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Fun Golf Betting Games and Rules

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Golf Betting Games

Golf course gambling: "friendly wagers" are often part of the game of golf. It is suggest that any of the games listed below, be played in accordance with the laws of the state, country, etc. in which you are playing in. While we neither condone nor condemn this activity, the fact remains that it is illegal in most places.

Golf course betting should always be kept simple and friendly.

Common simple wagers include

Dollar a hole for total score, automatic double if you're down two; 50 cents for longest drive, closest to the pin, and first in; 25 cents for each bunker you hit. A tie on 18 carries over to the putting green.

For starters, some poor bastard has to keep track of all that. Of course, no one else will know if he's right or wrong so "he'll at least end up even". Second, people who are playing poorly that day will end up so angry that you won't want to play with them anymore. Betting games should make the round more enjoyable. Handicaps could be considered but only if everyone is happy that the handicaps being used are fair for all players.

For maximum enjoyment, games should be simple to understand, require no extra equipment, and start with a low initial bet.

Fun Golf Games and Rules

  1. Aces and Dueces - or Acey Ducey, is a bet in which there is a winner, two modest losers, and one big loser on each hole. It's a game for groups of four, obviously. The low scorer on each hole wins a certain amount from each of the other three players; while the high scorer on each holes owes each of the other three.

  2. Arnies - are side bets whose value should be determined prior to the round. They are won automatically by any golfer who makes a par without having managed to get his ball into the fairway. Named in honor of Arnold Palmer, who made quite a few "Arnies" in his time.

  3. Barkies - sometimes called Woodies or Seves (as in Seve Ballesteros), are paid automatically to any player who makes par on a hole on which he hit a tree. The value of a Barkie is determined before the round.

  4. Bingo Bango Bongo - awards points throughout the round for three different accomplishments. One point for hitting the green first, one for being closest to the hole, and one for being the first to hole out (provided the player with the longest putt is always the one putting; tap-ins out of turn don't count) At the end of the round, points are totaled and the differences are paid out.

  5. Clubs - The lowest score on a hole takes one of the players clubs until they win it back. It's a pretty fun game, especially when you get your hands on their putter and driver.

  6. Completist Golf - requires you to play every club in your bag—with the exception of putting on the green—before you are allowed to reuse a club.

  7. Criers and Whiners -  is known by many different names, but the gist is the same: it's a game of mulligans for those players who are always crying and whining about that handful of shots they screwed up. "If only I could have hit that one again ..." The number of do-overs golfers get in Criers and Whiners is based on their handicap index.

  8. Greenie & Sandy - Two popular side bets in which the players in a foursome agree to ante up a small amount of money to be awarded to the first player on the green on each hole ("greenie") and to any of their number who get out of a sand trap and into the hole in two strokes ("sandy"). Other common golfing wagers include paying a set sum of money to the player who uttered the fewest four-letter words during the round ("cleanie") and the player who threw the smallest number of clubs ("gandhi")

  9. Gruesomes - is betting game that pits 2-person teams against each other. Both team members tee off, then the other teams gets to choose which of the drives your side has to play. Obviously, they'll choose the worst - or most gruesome - of the two drives.

Montclair Scoring System - This is a heavily modified form of stroke play, which is at its best when used at ill-manicured nine-hole pitch-n-putt courses.

  • On each par 3 hole, the person closest to the pin (provided they are on the green) gets one stroke deducted from his final score.

  • On each hole, the player who sinks the longest putt (provided it is their first putt and is longer than the length of the flag) gets one stroke deducted from his score. If a player sinks a shot from outside the fringe, he gets two strokes deducted.

  • Play holes #1-8 and mark your score on your scorecard. If you are on a nine-hole course, go back and play holes #2-8 again. Take the best score from your two attempts. Then finish off your round on hole #9.

You'll end up with a nine-hole total when you add holes #1, #9 and your top scores on #2-8. Subtract your bonus points from this total.

  1. Nassau - The Nassau is three bets in one: low score on the front nine, low score on the back nine and low score over the full 18. The $2 Nassau is perhaps the most common bet among golf buddies.

  2. Pink Lady - Each foursome gets one pink ball pre-marked with letters, numbers, symbol, etc. Each player on the team must play the "pink ball" for one hole, then give it to the next player on their team. The team that makes it the farthest with their "pink lady" around the course wins the wager. If both teams complete the round with their "pink lady" you can settle the bet with a one man putt off on the putting green. This game only works if you can trust the other teams.

  3. Round Robin - also known as Hollywood or Sixes, is a betting game for groups of four that involves two members of the foursome teaming up against the other two. The catch is that partners rotate every six holes.

  4. Sandies - have a set value throughout the round. A golfer automatically wins the bet (depending on the rules being played) either by making par on a hole in which he was in a sand trap; or by getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker.

  5. Skins - Probably the easiest of all games. Lowest score on the hole wins a skin worth whatever stake was agreed upon. Ties can carry over or not.

  6. Vegas - This game is played in teams. The low score between partners is put first. Example, on a par four one player makes a 4 and his partner makes a 5, the team score is 45. If the other teams scores 56, the first team receives eleven points. If one team makes birdie, the other team must reverse it's score. If the above example were on a par five. Team One's score is still 45, but Team Two's score becomes 65 and therefore Teams One receives 20 points. If both teams birdie, both scores are reversed to figure the points. It's up to you to decide the value placed on each point. Remember, there are a lot of points at stake.

Waterfeningford Modified - birdies, eagles and double eagles gain you points, while bogeys subtract points. Here's the point breakdown:

  • Double eagle: 113 points

  • Eagle: 53 points

  • Birdie: 19 points

  • Par: 11 points

  • Bogey: 5 points

  • Double Bogey: 0 points

  • Triple Bogey: -3 points

  • Quadruple Bogey or Worse: -5 points

Weekend O' Fun Style - best if you have nobody waiting behind you:

  • Weekend O' Fun Style is best when wearing plaid pants, ugly socks and a fake moustache.

  • Each hole has a theme, with a match swing that golfers must use throughout the hole. Examples of themes are: Pirate: One arm, one leg, one eye, must yell a pirate expression during swing

Happy Gilmore: Must step into shot and hold club as if it were a hockey stick with one hand down the shaft

Colossus of Rhodes: Straddle the ball and hit it behind you, through your legs

I've Got Mustard On My Hands!: Must have mustard on your hands

Wolf - is one of the classic golf betting games for groups of four, but it gets a little complicated. Players rotate as the "Wolf." On each hole, the player designated as the Wolf has to choose whether to play 1 against 3, or 2 on 2; and if 2 on 2, then the Wolf has to choose a partner. The Wolf can win or lose more money by going it alone.

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