Golf Calcutta

What is the definition of a Golf Calcutta in golf?

Golf enthusiasts are always looking for new ways to make the game even more exciting and competitive. One such format that has gained popularity over the years is the Golf Calcutta. This betting system not only adds an element of intrigue to golf tournaments, but is also a common choice for charity events and fundraisers.

A Golf Calcutta is essentially an auction-pool wagering system where participants purchase “shares” in individual players. The money raised through the sale of these shares is then pooled together and distributed among the shareholders. The person holding the share in the player who wins the tournament walks away with most of the prize money, making the stakes even higher and the competition more exhilarating.

Key Takeaways

  • Golf Calcutta is an exciting betting format that enhances the competitive aspect of the game
  • This auction-pool wagering system involves purchasing shares in individual players, with prize money distributed among shareholders
  • Often chosen for charity events and fundraisers, Golf Calcutta adds intrigue and excitement to golf tournaments.

Understanding Golf Calcutta

Golf Calcutta is a unique betting system used in golf tournaments, and it can be applied to almost any golf event. The primary feature of Calcutta in golf is the auction-style format in which each participating team is auctioned off to the highest bidder. As a bidder, you “own” the team you’ve successfully bid for, and if that team performs well, you stand to receive a portion of the overall purse.

A Calcutta event in golf is typically found in member-guest tournaments and is quite different from other betting formats in the sport. Funds are pooled in a “pot,” and payouts are distributed to a few winning teams. This betting system is often used in charity events or amateur tournaments, where the money raised from the auction is split between the winners and the charity or cause being supported.

To participate in a Calcutta golf event, it’s important to understand the rules and strategies that come into play. Several factors can impact your betting decision, such as a golfer’s handicap, past performance, and current form. Doing your homework on the participants and assessing which teams are likely to perform well can significantly impact your success in the betting process.

When taking part in a golf Calcutta event, it’s crucial to keep in mind the competitive nature of the game, and being knowledgeable about the golfers and their abilities can make a difference. By understanding the nuances of a Calcutta in golf and actively participating in the bidding and auctioning process, you can maximize your chances of winning and enjoy a thrilling, unique golf betting experience.

History of Golf Calcutta

The concept of Golf Calcutta originated in the 1800s in Kolkata, India, at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club. This club is one of the oldest golf courses in the world and the second oldest outside the United Kingdom. It earned the nickname “St. Andrews of Asia” and remains a top choice for golfers visiting the region.

Golf Calcutta is an auction-based format where participants place bids on teams competing in a golf tournament. The highest bidder becomes the team’s “owner” for the duration of the event. At the end of the tournament, the winnings are divided between the team’s owner and the team itself. This format adds a new dimension to the game, making it more exciting and engaging for both spectators and players.

Over the years, Calcutta auctions have expanded beyond golf and are now popular in various sports and events such as horse racing, backgammon, college basketball pools during March Madness, and the Melbourne Cup. While the format has evolved since its inception, the essence of Calcutta auctions remains the same – offering a unique way for spectators to engage with their favorite sporting events.

As you explore the history of Golf Calcutta, you’ll find that its roots are deeply intertwined with the sport’s rich heritage, adding an exciting layer to the golfing experience. This auction-based format remains popular among golf enthusiasts, providing an added incentive for both players and spectators to become more invested in the game.

Process of Golf Calcutta

Bidding in Golf Calcutta

In a Golf Calcutta, the betting process kicks off with an auction where participants place bids on individual golfers or teams participating in the tournament. The auction takes place before the start of the tournament and determines each golfer’s or team’s monetary value. As a participant, you can bid on your own team or any other team in the competition. The final bid amount for each golfer or team contributes to the overall prize pool, which is later distributed among the winners.

Player Selection in Golf Calcutta

Once the auction is complete, the ownership of each golfer or team is assigned to the highest bidder. As an owner, your goal is to support your purchased golfers and root for their success on the golf course. During the tournament, you’ll keep track of your golfers’ performance and calculate their scores. Ultimately, if your golfers or team performs well and secures a top position, you can win a portion of the prize pool based on their performance. This adds an exciting dimension to the golf game, making it not just about individual scores and pride but also about strategizing and predicting the success of fellow competitors.

Implications of Golf Calcutta

Ethics and Controversy

Golf Calcutta can be a source of ethical debate among enthusiasts of the sport. Due to its association with gambling and betting, some view it as contradictory to the spirit of the game. Golf is traditionally seen as a gentleman’s sport, one that values skill and integrity. However, the introduction of potentially high-stakes side-betting could lead to situations ripe for corruption or manipulation.

On the other hand, many participants view Golf Calcutta as a fun and exciting way to spice up a charity event or fundraiser. The auction format can foster camaraderie among players and spectators, as well as adding an element of friendly competition. It’s essential for organizers to weigh the possible ethical implications before including a Calcutta event in their tournament.


Before committing to a Golf Calcutta event, it’s crucial to understand the legal implications, as gambling laws vary by jurisdiction. In some regions, organizers may be required to obtain a gambling permit to hold a Calcutta auction. In some cases, these permits may have strict stipulations on how the event is run or how the funds raised are utilized.

Additionally, it’s important to consider how the event might impact the participants’ amateur status under the rules set forth by golf’s governing bodies, such as the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club (R&A). Depending on the specifics of the Golf Calcutta event, taking part in betting could result in a loss of amateur status for some golfers.

Remember to research your local laws and gambling policies, and consult with a legal professional if necessary when organizing a Golf Calcutta event. This will help ensure that your tournament stays within the confines of the law, protecting both the organizers and the participants from any unforeseen legal consequences.

Golf Calcutta in Different Countries

A Golf Calcutta is a type of betting system often used in golf tournaments, where participants bid on golfers they believe will win the event. The rules and regulations of Golf Calcutta vary in different countries, reflecting the local golf culture and legal regulations.

In the United States, Golf Calcutta is quite popular, particularly in country clubs and private tournaments. However, the legality of this betting system can be a gray area, as it may be considered gambling. To avoid legal issues, many clubs and organizations require participants to sign up as “social members,” ensuring that all betting activities are within a private sphere and considered as friendly wagers.

In the United Kingdom, Golf Calcutta is also prevalent, but with specific restrictions imposed by the UK Gambling Commission. Bidding must take place during the pre-tournament auction, and only non-professionals can participate in the betting process. Moreover, the total amount of stakes placed during the Calcutta cannot exceed a specific threshold, ensuring that the activity remains casual and recreational in nature.

In Australia and New Zealand, Golf Calcutta is generally permitted and organized by clubs, associations, and charity events. It is essential, however, for organizers to comply with local legislation, and in some instances, to apply for a permit.

While Golf Calcutta is relatively unknown in some European countries, it has gained attention in recent years, mainly due to its exciting and unconventional nature. Participants appreciate the added thrill of wagering on fellow competitors in the tournament.

To summarize, the Golf Calcutta system finds its way into numerous countries with varying degrees of prevalence and legal restrictions. As a golf enthusiast, it is essential to familiarize yourself with your country’s laws and regulations before engaging in this type of betting activity.