Golf Games Explained

A collection of all-time favorite Golf Games that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels


Individual format for 2, 3, or 4 players. This is a fun game that allows players to be competitive regardless of their handicaps. A player receives a point for each of the following:

First ball on the green = BINGO

Closest to the pin once everyone is on the green = BANGO

First ball in the hole = BONGO

The player that is furthest away must always play first. First on, closest to the pin, and first in determines who wins on each hole. The player to accumulate the most points win. This fun thing about this game is that the final score is irrelevant, and the game is not necessary won by who can golf the lowest score. Perfect game to play when you have a group that has a mix of skill levels.



Is a team format for 4 players that requires a bidding strategy by the partners, much like the card game with the same name. The object of the game is for the lowest bidding team to have a combined score equal to, or lower than, the bid. The first team to bid is determined on the first tee. The option to bid first alternates on each hole regardless who wins the bid.

The team that bids first has two options: 1. Bid the number of strokes they believe their team will have on the hole. 2. Pass the bid to the opposing team.

After the first bid is declared, the opposing team has the following three options: 1. Bid a lower score. 2. Pass, which establishes the other teams bid for the hole. 3. Double the point value of the hole. (If you believe your opponents are not capable of scoring equal to or lower than their bid, you have the option to double the point value of the hole.) Bidding continues until the lowest bid is established.

Points are earned as follows: The lowest bidding team earns the point value of the hole, if they score equal to, or lower than the bid. The lowest bidding team loses the point value of the hole, if their combined score is over the bid.



Individual format for 3 or 4 players. The first player to win a hole (untied) becomes the Chairman. If the Chairman wins the next hole then the Chairman wins a point from the other players. Should the hole result in a tie there are no points earned and the Chairman keeps the chair. If one of the other players wins a hole, then that player is the new Chairman with no points won or lost for that hole. Players earn points by winning a hole by being Chairman.



Game for 2 or more players who are looking to improve their all around game. Points are awarded for different parts of the game and the player who accumulates the most points wins. Players on the team determine beforehand the actual value to be placed on each point. You can pay everyone with more points than you, or just the winner.
Points are rewarded as follows:

1 point for hitting the fairway off the tee1 point for hitting a green in regulation (2 shots less than the par)
2 points for hitting a green in less than regulation (2 shots on a par 5)
1 point for a par
2 points for a birdie
4 points for an eagle
1 point for a sand save
-1 point for a 3 putt
-2 points for a 4 putt

And anything else you want to add!

This game is great if you want to focus on each shot and it will help you keep track of the different parts of your game. This knowledge can then be used to most effectively allocate practice time.



A point game for 2, 3, or 4 players where your actual score is not directly relevant. The goal is to collect the least number of 'disaster points' possible during a round. Player predetermine a set amount per point. Thus if playing for 25 cents per point, a player accumulating two disaster points owes each of his opponents 50 cents.
Points are rewarded as follows:

1 point: Out of Bounds
1 point: Water Hazard
1 point: Bunker
1 point: Three Putt
2 points: leaving ball in bunker(take an additional 2 points if you leave the ball in again and so on)
2 points: hitting from one bunker to another
3 points: Four-Putt
4 points: Whiffed Ball/Air Shot

A player can erase all points accumulated on a given hole by making par. This is an excellent game for the intermediate player. Often, such players are feeling pretty smug as their handicaps drop, and they need to be taken down a notch or two. Disaster encourages smart golf (again, not to be confused with fun golf) and might just produce some surprisingly low round for all those would-be daredevils out there.



Individual format for 2, 3, or 4 players. Greenies is a game played on the courses par 3's. The player who's tee shot is on the green closest to the pin wins the greenie. The point value of each greenie is determined prior to the round. Greenies can be played with or without carryovers.



Team format for 4 players played by one twosome against another and is an alternative to four-ball. On each hole, the team players arrange their two scores to make the lowest possible 2-digit number.
Example: If Player A makes a net 4 and her partner makes a new 5, the scores would be combined (low number first) and their team score would be 45. If the other team's score was 47 (a net 4 and a net 7) the first team would win the hole by two point. The rare time when a player makes a net 10 or higher, the high number goes first when combining the scores. 47-45=2. Team A would win 2 points for the hole.


-If both players on a team fail to make Net Par or better, that team's high score automatically goes first. You can use Net Bogey or higher if this fits your group better.
-If a player makes a birdie or better, the other team's high score automatically goes first.



Team format for 4 players. This is a two member team game played in a foursome. There are two points available per hole. Low Ball = 1 point; Low Total = 1 point. No points for ties.



Team format for 4 players. This is also a two member team game played in a foursome, where there are two points available per hole. The two teams compare their low ball score and their best high ball score on each hole. Low Ball = 1 point; The lower of the high ball = 1 point. No points for ties.



Individual or team format for 2, 3, or 4 or more players. This is a very popular game that can be played between individuals or teams. In a Nassau there are three matches. The front nine holes make up the first match, the back nine another, and the 18 hole total making the third match.

The point value of each match is equal and is determined prior to the round. This game can be played match play or medal (stroke play).



Individual format for 3 players. Each hole has a total point value of nine points. Players earn points as follows:

5 points: Best Score3 points: Second Best Score
1 point: Worst (highest) Score

In the case of two players tying for best score, the first and second points are split evenly between the two tied players. 5+3=8. The two tied players get 4 points each. When two players tie for high score, the second and third points are evenly split between the tied players. 3+1=4. The tied players get 2 points each. If all three players tie for best score, each player gets 3 points.



This format involves the use of a "quota points". Before the round, each player determined their quota based upon her handicap. The maximum quota at WCC is 36 points. So, a one handicap has a quota of 35. A two handicap has a quota of 35, etc. A 30 handicap has a quota of 6.
During the round, award yourself points as follows:

1 point: For each Bogey
2 points: For each Par
4 points: For each Birdie
8 points: For each Eagle

After the round, the golfer who most exceeds her quota wins the game. If nobody achieves quota, then the winner is the golfer who came closest.


Another way of playing the game only works if everyone has a valid handicap. The calculations for each hole are as follows:

* 1 point for each bogey; 2 points for each par; 4 points for each birdie; 8 points for each eagle

Mind you, these points are awarded based upon your 'gross' for the hole, not your 'net'. Now add your full GHIN Handicap Index. Do not convert to a course-specific handicap. The sum is your score for the round and is compared to everyone else to see who won. Highest score wins.



Team format for 4 players. Round Robin, or 6,6 and 6 as it is sometimes called, is played in foursome in which the two player teams change partners after every six holes. The round is divided into three 6 hole matches which allows each player to play with a different partner in each of the three matches. (Can determine who's teamed together for first six holes by pairing players who hit longest and closest drives on first hole.



In this game, each golfer plays 36 holes. Each then arrives at a final score by combining the two rounds, selecting the best net score from each of the 18 holes. The winner is the player with the lowest total. This format is usually played with two-thirds or three-fourths handicap. Selected score is a fun, leisurely format to use over a weekend or two separate days of golf, although some fanatics pack it all into one day.



In a scramble, each team member will hit a tee shot and the best drive is selected. The other team members will move their balls to the selected drive and all play the second shot from this location. The best second shot is selected and the procedure is repeated until the ball is holed out. Long ball hitters are an advantage in this game, however, short game skills are necessary to post a competitive score. Since putting plays a big part in a scramble, every team member can make a contribution.


A modified scramble format which demands somewhat more strategy than a regular scramble, in which the same player's shot may not be selected on two consecutive shots.



Golf format where each member of a foursome hits a tee shot and the best drive of the team is selected. From the spot of the selected tee shot, each player in the foursome hits their second shot and continues to play their own ball to finish out the hole. Each player's individual score is recorded and points are earned as follows:

1 point: Par
2 points: Birdie
3 points: Eagle
4 points: Double Eagle

The individual points are added together to make the team score for the hole. Players use their handicap, and points earned are based on net scores of each individual player. This gives each team member the opportunity to contribute regardless of skill level.



Individual or Team format which can be played with any size group. The player who has the lowest score (untied) on a hole wins a skin. One tie, all tie, results in no skins being won for that hole. The Skins game can be played with carryovers. If no skins are won on a hole then they can be added (carryover) to the next hole.
For Example: Should there be a tie for five consecutive holes then the next hole would be worth six skins. The point value of each skin is determined before the round. The Skins game is one of the more popular games because it can be played by any size group.



Individual format for 2, 3, or 4 players. On the last three holes of each nine, players hitting the trifecta earn one point. The trifecta consists of the following:
-Hitting the tee shot in the fairway, and
-Hitting the green in regulation, and
-Holing out in two strokes or less



Team format for 4 players. Played with two players on a team, each playing their own ball. The team is allowed to use the lowest of their two scores on each hole. This game can be played medal (stroke play) or match (team winning the most holes wins the match).



Team format for 4 players. A game in which the players in a foursome establish a tee off order on the first tee and rotate that same order throughout the round. The player that tees off first is the Wolf. The players take turns playing the Wolf based on the rotation of the established tee off order. The Wolf has the following options:

1) Choose one of the other three players as a partner for the hole (see example), or
2) Play the hole alone against the other three players.

Example: The Wolf would tee off first. The second player in the rotation tees off next. Based on the results of the second players drive, the Wolf has the option to select the second player as a partner or pass. (Here is where the strategy begins). Once the third player hits their tee shot, the second player is no longer eligible as a partner for the Wolf. Likewise, once the fourth player hits their drive, the third player is no longer eligible as a partner for the Wolf. Once the fourth player tees off, the Wolf must select the fourth player as a partner for the hole, or play the hole alone against the other three players. Wolf can be played low ball or low total.

Points are earned as follows:

-Winning team: 2 points each player-Wolf plays alone and wins: Wolf earns 3 points
-Wolf plays alone and one player beats Wolf: All players earn 2 points except Wolf
-No points earned for ties

If you enjoy games that involve strategy, try Wolf, it will become one of your favorites.


3 IN 1:

Team format for 4 players where there are two players on each team. The teams remain the same throughout the entire round. The round is divided into three segments of six holes each. The type of game changes after each six hole segment.
The first 6 holes could be a two player best ball.
* The next 6 holes could be low ball- low total.
* The last 6 holes could be played as a two person scramble.

This is a format which allows the players to experience a variety of games during the round.


6 - 4 - 2 - 0 - T (a.k.a. TRIPLES):

Individual format for 3 or 4 players where each hole has a total point value of 12 points.
Players earn points as follows:

6 points: Best Score4 points: Second Best Score
2 points:
Third Best Score
0 points: Worst (highest) score (Only applies if 4 players)

In the case of a tie for best score between two players, the first and second points are evenly split. The two tied players would get 5 points each. Should 3 players tie for best score, the first, second, and third points are evenly split. The three tied players would get 4 points each. If all four players tie for best score, they split the 12 points evenly. Ties for second best score or for high score are split in the same manner.


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