You have a regular group of friends with whom you play your Thursday round of golf. It’s been great fun, but the competition is starting to become a bit stale — the same guys winning every week. Why not throw in a new angle by playing a game to spice things up. There are all kinds of golf games to make your round more interesting.
It doesn’t matter if your group is made up of two, three or four or whether you like to gamble or not. There are plenty of games to add to the competition on the course and fire everyone up for the post-round chatter at the 19th hole.
Here are some of our favorite golf games.
Most everyone likely knows about Skins. You determine how much a hole is worth and the lowest score (net or gross) on a hole takes the money. If there is a tie, it carries. There’s not much to it, and it is easy to calculate. If you can catch a little lightning in a bottle, you can win a skin and not go home completely empty-handed.
If you want to mix it up a little more, try Wolf as a great foursome game. The game keeps everyone involved and it is designed for players of all skill levels to contribute. Each hole starts with a designated “wolf” (which rotates each hole). The wolf tees off last and watches the other three tee balls, ultimately choosing one player to be his partner to pit twosome against twosome in a game for points. But after each individual’s tee shot, the wolf decides whether they want to team up with that golfer or see the next tee shot. Once they moved on to the next shot, they can’t go back to a previous tee ball. Or, the wolf can eschew all the players and compete as a “lone wolf” against all three players for the hole.
The golfer with the lowest score on the hole wins the point for their team and the losing team gets a point taken away. (Points are, generally, a dollar amount to be determined before the round.) If the lone wolf wins, he gets a point from each of the other three golfers (or gives up three points in a loss). In the end, most points take the match. It’s a great game for listening to the decision-making (or needling) taking place on each tee.
Nassau is an important game to know since it is uncomplicated and very popular. It’s a betting game in which the players split into two teams, set a dollar amount per nine, and have a match for the front, back, and total. It is a very versatile game in that it can be used in nearly any format including stroke play, scramble, best ball, or match play. And the action can get crazy when the presses (when a match is closed out and the loser presses for double or nothing) and re-rolls start happening.
Bingo, Bango, Bongo
Any two golfers or more can play Bingo, Bango, Bongo, a straight-forward game of awarding points (on each hole) to players for achieving certain goals, which are called, you guessed it: Bingo, Bango and Bongo.
A “bingo” is awarded to the first golfer to get their ball on the green. A “bango” goes to the golfer to get closest to the pin once balls are on the green. And the first golfer to hole out on a hole gets a “bongo.” Of course, strict adherence to the custom of “furthest player from the hole plays first” is crucial to determining proper points. You add up the points (which can be given a financial value) at the end of the round and determine the winners.
Fourball or Foursomes
And finally, in honor of the Ryder Cup, that was recently contested (and lost by the Americans) in France, trying some games of Fourball and Foursomes might liven things up. In Fourball, two-player teams compete against each other with the lowest score recorded on each team counting for the hole. And to change things up, on the back nine, you can play Foursomes, which entails the two players on a team hitting alternate shots on each hole — lowest score wins the hole. Foursomes always make for some interesting situations and teamwork (just ask Tiger and Phil). And at the end of the round, you can drink your favorite beverage from “a cup” at the 19th hole.
So, whether you play a normal round or add some fun to it, you’re sure to have fun at the course with your buddies.