No matter if you’re a Pro, Amateur or Hacker, golfers are always looking for ways to make their time on the golf course more interesting and entertaining. Focusing on your pace, swing and execution is always important & enjoyable, but sinking a pressure putt with a wager on the line is another experience altogether. You can be playing your worst round of the year, and all it takes is 1 hole or shot to change your fortune!
For years my friends and I have continued to evolve the side bets we’ve placed while on the course — no matter which game we play, it always makes for a fun round. Of course, collecting the cash at the 19th hole is always the difficult task, but regardless, our wagers are insignificant enough that a round of beers seems to settle any differences.
Here’s some of our favorite golf betting games:
The round starts with the group establishing a value for each hole as well as a set rotation for how the players alternate being the “Wolf”. For reference, in a foursome, two players will be the “Wolf” five times. On each hole, the player designated as the Wolf chooses, before teeing off, who will be his partner for that particular hole, or he can choose to play “Lone Wolf” and take on the remainder of the group all by himself. If the wolf and his partner win the hole, the two players split the earnings. If the Lone Wolf wins the hole, he wins double the set amount per hole from each player, but reciprocates by paying the other three players double if they lose the hole.
ROUND ROBIN / HOLLYWOOD / SIXES
Perfect for a foursome as this is a rotating 2-player team match-play game. Every 6 holes the teams switch so other members of the foursome are paired with one another — when riding in carts, we typically start pairing with the 2 Drivers, then Driver and the Passenger from the other cart, and end with players in the same Carts. Therefore, there are three different 6-hole matches played within the 18-hole round. The value of each match is decided before the round begins and the game gives every members of the foursome the chance to be teammates with one another, especially beneficial if one of the golfers is better than the others!
SNAKES, MONKEYS, GATERS & CAMELS
A fun way to bring side bets into the mix in a meaningful way throughout the round. For reference:
- Snakes = 3-putts
- Gators = hitting into water hazards
- Monkeys = hitting a tree
- Camels = hitting into sand traps
As the round continues, one player keeps track of each “animal” occurrence and the last golfer who made that shot. At the end of the round, all “animals” are tallied-up and the last golfer for each category contributes the total amount to the pot, which is then shared equally among the other 3 players.
Very popular game and probably the most traditional wager on the course as it can be made individually or amongst a group. The 18-hole round is split into three stroke-play bets — low scores on the Front 9, Back 9 and overall 18. Of course, the amount wagered is determined before the round and is referenced as the dollar amount per bet (e.g. a $5 Nassau indicates a $15 total wager).
Perfect game for a threesome and a good way to keep all players involved in the wager throughout the round. A total of 9 points is awarded after each hole — 5 to the high score, 3 to second, and 1 to the low score. In case of a 2-way tie for the high score, 4 points are awarded to both players; in case of a 3-way tie, 3 points are awarded to all 3. If there is a high score and 2 players are tied for 2nd place, then both are awarded 2 points. At the end of the round, the golfer with the high score wins the bet