn over +2 SG: Total for the last 12 months is, of course, Jon Rahm. He makes the next list of LIV Elite Studs. In my opinion, you want to use at least two of these in the majors (Jon Rahm plus Brooks Koepka) and probably three (Cam Smith).

LIV Elite Studs
Jon Rahm
Brooks Koepka
Cam Smith
Dustin Johnson
Bryson DeChambeau
Joaquin Niemann?

Those first 5 golfers have guaranteed entry to all four majors, but I may also look to another option in Joaquin Niemann. However, he only currently has access to The Open Championship following his win in the Australian Open. He could still qualify for the US Open through normal qualification process.

Overall, this forms a strong base to begin planning your One and Done golf season.

Solid One and Done golf picks

Finally, there are the sub-elite golfers. These are solid picks who I more than likely want to play at some point during the One and Done golf season. I will possibly use some in the signature events, particularly at courses where they have good history or if they hit hot form during the season. Otherwise, they are solid plays in tournaments outside the signature events where they will often go off towards the top of betting markets.

Sub-Elite (ranked in order of preference)

  1. Max Homa
  2. Tommy Fleetwood
  3. Tyrrell Hatton
  4. Ludvig Aberg
  5. Tom Kim
  6. Tony Finau
  7. Sungjae Im
  8. Min Woo Lee
  9. Matt Fitzpatrick
  10. Jordan Spieth
  11. Justin Thomas
  12. Sam Burns
  13. Sahith Theegala
  14. Wyndham Clark
  15. Will Zalatoris
  16. Shane Lowry
  17. Russell Henley
  18. Sepp Straka
  19. Cameron Young
  20. Nicolai Hojgaard
  21. Eric Cole
  22. Brian Harman
  23. Corey Conners
  24. Hideki Matsuyama
  25. Keegan Bradley
  26. Rickie Fowler
  27. Taylor Moore
  28. Ryan Fox
  29. JT Poston
  30. Denny McCarthy
  31. Adam Scott
  32. Jason Day
  33. Justin Rose
  34. Cam Davis
  35. Beau Hossler

You can find a full list of the 50 golfers with guaranteed signature event starts in 2024 here.

Certainly, this list is a lot more fluid. As you move further down that board, more questions will come into play such as injury concerns or regaining form. However, that will reveal itself as the season goes on. We can remain dynamic with these plays and slot them in later during the season, including any other golfers who inevitably emerge as the One and Done golf year unfolds.

Horses for courses

Another factor in your decision making should be the course on offer each week. Of course, different golfers have various aspects of a game which are a strength for them. You would prefer not to use a bomber at a tight fiddly course where accuracy is at a premium, such as Sedgefield Country Club. Likewise, you wouldn’t to use a shorter hitter at a course like Quail Hollow, where long drivers of the golf ball have had a distinct advantage.

Additionally, when planning your One and Done golf season you want to consider course history. There are always a few new golf courses every season. Other courses have remained on the PGA Tour for quite some time. This has seen the rise of many course experts. Players like Sam Burns at the Valspar Championship or Webb Simpson at Sedgefield come to mind. Clearly, some golfers are going to find a course where they just feel comfortable or the tournament holds special meaning.

However, this does come with a word of caution. In an age where information and golf data is now readily available, many other One and Done golf managers are going to have the same idea. You want to play your position in the league and, usually, avoid any massive spikes in golfer ownership you see develop.

Gain leverage on your One and Done golf league

That segues nicely into a conversation on ownership. I have to give credit to my friend Rick Gehman for the inspiration to this segment. He put together this excellent video on One and Done golf player deployment and the data was astounding.

YouTube player

I found it amazing that Rory McIlroy had already been used by 50% of users by