Golf Digest Open FAQs

March 23, 2023

Below, you'll find frequently asked questions about the 2023 Golf Digest Open.

What is the playing format?

The Golf Digest Open is a 2-person Best Ball with two divisions—Gross and Net. All teams will be automatically entered into both divisions of this stroke-play competition. Each player plays their own ball with the best score of the two counted as the team score on each hole. Since all teams are in the Gross and Net division, a score must be returned for each player on each hole unless a player cannot help their team on either a Gross or Net basis on a particular hole.

How does registration work and what do I need to sign up for a qualifier?

Registration for each qualifier opens at 12 p.m. EDT on April 10, 2023, and all entries will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. One player from each team will be responsible for signing up their team. At time of registration, the registering player will need the following information:

Player 1 Name
Player 1 Address
Player 1 Email Address
Player 1 Cell Phone
Player 1 Date of Birth
Player 1 Handicap Service (GHIN, Golfnet, CDGA, Canada Golf Association, etc.)
Player 1 Handicap ID Number
Player 1 Current Handicap Index
Player 1 Club Affiliation
Player 1 Gender

Player 2 Name
Player 2 Address
Player 2 Email Address
Player 2 Cell Phone
Player 2 Date of Birth
Player 2 Handicap Service (GHIN, Golfnet, CDGA, Canada Golf Association, etc.)
Player 2 Handicap ID Number
Player 2 Current Handicap Index
Player 2 Club Affiliation
Player 2 Gender

What is the entry fee for a qualifier, and what does it cover?

The entry fee is $500 per player ($1,000 per team) and covers the following fees on the day of the regional qualifier:

Green fees, cart fees, use of practice facility, food & beverage, scoring, player gift and an opportunity to earn a spot into the National Championship, with the winning team in each division earning a free entry into the Golf Digest Open National Championship at Fields Ranch Golf Club in Frisco, Texas on October 29-31, 2023.

Second-place teams will earn a position in the National Championship with a subsidized entry fee of only $2,000 per team.

What are the logistics of a qualifier?

All qualifiers are scheduled to be a shotgun start, typically in the morning (please see schedule of events on the tournament information page for each qualifier). Participants will have access to practice facilities prior to the round. There will be food and beverage offered to the players before or after the round.

Do both teammates need to sign up?

No. Only one team member should sign the team up for both players with a paid team entry fee of $1,000.

Can I sign up as an individual / without a partner?

No. This is a two-person team competition, and you must sign up as a team.

Is there an age requirement?

Yes. All participants must be 21+ as of the date of the qualifying event in which they are participating.

Do I need a World Handicap System recognized Handicap Index?

Yes! All participants are required to have a valid and current WHS Handicap Index, with the most common service in the U.S. being GHIN. At registration you will need to input your Handicap ID and current USGA Handicap Index. If you have any further questions on this requirement please contact us at

Is there a handicap requirement?

Golf Digest Open is available to all players regardless of skill level. The only stipulation is that the higher Handicap Index of the two players can be no greater than 10 strokes higher than the lower of the two. Example: A 2 handicap can compete with a 20 handicap, however, the 20 handicap player will have his/her index lowered to 12.

For the Net Division, how do you handle what is commonly referred to as “Sandbagging”?

Golf is the greatest game of honor and integrity, and each player and team are required to live up to this ideal. Any player or team suspected to be manipulating or under-representing their potential is subject to being disqualified at any time without a refund. By signing up, you and your partner agree and accept that the Golf Digest Open has sole and complete authority to disqualify a team at any time and for any reason related to this.

Does competing in the Golf Digest Open affect my amateur status?

No. The Golf Digest Open conforms to USGA rules pertaining to amateur status.

What happens in the event of a tie in the Gross or Net Division at a qualifier?

Every effort will be made to have a sudden-death playoff on hole #18 in the event of a tie for 1st place in either division, dependent on weather, course availability, etc. In the event an on-course playoff is not possible, the winning team will be determined by the USGA Method of Breaking Ties.

The tie is decided based upon the score of the last nine holes, then by the last six holes, last three holes, and finally the 18th hole. If there is still a tie, then it will be broken by chance. Note: the last nine holes are always considered holes 10-18.

Ties for all places other than first-place will be determined by the USGA Method of Breaking Ties.

What happens if my team wins both the Gross and Net division at a qualifier?

In the unlikely event that the same team wins both the Gross and Net divisions, they will be considered medalists of the Gross Division. The second-place team in the Net Division will be designated as the winners of that competition. In the event that a team is tied for first-place in both Gross and Net, that team will be in the Gross Division playoff only.

What tees do we play from?

Exact yardages will be determined by each course. Total yardage will be approximately 6,400-6,700 yards for Men and approximately 5,700-5,900 yards for Women.

Are spectators allowed?

No. Spectators are not allowed.

Are caddies allowed in a qualifier?

Outside caddies are NOT allowed. Some of the qualifying sites may be conducted at facilities that have caddie programs. Caddies reserved through the host course caddie program are allowed. Participants will be responsible for caddie fees/gratuity unless expressly notified otherwise.

Can I play a practice round before my qualifier?

Practice rounds will be available on a case-by-case basis with availability, access, and cost (where applicable) determined by the qualifying course. Information on how to book a practice round (when available), including the associated cost to the player(s) will be communicated on the tournament information page and via email.

What happens if there is inclement weather?

Weather-related conditions may delay or suspend play such as lightning or the course being deemed unplayable as determined by the host facility. If such inclement weather is present, every effort will be made by the tournament committee to complete 18 holes. Under a delay, all players should remain on property and await official announcements from the tournament committee. The Golf Digest Open shall not be responsible for any incidental costs (travel, lodging) occurring as a result of inclement weather.

What is the cancellation policy for the qualifying round?

Each qualifier will have an established withdrawal deadline, typically fourteen (14) days prior to the qualifying date. A cancellation fee of $150 will apply for any team withdrawing for any reason by the withdrawal deadline. Any no-shows or withdrawals after the established deadline cannot be refunded for any reason.

Can I replace my teammate if he/she can no longer play in a qualifier?

Yes, you can request this for any qualifier so long as it is done seven (7) days in advance or more of the qualifying date.

Can I play in more than one qualifying round?

You may play in more than one qualifier if you wish. Once you qualify for the 2023 Golf Digest Open National Championship you are ineligible from qualifying again this year.

How does scoring work?

Each team will be provided with a scorecard, which will denote all of the holes on which each member of the group receives strokes. Each team must mark the individual Gross scores for all four participants in the group. The Golf Digest Open tournament committee will collect all cards at the conclusion of play to compute Net scores and verify cards match.

Additionally, we will provide instructions to each team on how to access a real-time digital scorecard and leaderboard at each qualifier and National Championship. Participants will be required to participate in “Live Scoring,” in addition to keeping the official (paper) scorecard.

When and where is the 2023 Golf Digest Open National Championship?

The 2023 Golf Digest Open National Championship will be held October 29-31, 2023 at Fields Ranch Golf Club in Frisco, Texas.

How do I qualify for the 2023 Golf Digest Open National Championship?

32 teams will qualify for and compete in the National Championship with the field being comprised as follows:

  • The winning Gross and Net team from each qualifier
  • The 2nd place Gross and Net team from each qualifier

All teams that do not qualify above will be placed on a waiting list with order determined by place from the qualifier. In the event that a qualified team elects not to participate in the National Championship, their spot will be offered to the next team on the waitlist from that qualifier in ranked order until the spot is filled.

How much does the 2023 National Championship cost, and what is included?

Golf Digest will cover the entry fees for the winning Gross and Net teams from each qualifier (16 total teams). For the remaining 16 teams, the Golf Digest-subsidized entry fee is $1,000 per player ($2,000 per team) and includes green fees, caddie fees (excluding gratuity), accommodations onsite at OMNI PGA Frisco Resort (two nights, double occupancy) and meals (cocktail reception, welcome dinner, two buffet lunches).

What happens if a winning team from a regional qualifier is not able to attend the National Championship?

The paid entry to the National Championship for each qualifier’s Gross and Net winners are not transferable.

What do the National Championship-winning teams receive?

Each member of the winning Gross and Net teams (4 total players) will receive $1,000, prominent inclusion in a Golf Digest feature story, a trophy and a complimentary admission into a 2024 Golf Digest Open qualifier.

What are the logistics of the 2023 National Championship?

The Golf Digest Open National Championship will be a 36-hole, stroke-play event contested over two days (Monday, October 30th on Fields Ranch West and Tuesday, October 31st on Fields Ranch East). Finalists will arrive on Sunday, October 29th, and we will hold a cocktail reception and welcome dinner that night. We will provide lunch after each tournament round, and final-round starting times and pairings will be based on first-round scores. The winning Gross and Net teams will be crowned Golf Digest Open National Champions.

Are caddies allowed in the Golf Digest Open National Championship at Fields Ranch?

Outside caddies are not permitted at Fields Ranch Golf Club. Fields Ranch does have a caddie program, and the base fees for forecaddies (Fields Ranch West) and double bag caddies (for the final round on Fields Ranch East) are included in the entry fees. Participants will be responsible for caddie gratuity.

What is the cancellation policy for the Golf Digest Open National Championship?

There will be a posted cancellation policy for the Golf Digest National Championship for all qualifiers. The withdrawal deadline is anticipated to be approximately 45 days or more prior to the start of play.

Can I replace my teammate if he/she can no longer play in the National Championship?

If you and your teammate qualify for the National Championship and he/she cannot play you will have to play as a single or forfeit your spot—no exceptions.

Where can I view the official rules?

After reviewing the above I still have more questions, who do I contact?

Please email us at