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Golf One And Done Picks: Strategy For The Masters and Beyond (2024)

This is a guest post from PoolGenius, which provides data-driven picks and tools for PGA One And Done pools.

If you have been playing in a golf One And Done pool, you know that 2024 has been a pretty crazy year so far for the top picks. Over half of the early 2024 PGA Tour winners so far were outside the top 40 in pre-tournament outright winner betting odds. Scottie Scheffler, the top-ranked golfer in the world, won consecutive events in March, but he is the only top contender to win so far.

As a result, a lot of One And Done pool entries are still very much in the mix as we head to The Masters. Other than those that already picked Scheffler to win at either THE PLAYERS Championship or the Arnold Palmer Invitational, few OAD entries have actually picked a tournament winner so far, and about two-thirds of the big money events still lie ahead.

In this article, we explore four strategy topics to consider as you plan the rest of your One And Done picks for the 2024 season, starting with The Masters.

Get Expert One And Done Pool Picks

Before we dive in, a quick summary of our credentials. At PoolGenius, we have helped people win more sports pools for over a decade, from NFL survivor pools to March Madness bracket pools. For the 2024 PGA season, we introduced Golf One And Done Picks, which provides customized pick advice and planning tools to give you an edge in these contests.

Scheffler was our top graded recommendation at THE PLAYERS, and anyone that used him there pocketed $4.5 million in prize money, the highest amount available for any tournament so far. Whether or not you hit on that one will impact your pick strategy going forward, and our product will help you navigate those decisions for the rest of the season, based on the past picks you’ve already made and which specific events are left in your pool.

Golf One And Done Picks from PoolGenius »

(FYI, we also have a picks product for Majors & Masters pools.)

1) Picking LIV Golfers in One And Done Pools

One of the biggest things to consider for One And Done pools is deciding whether “to LIV or let lie” in the upcoming Majors tournaments. Because big-name golfers on the LIV Tour like Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson have not been eligible for other PGA events, they also have not been picked yet in OAD pools.

Meanwhile, depending on when your pool started, Scheffler may have already been picked by around half of all entries in your pool, give or take. Several of the other top golfers have already been used by about 20% to 30% of OAD entries nationwide.

So it might seem obvious that you should save everyone else, and pick all LIV golfers for the four Majors, your only opportunity to do so.

However, you should probably consider your place in the standings before taking that approach, because the top LIV golfers will likely have high pick popularity, which impacts strategy.

Consider Jon Rahm or Brooks Koepka, who will probably have high pick popularity in most One And Done Pools for the Majors. If you are in a leading position in your OAD pool standings, then picking one of them probably makes sense. By matching the pick of a high percentage of your opponents, you will effectively block a lot of entries from gaining ground on you in the standings, regardless of where those golfers finish.

But if you are in the bottom half of the standings, the opposite is true. You will still be trailing a lot of entries even if your LIV pick hits, and you will fall even further behind some of the leaders if it does not.

If you are well outside a prize winning position right now, the better play is probably to avoid the most popular LIV picks in the first Major or two, and defer to using them as a potential option for later Majors, when you hopefully have climbed back into the upper half of the standings and/or can use them when they have somewhat lower pick popularity.

2) Adjust Your Pick Strategy To The Standings

The above point about using LIV golfers is part of a grander strategy. As you get further into your One And Done pool, you should be thinking about pick popularity more and more. If you are leading, going with a more popular pick can keep you out in front of a larger segment of your pool.

On the other hand, if you find yourself trailing in your pool’s leaderboard, you’ve got to start to take some calculated risks at some point as time starts to run short. To pull off a come-from-behind win, you will probably need to pick a winner that few (if any) of your opponents will pick, which results in a last-minute leap in the pool standings.

Entering the 2024 Masters, it’s far from time to panic if you’re in the bottom half of your One And Done standings. But by the time we get past Memorial Day and more than half the big-purse events of the season are in the rear view mirror, you need to figure out the best contrarian spots if you are trailing, as the number of “big leap” opportunities becomes more limited.

Last year, the final two Majors were won by relative long shots and unpopular picks in One And Done pools: Wyndham Clark in the U.S. Open and Brian Harman in The Open Championship (British Open). While hitting on longer shots is hard to do, OAD entries that went with those picks instead of more popular options had the chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

3) Save The Best Golfers For The Biggest Purses

When it comes to One And Done pools, not all golf tournaments are created equal. In OAD, the Signature Events and Majors have extreme importance, since hitting a winner often yields two to three times the prize money of other events.

Because of the number of tournaments involved and the constraint of not being able to pick a golfer more than once, you simply cannot pick the most likely tournament winner every week. Instead, you have to pick a golfer who is not the favorite, and hope for an outlier result.

You want to concentrate those risker picks on events where downside is the lowest. Those are the lower-purse events, where the prize money difference between finishing well and poorly is reduced compared to Signature Events and Majors.

At the same time, you want to give yourself the best chance to win the highest prize events, and you do that by saving the top golfers for those events. Ideally, when you look back on the 2024 season, you will have used the top 10 golfers on most of the biggest money events.

Depending on when your 2024 One And Done pool started, you may have already picked 3-5 of these higher purse events so far. But most of them are still to come. Here’s a list of 11 future events that you need to target using your top remaining golfers:

  • The Masters (Apr 11-14)
  • RBC Heritage (Apr 18-21)
  • Wells Fargo Championship (May 9-12)
  • The PGA Championship (May 16-19)
  • The Memorial (Jun 6-9)
  • U.S. Open (Jun 13-16)
  • Travelers Championship (Jun 20-23)
  • The Open (Jul 18-21)
  • FedEx St. Jude Championship (Aug 15-18)
  • BMW Championship (Aug 22-25)
  • TOUR Championship (Aug 29-Sep 1)*

*May not be included in most One And Done pools.

4) Don’t Give Up In Your One And Done Pool

Finally, perhaps the most important piece of advice in One And Done Pools. Even if you’re dragging in the standings, DON’T GIVE UP!

There’s a saying in sports that the best ability is availability. There’s a saying in life that 50% of success is just showing up. Whatever saying you like best, the corollary for golf One And Done pools is that simply showing up each week to put in a pick can give you a leg up.

As part of our pick optimization research, we’ve studied a lot of historical One And Done pool pick data from some of the biggest OAD pools out there. We are simply astounded at the number of entries that fail to submit picks every week, or appear to give up after early results do not go their way. Players who throw in the towel early help make season-long contests like these +EV for other entrants that simply stay the course.

One And Done Pools can be challenging mentally. In most weeks, your pick isn’t going to gain you much. Some of your picks will miss the cut, while others will finish well out of contention. You can go stretches with several weeks of poor results. But guess what? That happens to everybody, including the winners.

When we analyzed One And Done entries that placed highly compared to those that ended up in the middle of the pack, there was no significant difference regarding the number of bad picks all of those entries made (e.g. weeks where a golfer missed the cut). The big difference was simply the number of winners hit. The best five weeks of results accounted for nearly 65% of the top entry scoring, out of over 30 weeks of tournaments.

Ideally, yes, you would prefer for some of your big hits in terms of prize money to come early. However, there have been plenty of OAD entries that had their best run of success in the second half of the schedule. As long as there are some larger-purse tournaments to pick, you are almost certainly still alive.

Get the Data Advantage In Your One And Done

At PoolGenius, we have a history of success with NFL Survivor Pools, Football Pick’em Pools, College Bowl Pick’em Pools, and NCAA Bracket Pools, with our subscribers reporting pool wins about 3x as often as expected.

Now that we’ve entered the world of golf pools, here are some of the key features that you will find in our Golf One And Done Picks product:

  • Customized pick advice for an unlimited number of OAD pools
  • Track past picks and see data for multiple entries in each pool
  • Weekly pick grades that account for each tournament’s purse size, what golfers you have already used, and how many picks and tournaments remain in your pool.
  • Data Grid with comprehensive info on every golfer in each week’s field, including recent betting odds, our player rankings, Strokes Gained (SG) power rating for course performance, and course history.
  • Season Planner tool, updated each week, that shows the golfers you should consider saving for future tournaments.

Best of all, this week FantasyPros readers can get 10-55% off PoolGenius packages that include golf pools picks and beyond:

Get 10-55% Off Golf Pool Picks »

Good luck the rest of the way in your 2024 PGA One And Done pools!

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