I may be speaking from bias, but golf itself is a very fun game. It provides a dose of competition, a challenge to your dexterity, beautiful views, and infinite opportunity for self-improvement. You might be happy playing regular golf, counting your strokes, and calling your game “traditional.” However, if you find yourself repeating the same course over and over, you might seek some ways to liven up your regular round. If you want to shake things up a bit and add some additional wagers or “minigames” to your play, there are endless inventions created to spice up the course.
This is a simple wager. You can compete on one hole, or any or all 18. Bet a drink after the game, bet a fiver, or bet a Hamilton. The person who hits their ball the farthest off the tee is the winner. Determine the winner by adding all of the numbers together – averaging would be misleading, because of the variation between hole distances (Par 3s would drag down your average).
Closest to the Pin
This is the most fun in larger groups. If you have four players, or multiple groups going out, this is a great wager. Have everyone chip in five bucks at the beginning of the game. Each hole, keep track of who hits their ball closest to the pin. After your round, the person who hit the closest the most times is the winner of the whole pot! If there’s a tie, you can do a tiebreaker or split the winnings.
Each hole is worth one ‘skin.’ You can assign a monetary value to that skin (say, $5) or you can let it be a figurative skin. Whoever takes the fewest strokes on the whole wins that hole’s skin. If two players tie, and nobody is the winner, the skin carries over to the next hole. That means that the next hole is worth $10, or 2 skins – however you set up the system. The winner of that hole gets both skins. If that hole is a tie, the skins keep carrying over! At the end of the round, the person with the most skins wins!
Closest to the Pin (Modified for Greens)
This version is very different from the traditional “Closest to the Pin,” but can certainly shake up the game! Once all of the players in your group hit onto the green, pause play. Make note of who is the closest to the pin. The person closest to the hole wins the round. Keep track of who gets closest to the pin on the green each hole – the person with the most holes won wins the wager. If nothing else, this will make you practice your chipping skills!
If you’re looking to really get competitive with your fellow players, this is the game for you. Everyone in your party tees off. The BEST shot is chosen, and everyone else picks up. Everyone hits from the position of that best ball. This continues for every shot – meaning every person hits from the same “best shot” locations. This is a very efficient way to play golf, as it allows those players that fall behind to keep their pace of play with the best players.
This is the same game as the regular scramble, but instead of hitting from the BEST shot each time, everyone hits from the WORST shot. Keep in mind that this is not a game to play during busy hours – the marshals will not appreciate the goofiness! To make it even more fun, play in two teams of two, and have each team decide which shot the other team has to hit from. Oh, and bubbly beverages help make this one fun, too.
Social golf games not your thing? Wondering if you can play solo? Read about whether or not you should golf by yourself.