I have lived and golfed in Chicago my whole life, and I have never heard of a tournament format called “Chicago”. I have played poker variations called Chicago, I have had Chicago Style Hot Dogs (although here they are just hot dogs), Chicago Deepdish Pizza, possibly some blues variations, but never never never played golf “Chicago” style. However tough this format looks, it does seem fun though.
Definition: A Chicago golf tournament is a golf game whose format is based on golfers beginning their rounds with negative points (compare to Quota). In Chicago, players start with a negative amount of points, based on handicaps, then add positive points during the round. The idea is to get from the negative to the positive, clearing your “hurdle” (the term used for your starting total of negative points) by as much as possible.
Negative points begin at -39 for scratch golfers. A 1-handicapper starts with -38, a 2-handicapper with -37, and so on up to a 36-handicapper who starts with -3 points.
During the round, positive points are added on this basis:
• Bogeys are worth l point
• Pars are worth 2 points
• Birdies are worth 4 points
• Eagles are worth 8 points
Not everyone will be able to clear their hurdle, so the highest point total – whether that is 15 or minus-15 – wins.
Chicago can be a tournament format for individual stroke play, or a betting game among buddies. The winner might get a set amount agreed upon before the round, or the differential in final points can be used, with each point worth a set amount.
Chicago Golf Guy’s Two Cents:
A Chicago Golf Tournament seems to be a modified version of a Stableford tournament. If you plan on giving out points for a players score on a hole then I would recommend going with the Stableford rather than a Chicago tournament format.