To most golfers, just being out there playing is heaven enough. But add a little gemesmanship and the eyes take on a different look and those competitive juices start to flow. Here are just a few games you can have fun with.
Playing your opponent one on one, either in stroke play, net score, or match play, hole by hole, each hole worth one point. If handicap is involved, in stroke play the handicap difference is taken off the final score. In match play, the difference in handicaps gets distributed based on the hardest handicap to the easiest handicapped holes, which are usually rated on the scorecard by the course.
This game is usually done with a foursome, but can be played with less or more people if desired. A simple skins game would be that every hole or skin, is worth a point from everyone. The lowest net score on the hole, wins the skin. If two players tie for the low score on the hole, the skin for that hole gets carried over to the next hole. This keeps going until someone wins a hole outright. At the end of the round, if there are still skins carried over, you can handle this few ways, but must be decided on before you start the round.
Keep playing until someone wins those last skins, let whoever won the very first skin, also get any carryovers from the 18th hole, or no one wins any tied skins at the end of the round, they are just dropped. Keep a tally of how many skins each golfer wins.
Garbage or trash can be added into the skins game as. Each type of garbage can be worth any amount you dare. Some examples of garbage bets are; birdies, any birdie is worth some points; greenies, on par 3’s, the closest to the pin. You must be on the green and no less than two putt. Sandies, getting up and down from a bunker and making par or better; and polies, sinking a putt from outside the length of the flagstick.
This game divides your round into three parts, the front nine, back nine and overall score. Therefore, a 5 point nassau means, 5 points for the front nine, 5 points for the back nine, and 5 points for overall score. This game can also be used playing with a partner in your foursome, against the other twosome of the group. The game stays the same way, broken into three parts, but how you keep score for the game can vary. Using lowest score for the twosome, best ball, combined score of the twosome, or a high low scoring format, one point for the lowest score and one point against for the highest score on the hole.
This game is for four players based on the low score per hole. One player is designated as the "wolf" on the first tee box and proceeds to hit first. As he watches the others hit, he may select a partner to play with him on that hole. He must select the partner immediately after that person’s tee shot. If after everyone tees off and the wolf hasn’t declared a partner, he must partner with the last person or declare to be a "lone wolf" and play against everyone by himself on that hole. In this case, the stakes are doubled. For instance, if you play with a partner, the winning team for that hole gets one point a piece. If a lone wolf wins the hole, he gets two points. But if the lone wolf loses, the other three players get two points each. The title of the wolf rotates every hole, so each player gets to be the wolf at least four times. After the 16th hole, whoever is in last place gets to be the wolf for the last two holes. The amount per point will vary depending on the player’s confidence.
Bingo, Bango, Bongo
In this game, each hole has a three point value. The first point goes to the player hitting the green in the fewest strokes. The second point goes to the player who is closest to the pin after all balls are on the green. The third point goes to the lowest score on the hole. If there are ties for any of the points, the players tied get one half point each.
These are just a few games that are played on a golf course. A lot of variations can be added to these games but too many can get confusing and could take your mind away from the real purpose you are out on the golf course, to relax and have fun.
With all this great golf advice don't forget your spouse and your family. As advised in Ephesians 5:22-33 Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.... each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Treating your family best of all will pay dividends in life and in golf!
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