Golf is a very popular game and many people play it more than once a week. Golf has been popular for generations and it is a great way to get outdoors and get some exercise while also playing a challenging game that requires quite a lot of skill. Golf is also very social and can make you friends that you will be able to spend time with, even away from the golf course.
That being said, what if you are bored with just playing simple rounds of golf and want to have some more fun with your weekly game? Many people are not aware that there are various golfing games that you can play that divert from the basic rules of the original game. This can help you to develop new skills and make your golf game much more entertaining overall.
If you want to learn more about the golf games that you can play on any course, read on!
Games for a Single Player
1. Best Ball
This is the most straightforward game to play alone when golfing. You hit 2 or 3 balls each hole and only count your best score. This lets you improve by playing through with more balls and helps you to keep score based on what happens if you make errors versus what happens with more ideal play.
There is another variation of this game and in this version, you play for the worst ball. You hit 2 or 3 balls per hold and only count the worst. Then you see if you can still meet or beat your normal score that you would get on a round of golf.
2. Herman & Sherman
This is a fun game that you can play on your own. You will play holes 1 and 2 and draw for each shot. Play holes 3 and 4 with a fade for each shot. This can teach you to focus on new skills and make you shake up your tried-and-true game skills for new ones that will serve you well.
In this game, you give yourself a point for making natural par after taking a one-stroke water hazard penalty. This can be fun if you are prone to ending up in hazards and want to motivate yourself to learn to play around with these obstacles more effectively.
You can play this game alone or with other players. You will get a point for making par or better on a hole where you never played any ball from the fairway. These kinds of games are great for developing your skills and helping you to focus on new strategies when you are playing with others.
Games for Two Players
This game can be expanded to be used with groups of 3 and 4 as well. You will not play for the lowest score when playing this game. You will just get a point for each hole that you win. If the hole is tied, you carry the point to the next hole which is then worth 2 points. This will usually break the tie. The player with the most holes won at the end of the round is the winner.
This one requires that you have scissors and some string with you. You will need to know everyone’s handicap in your group. You will then give the matching length of string to each player for their handicap. A player with a 10 handicap will get 10 feet of string. You then can move the ball and cut that much of the string off as needed throughout the game. You can also get a foot of string back for every birdie. This is a fun game to see if you can get out of hazards without having to chip out or get creative and you can also see who is the best liar about how much they have actually moved their ball when it is out of bounds.
This game can be expanded to work for large groups of players. You will handle this a lot like stroke play with the difference that your score is not based on Par for the course. You will earn points for the score that you get. You will award a single point for a bogey, 2 points for par, 3 for a birdie, 4 for an eagle, and 5 for a hole-in-one. You can adjust your points awards as needed to fit the requirements of your group and their interests in how the awards should work.
This can be expanded for 4 players as well. This is a little like Stableford but with a few different rules. If you were to get a double bogey or worse, you lose 3 points. If you get a bogey, you lose one point. A par gets zero points. You then get an added 2 points for a birdie, 5 points for an eagle, and 8 points for a hole-in-one. The player with the highest score is the winner.
5. Portuguese Caddy
This can be expanded for three or four players as well. Before each round, you will decide how many mulligans you want to get per each round. If your ball ends up somewhere you don’t like, you can move it to a new spot and take your mulligan.
This is a game that has three real players and then one imaginary player. One person is paired with the ghost and the other two play as a team. The ghost will par for every hole which means that you want to put the ghost with the worst player. The team at the end with the best score wins. This can be a great way to help out a new player who is not as skilled as the rest of the other players in the group.
This game requires that you set bets before you play. Whenever someone 3-putts a hole, they are the new snake. If someone else 3-putts they are the new snake. The person who ends up the snake at the end of the round has to pay the bet that was stated at the beginning of the game. Consider ways that you can add money to the pot throughout the game if you want to increase the pot to be quite large.
Games for Four or More Players
1. Bingo, Bango, Bongo!
This fun game requires that you have four or more people in your group. The rules are based on points gathering with a little Bingo-style twist. The first player in your group to get their ball on the green gets a point. This is the Bingo point. Next, once all the balls are on the green, the player whose ball is closest to the pin gets the Bango point. The person who is the first to get the hole gets the Bongo point.
This is a really fun game that helps to level the playing field when you have players of various skills. This game is actually slanted more toward mid-range or beginner players because the more skilled players will be less likely to just land on the green and more likely to get close to the hole right off. You can change which items get the points if you want to play your own custom version of the game.
This is a game that needs four players and everyone will play independently. The goal of the game is to be the player that has the most points at the end of the round.
The order of play is decided by the first tee. The Wolf player is always the last person to tee off. The teeing order rotates on each hole so that everyone is the wolf once every four holes. During each round, once each player has hit their ball, the Wolf decides whether to take one of the players onto their team for the hole. If they do not select anyone, they play as the “Lone Wolf”.
The objective is to beat the other three players with the lowest net score on the hold. Every hole is played for a net best ball with the best score of each team being used for the points accrued each round. If the Wolf does choose a partner and the partner wins the hole or they win the hole, that is 2 points for each of them. If the non-Wolf partners win the hole, they each get three points. If the Lone Wolf player beats the rest of the players, they get 4 points. If the Lone Wolf is beaten by someone in the group, then everyone but the Wolf gets 1 point.
This game takes each round and splits it into three parts. The person with the best score on the front nine will get 1 point. The person that has the best score for the back nine will also get a point. The person with the best overall score is granted a point as well. This can also be improved if you want to put some wagers on the outcomes before you start playing.
4. Alternating Shots
This is an interesting game that requires four players. This game is easy to play. The rules are simple and the basis is that the shots rotate throughout the play on each hold. One player will hit and then the next player hits from where that player ended up. This can also be altered to allow for team play where each twosome hits a drive and then you pick the best one and alternate from there to the hole as teams of two players.
This is a match-play game style that divides the 18 holes up into three small six-hole matches. If you get beaten in the first round, you can play for the second or the third. This is a really great option for four or more players and helps to make it easier for new players to feel like they are being rewarded for their efforts. Consider having a pot of winnings that are earned for people who win more than one set of six holes.
This is a fun game that involves wagers. At the tee, one pair wagers how many strokes it will take, net or gross, to complete the hole. If you were to bid 10, you will be betting that you can play the hold in 10 strokes or fewer as a combination. The most common bet is $1 per player but you can of course bet however much you wish.
The second team then decides between these options:
· Bid lower than 10
· Take the bet
· Take the bet and make it double
The first team can double back if they want as well. When the bidding has been completed, you will play the hole. You can also add penalty points or dollars for each stroke that is incurred over the stated goal strokes for the hole.
This game makes the goal of the hole that the low score captures the rabbit. There are no ties. If the next hold leader to someone other than the Rabbit holder being the low score, the rabbit is set free. The rabbit can then be won by the next player on the next hole. You cannot steal the rabbit but you can set it free for the next hole.
You can spice this one up by placing bets on the holes or you can skip the rabbit in free step and make the person that has the lowest hold the new rabbit owner. Many people also add wagers to this game so that you can have a little fun betting on the game as you play.
In this game, everyone lands on the green. Then the player that is the closest to the pin gets 3 points. The second closest gets 2 and then the closest gets 1 point. The furthest away gets zero points. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. You can also assign bets to this process to up the fun and get a little friendly wagering in on the process.
In this game, you will get into groups of two. 1 player tees off on the even holes and the other on the odd holes. After the tee shot, the player’s alternate shots until the hole is completed. The team that has the best score at the end wins.
10. One-Putt Poker
In this game, you assign a 3-putt value. You might want this to be $1 or $2 or more. If someone gets a 3-putt, the amount that was assigned goes into a pot. When someone gets a 1-putt, they are given a playing card. When the round ends, the player that has the best poker hand wins the pot. Those with the most 1-putts will have the best odds.
Before the round starts to be played, you will determine the number of meetoos that each player gets per round. If you are in a bad spot, you can move your ball to where another player’s ball is. You will then hit your shot from that location. The other player cannot move their ball from that spot. This can be done for any open shot on the course.
In a variation, if you have a meetoo left and you do not want to have to play next to the other ball that was moved to be with yours, you are allowed to move your ball to another location as well without having to be in a bad spot. Your group can determine when these options can be used. If you want to have them apply only in water hazards or sand traps, that is fine. Or you can play where the meetoos can be used whenever the player wishes.
Golf Game Variants Can be a Lot of Fun
Playing golf the traditional way is already very rewarding, but if you enjoy changing things up a little, these fun games can help you to develop new skills and to have a fun change of pace once in a while. Many of the games that are on this list can be expanded from 2 players to 4 players if you wish. You should always consider a little friendly wagering as a fun added bonus to most of these games.
Playing with unique play styles can help to initiate new players and help them have fun as they learn to play more effectively and it can also break up the monotony of playing at the same course many times during the same week. These games will work with any golf course that you visit and you will love having the opportunity to try out different methods of play in a new location as well.
Playing golf is a great way to stay in shape and have fun and these games will help keep things fresh and interesting for you and your friends and family.