It’s a league that celebrates a lot about golf … and a little bit of mediocrity.
Appealing to the average golfer, armed with some rules to ward off ringers, a new chapter of the Mediocre Golf Association has taken hold in the area.
The MGA is a national organization that started in 2006. After listening to a friend talk about this unique style of golf for a decade, longtime Ramsey resident Dylan Stenglein decided it was time to start a chapter in the Twin Cities.
“My old college roommate has been playing in a chapter in Florida for about 10 years and he always told me how much fun it was,” said Stenglein, Chapter Leader of Twin Cities MGA. “So, I finally broke down and started a chapter in Minnesota in 2021.”
There were 28 golfers involved with the group last year. This year, the number is up to 40, with hopes to continue growing. There are over 2,000 golfers in the MGA nationwide.
All skill levels are welcome … as long as you can’t crack 80.
It’s a league for those who love and enjoy the game, but aren’t among the top tier of players and who are wanting to play collectively in a more low-key setting.
“We have golfers that have been playing their whole lives and shoot in the low 80s and others that are pretty new and shoot in the 130s,” Stenglein said. “This is one of the things that makes the MGA so great: no one cares how good you are or how long you’ve been playing. It simply doesn’t matter. If you enjoy playing the game, enjoy having a good time (and maybe a cocktail or two), then the MGA is for you.”
The MGA provides many unique features, including a format that enables golfers to be as involved as they wish given their schedules.
“The commitment is pretty minor,” Stenglein said. “You join the MGA by paying a small yearly membership fee, and then there is no commitment to play in any or all of the tourneys. Go to what you can. It doesn’t matter. Most leagues play every week, with the same guys at the same course and some pretty good golfers at a lot of them. We have eight tourneys, all at different courses around the metro (most are in the Ramsey area). You can play in all eight or zero, it doesn’t matter. Most leagues also reward good golfers. We punish good golfers. If anyone shoots under 80 in any tourney, they are DQ’d from that tourney.”
To that end, the league features a unique handicap system tailored to make the top of the leaderboard accessible to the average golfer.
“The MGA’s belief is that bogey golf is about as good as the average person is ever going to get, so we make it so that shooting around 90 has a legit shot at winning any given tourney,” Stenglein said. “Golfers that shoot sub-90 will get penalty strokes added to their score, but anyone that shoots over 90 consistently will get no help. All of this makes it appealing, plus the fact that we aren’t intimidating. We don’t take any of this too seriously. Come out and have some fun. The winner of each tourney gets a ‘big check’ and winners can expect to get upwards of $1.50 for a win. We keep a local chapter and nationwide “money” leaderboard so you can keep track of how you are doing against golfers across the country.
“There are plenty of other awards players can win. For example, ‘The Most Mediocre Award’ is given to the golfer who finishes right in the middle of the pack. ‘The Meltdown Award’ is given to the golfer that has the biggest differential from their front nine score to their back nine score. There are several other awards given out every tourney as well.”
New members are still being accepted for this year’s four remaining tournaments, the next of which is The Bratish Open on July 23 at Northfork.
To join, visit mgatour.com, then join the Twin Cities Chapter.
“From there, it’s as easy as registering for the tourneys you can play and then come out and have some fun,” Stenglein said. “And if this season doesn’t work out, check it out next spring for a new season.”