Fun Golf Games
One of the best things about golf is the variety of games you can play. Whether you're a tournament-caliber player, or a high handicapper, there are nearly as many golf games as there are golf courses. Here are 15 games we have played over the years in our WM Grand Slam events.
Maybe the most loved and hated game we play in the Grand Slam. Here's how it works:
- Each foursome is provided two new balls with a 'P' written on them. The 'P' stands for "Pressure Ball."
- Before each hole the foursome places one of the 'P' balls in a hat along with any three balls from the foursome. (One of the team members does not place his ball in the hat.) BEFORE teeing off each team member performs a blind draw from the hat. The player who draws the Pressure Ball is the one who's net score is recorded for the team score. He MUST play the hole using the Pressure Ball.
- Repeat step #2 before every hole.
- If a team loses the first Pressure Ball, then they put the second Pressure Ball into play. If they lose the second Pressure Ball then they must provide a new ball as the Pressure Ball.
- For every original Pressure Ball that is turned in at the end of the round, the team can subtract 2 strokes from their team score. (Pick a course with a lot of lost ball territory to make this game interesting.)
- The team with the lowest 18-hole Pressure Ball score is the winner.
Yes, this game can result in one person picking the Pressure Ball more frequently than the others, but that's what makes this game both fun and dreadful!
Here's a game we invented that everyone seems to enjoy. It requires a lot of team strategy as well as good timing. Here are the rules:
- Everyone must have an established handicap.
- The game is a 2-best ball score per hole for your team score. Handicaps usually mean you get a stroke on the holes that coincide with your handicap. In other words, a 10-handicapper would get a stroke on the 10 hardest holes. NOT in our game!
- In this game YOU decide when to use your handicap strokes and how many strokes you want to use. You can use no more handicap strokes than par. Example: If a 10-handicapper wants to use more than one stroke on a par 4, he could only use a maximum of 4 strokes on that hole. So, if he carded an actual par, his net score for the hole would be '0'.
- A player MUST declare BEFORE teeing off on a hole whether or not he will use any of his handicaps strokes and how many strokes he will use. Once a player has teed off he cannot use any handicap strokes on that hole if he did not declare so in advance; even if he would normally be awarded a stroke on the hole based on his handicap.
- It may seem easy but the challenge is when to use your strokes, how many to use, and then playing the hole well and not wasting your strokes. Remember, two scores from your team are recorded each hole.
- The team with the lowest 2-ball net score for 18 holes is the winner.
Here's a simple game but one that requires the whole team to be playing well, at least on four of the holes.
- This is another net-score game, but the number of net scores that are used for the team score changes every hole.
- The total number of net scores progresses in a stepladder fashion, then back down the stepladder, and repeat the process through all 18 holes. The team with the best total net score wins. It looks like this:
|Hole #||# of Net Scores|
Fairways, Greens, 2-Putts
Here's a game where you'll need to have one person keeping the regular golf score while someone else keeps the game score. It can get somewhat complicated, but everyone is involved on every hole. It goes like this:
- On every hole each player on the team gets 1 point for hitting his drive in the fairway, (his fairway, not an adjacent fairway).
- On every hole each player on the team gets 1 point for hitting the green in regulation
- On every hole each player on the team gets 1 point for a 2-putt or less, regardless of what his score for the hole is. In other words, a player could have missed the fairway, struggled to get his ball on the green, but 2-putt and still get his team a point.
- On any hole a player 3-putts or worse, he subtracts 2 points for that hole. So, he could hit the fairway for a point, hit the green in regulation for a point and three-putt for a total score of '0'. Ouch!
- You add up each players points on each hole and the team with the MOST points after 18 holes is the winner.
- NOTE: If a player putts his first putt off the green, putts back on the green, then putts his ball into the hole, even though his second putt was off the green it would still be considered a 3-putt.
Like Step Ladder this game is a net score game using anywhere from one to four net scores per hole. Unlike Step Ladder, however, you won't know how many scores to use until after you've played the hole. It goes like this:
- First, get 20 poker chips or key tags, or any small round, flat objects. Let's say you choose to use poker chips. On five of the chips write the number '1'. On five of the chips write the number '2'. On five of the chips write the number '3'. And, on the five remaining chips write the number '4'. Place all the chips in a paper lunch bag or any container that you cannot see through.
- The bag of chips goes out with the first foursome.
- After the first foursome plays the first hole, and while standing on the #2 tee box, they make a blind draw from the bag. The number drawn indicates the number of net scores from the previous hole that they must count toward their team net score. Leave this chip on the tee box for the following foursomes to see. Repeat this process for all the holes. The last chip will be waiting for the teams when they come into the clubhouse for a post-round drink. The last foursome collects the chips, (keep those golf courses clean).
- The team with the lowest net score for the 18 holes is the winner.
- You may wonder why we put 20 chips in the bag when there are only 18 holes? That's just to make things interesting so you won't necessarily know how many scores you'll need on the last hole.
Here's a great game if you happen to be playing in a threesome. We've adapted it as a Grand Slam game because we have three foursomes. It goes like this:
- Each team adds their two best-ball net scores for the team score on each hole. You won't do anything until everyone has completed the round. Then, you sit down and compare scorecards, hole by hole.
- There is a total of nine points awarded on each hole: 5 points for the lowest two-ball net score; 3 points for the second best score; 1 point for the worst score.
- If two teams have the best score on the hole the scoring would be 4, 4 and 1.
- If one team wins the hole and the other two teams tie the scoring would be: 5, 2, and 2.
- If all three teams have the same score the scoring would be 3, 3 and 3.
- The team with the highest total points is the winner.
A game that rewards driving accuracy and good putting. It goes like this:
- Each player receives 5 points for hitting a fairway
- Each player subtracts 1 point for every putt they take on the hole.
- If a player hits the fairway and 2 putts, his score on that hole is 3.
- If a player missed the fairway and had 2 putts, his score on that hole is -2.
- For each hole total the score of each player in the foursome.
- The foursome with the highest team score at the end of the round is the winner.
Odd & Even
A simple game that doesn't take too much to learn or play. Quite simply, on every odd hole the team must record two best-ball net scores for the team score, and on every even hole they record three net scores as the team score. The team with the lowest 18-hole score is the winner. See, I told you it was simple.
Like the name implies this is just like a regular Nassau game except there is an established pot and there are no "pushes" because you are not playing with your opponents - it's a team event. It goes like this:
- Let's assume you are playing for a $60.00 pot.
- The game is played as a best two-ball net score per team per hole.
- The front nine is worth $15.00 ($3.75 for each member of the winning foursome).
- The back nine is the automatic push and is worth $30.00 ($7.50 for each member of the winning foursome).
- The total score is worth $15.00 ($3.75/ea.)
Another adaptation of a popular golf game, only once again we are playing for an established pot. Like most of our team games this is also a best two-ball net score for each foursome per hole. After the round you compare scores hole by hole. Any hole won outright by a team constitutes a skin. Once all the skins have been identified you divide the number of skins into the total pot and distribute the winnings.
Example: Let's say you start with a pot of $60.00. If there were 4 skins, then each skin would be worth $15.00 to the team to divide amongst the players.
Here's a fun, individual game to play with the suspense being you won't know the outcome until the end. It goes like this:
- Start with an established pot that can be evenly divided by 12 (3 foursomes). For example: a $60.00 pot divided by 12 = $5.00.
- Prepare three bags: one bag has the name of each player written on a piece of paper or other object like a poker chip. The second bag has a series of slips of paper or poker chips with the words Par, Bogey, and Double Bogey written (only one score per chip). The third bag has a chip for every hole, 1 through 18.
- After the round while you're sitting at the 19th hole, you first draw a name out of the bag, then draw a score out of the second bag, and finally draw a hole out of bag three.
- If the player whose name was drawn ties or beats the score on the hole that was drawn, he wins $5.00. Put aside all three chips - they are not to be used again.
- If the player did not tie or beat the score that was drawn his $5.00 is added to the next draw. In other words if the second name drawn ties or beats the score drawn for the next drawn hole, he would win $10.00.
- Repeat this process until all 12 players have had their names drawn. If the last player drawn did not tie or beat his score, that prize money would be applied to another game, (usually for a closest to the pin on a par 3).
This game gives everyone a chance at some winnings, although it might be more advantageous to have your name drawn later rather than early. But, that's the luck of the draw.
A simple game but one with a little intrigue. You simply play your 18-hole round and then after everyone has completed you randomly draw names to pair everyone up with another player. 50% of the pot goes to the team with the lowest team total net score and 50% goes to the team with the lowest total gross score. The same team cannot win both awards.
Another easy game to play but one that puts a little pressure on everyone, especially the higher handicapper. It goes like this:
On each hole you record the lowest Gross score of the foursome and the highest Net score of the foursome. Add them together for your team score. The winning team is the one with the lowest total score for the 18 holes.
Beat Your Score
A good game for a 36-hole day of golf. You play this game the second 18 holes. It goes like this:
- After the morning round you rearrange the foursomes. (We always do this anyway but it will prevent a team from sandbagging in the morning round.)
- After the afternoon round is completed you compare each players afternoon score with his morning score.
- The foursome with the best improvement from their morning round scores is the winner.
This is a two net score game, but not necessarily the two best net scores. Plus, the game adds a little added pressure to the players. It goes like this:
Each team designates their players as Player 1, Player 2, Player 3, and Player 4. The player designations do not have to relate to their handicaps. The two net scores used for each hole are determined by the following pairings:
|1 - 3||Players 1 & 2
|4 - 6||Players 3 & 4
|7 - 9||Players 1 & 3
|10 - 12||Players 2 & 4
|13 - 15||Players 1 & 4
|16 - 18||Players 2 & 3
The team with the lowest team score is the winner.
Mano-a-Mano (or Guts or Scratch)
Tired of all the handicap games? Then just plain scratch golf, each total team score versus the other teams. The only thing you really need to do with this game is to try as much as possible to have the teams evenly divided to make it a fair game.
Well, that should give you enough to get you started. If you have any other team games you think we need to know about, please let us know. We're always looking for new ways to make the great game of golf more enjoyable.