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Games to Play on the Golf Course

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I write about many subjects typically surrounding my kids, including fundraising, gifts for children, vacations, and Boy Scouts.

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Fun Golf Games to play on the Golf Course

Sometimes golf gets a little repetitive and boring, to make your next round of golf a little more interesting, try one of these fun golf games to help even the most amateur golfer stay interested in the next 18 holes.

There are many types of games to play on the golf course : 2-player golf games, 3-player golf games, 4-players golf games, partner golf games, and games where everyone competes against everyone. If you can't make it through tour qualifying school, have some fun with your friends the next time you tee it up.

If you have a game that you play on the golf course that you would like to add to this list, please describe it in the guestbook at the bottom of the page. My golf buddies and I love to try out new games.

Photo credit: mhofstrand / Foter / CC BY-ND

Lone Wolf

4 player golf game

This is a great golf game to play with equal or unequal talents. This is not a good game to play if one golfer is significantly better than others. The premise of the game is that someone is the wolf and gets to pick their partner. As each golfer tees off, the wolf decides whether to pick that golfer as their partner, or wait for the next golfer to tee off.

  • When the first golfer tees off, the wolf decides if that will be their partner.
  • When the second golfer tees off, the wolf can no longer pick the first golfer and decides if the second golfer is their partner.
  • When the third golfer tees off, the wolf can no longer pick the first nor second golfer as their partner. The wolf makes a decision at this point whether to pick the third person as their partner or to go it alone as the lone wolf.
  • The wolf tees off last.
  • If the wolf picks a partner, the wolf and the partner must beat, no ties, the other two players to win the hole otherwise the other pair win the hole.
  • If the wolf decides to be the lone wolf, the wolf's score must beat, no ties, all the other players to win the hole, otherwise the other three win the hole.
  • Keep track of the winner(s) on each hole and add up at the points at the end. The player with the most points is the Lone Wolf winner.

Strings

A great golf game for groups with a dominent player

Every player has a length of string equal to their current handicap eg 28 feet = 28 handicap and so on. Each player can use the string to get themselves out of trouble eg out of a trap, a bad lie, back in bounds, from behind a tree etc. However, every time the string is used the player has to cut off, or tie a knot the distance the ball is moved. For example, the golfer moves a ball from a sand trap and uses 5 feet of string. He cuts off 5 feet and if the golfer's handicap was 15, the golfer now only has 10 feet of string left. String can't be used on the green or the tee! Rewards for the end of the ran can be players with no string used or most times used, or devise other devious methods of punishment!

Badges

Here's a fun game to play on the course by all skill levels

This next game is called, golf game badges, as each "bad" thing that happens on a golf course is assigned a badge. Each badge is assigned a point value and at the end the person with the least amount of points wins.

For example, let's say there are four badges and each badge is worth 1 point. If at the end of the round, a single golfer has all four badges, he has all four points and loses, and the other three players in the foursome wins. If every golfer ends up with one badge each, no one wins as everyone is tied with one point.

If Golfer 1 has two badges, Golfer 2 has one badge, Golfer 3 has one badge, and Golfer 4 has no badges. Golfer 1 has two points, Golfer 2 and Golfer 3 has 1 point each, and Golfer 4 has no points. Golfer 4 wins.

To make it more interesting you can assign different point amounts to each badge.

How do you get a badge? You get a badge by being the last golfer to perform a "bad" shot on the golf course. Here are some of our favorite badges...

  • The Snake Badge - Given to the last golfer to 3-putt a hole.
  • The Squirrel Badge - Given to the last golfer to hit a tree
  • The Fish Badge - Given to the last golfer to hit a ball in the water
  • The OB Badge - Given to the last golfer to hit a ball out of bounds
  • The Crab Badge - Given to the last golfer to hit a ball in a sand trap
  • The Angel Badge - Given to the last golfer to swear

This game turns around in the blink of an eye. I played this game and had the Fish, OB, Crab, and Snake badges going into the 18th hole. When the hole was finished, I had none.

The skins game

The skins game is played with three or four golfers.

The PGA puts on a skins event every year after the season, usually aired over the Thankgiving weekend. The skins game is played exactly like this.

  • Each hold is assigned a point value. Usually the first six holes are assigned a low value, the middle six holes are assigned a middle value, and the last six holes are assigned a higher value.
  • The premise is that if you beat all members of your foursome you win a skin. The game starts on the first hole. If someone in the foursome beats all others in the foursome the golfer wins the value of the skin for that hole. If at least two players tie, the skin carrys over to the second hole and all members of the foursome have a chance to win the 2nd hole value in addition to the 1st hole value on the 2nd hole.
  • Keep track of the value of each skin a golfer wins. The golfer with the highest number of points wins.

Scramble

4-player game or multi-foursome game

Scramble is usually played during a golf outing where everyone in the foursome is on the same team and you are playing against the other foursomes in the golf outing. This can also be a 4-player game, where two players are teamed up, either way the rules are the same.

  • You start off on the tee, and each player hits his/hers tee shot. The team decides what shot was the best, and everyone plays their next shot from this point on the golf course. This goes on until the ball is in the hole. You essentially get four shots from the same place.
  • In a golf outing, low round is declared the winner.
  • For two-man game in a foursome, you can play low round and low hole similar to the doubles scoring.
  • Variations on scramble include, minimums for using each players ball on the tee or putting. For example, you have to use each player's ball off the tee a minimum of 3 times.

Doubles

4-player golf games

Doubles can be played many ways, here are a few ways I've played

Scoring with doubles...most points wins after 18.

  1. Aggregate score of doubles partners, with low score winning the hole.
  2. Low individual score wins the hole for the partners.
  3. Use both methods for 2 points per hole.

Variation on scoring: If a birdie wins the hole doubles the number of points. If an eagle wins the hold quadruples the number of points.

How to pick partners

  1. 6-pack method - Every six holes switch partners, everyone in the foursome plays with everyone else in the foursome.
  2. Vegas - Partners change every hole based on the position of the balls. The two golf balls on the left are partners against the two golf balls on the right.
  3. Same partner throughout the round. Partners are picked based on golf ability.

The Three Club Game

You can even play this one by yourself

This one is pretty simple. At the beginning of the round, pick three golf clubs from your bag which become the only clubs you can use the entire round. Strategy here is to pick a low iron, a mid iron, and maybe your putter. Or pick your three wood and use it as your putter. The game helps you think about managing your way around the golf course and being creative with your golf shots.

Stink Hole

Another Golf Game from one of our readers

Play your normal round of golf, but when you get on the green you can either putt for the flag. OR you can putt over where the hole USED to be. It's fun for people that cannot chip that well. If you miss the flag and have a 20 foot putt to the flag, look around for a former hole and putt over that. You can slavage a couple bad shots with a Stinky par or a stinky birdie.

In the matter of honors on the next tee box a normal par or bogey takes precedent over a stinker.

Golf Cart Polo

Ok, here's one that I don't think you can play in the middle of the round, and I'm pretty sure if the golf marshall sees you do this, you'll be kicked off of the course.

Submitted by one of my readers:

"There is a driver of the golf cart, and a rider. All the carts line up in a row in front of the tee box. Someone counts down from 3 to start. The rider stands up, holds on to the cart, drops their golf ball on to the side, and hits it with a golf club of their choosing. Usually a chipper of some sort. Everyone tries not to run in to one another with their golf carts. If you come across someone else's golf ball you can hit it back. When you finally get on the green the driver jumps off (rider must sit on cart) and he/she runs up to try to hit their ball in. If they find an opponents ball they can throw it, kick it, hit it with their putter. Whatever! The first one to get their ball in wins. Obviously, you wouldn't want to be drinking EXCESSIVELY to play this golf game, as it's easy to run into someone else's cart. We usually do just one hole as a grand finale to our round. It's a lot of fun."

What's your favorite golf game you play? - tell us about your favorite game to play on the golf course

Golfpricecompare on March 23, 2018:

Great idea. Play different games on the golf course to keep it fresh and challenging. Love it

justin-baker-9406417 on June 07, 2014:

Bingo Bango Bongo is a great one too! It doesn't really matter if the talent level in your foursome is different as there are three ways to get a point on each hole. The first one on the green gets Bingo, after everyone is on the green whoever is closest to the pin gets Bango and whoever scores the best score gets Bongo. One point for each gives everyone a chance to get points. Sometimes being just off the green on your approach gives you a better chance at scoring Bango but maybe less of a chance of getting Bingo or Bongo.

williamslaw on May 29, 2014:

Great lens. I do play sometimes and the Golf Cart Polo sounds like fun.

Glenda Motsavage from The Sunshine State on May 19, 2014:

I don't play, but I do drive the cart for my husband... Hmmmm, Golf Cart Polo??? I'll remember that next time I have a rebellious streak! Great lens!

clubpro on May 18, 2014:

A great game if you have more than one group is 4,3,2,1. You "must" have an even number of players as in 8, 12, 16, etc. On each 9 you have to count the net scores of your team as follows: on 1 hole you count all 4 scores, on 3 holes you count 3 scores, on 3 holes you count 2 scores and on 2 holes you count 1 score. What makes it interesting is that you have to decide when you finish each hole what you are using. Hint - don't leave your 4 counter to the last hole, it can be disaster.

astevn816 lm on May 17, 2014:

sad to say I have every badge

ideadesigns on April 02, 2014:

This is great for changing up the game a bit. Fun!

Eugene Samuel Monaco from Lakewood New York on March 18, 2014:

Always good to have fun on the golf cource, all great ideas thanks :)

blueit on December 25, 2013:

eally helpful suggestions, thanks

Baddew Fibes on December 11, 2013:

Loving the ideas - I get really bored sometimes, so this'll help alleviate that boredom.Thanks!

Tricia Deed from Orlando, Florida on October 10, 2013:

Great ideas for adding creativity on the golf course.

Guy1982 on October 08, 2013:

Great lens! THanks for sharing

stuartym91 on September 24, 2013:

This is brilliant

golftiptrip on September 03, 2013:

Awesome! I need to try these out soon!

anonymous on August 10, 2013:

I like the stink hole game considering that I am not a very good putter. I don't know how many times I have chipped the ball on the green and wished the pin placement was at a different spot. I would save a lot of strokes this way. Online Golf Instruction

anonymous on July 26, 2013:

great ideas! I'm an avid golfer & will definitely get my golf team to try out some of these fun ones for practice :)

dancingdiva02 on July 20, 2013:

great ideas! I'm an avid golfer & will definitely get my golf team to try out some of these fun ones for practice :)

anonymous on July 19, 2013:

Sixes

Doc_Holliday on July 19, 2013:

Some good ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

socialcx1 on July 10, 2013:

I don't play golf but my son does and will love your lens.Thanks

anonymous on July 10, 2013:

Some cool ideas here. But a point about your "best ball" game. You are actually describing a scramble. The term "best ball" is used to describe a game where the player who has the best score for a given hole counts for the team. Each player plays their own ball throughout.

The nice thing about best ball is that you can keep track of your individual score while still having the team score.

A variation is the Texas Scramble in which all 4 players in a foursome tee off. They pick the best tee shot of the 4 but play individually for the rest of the hole. This can be helpful if you have some players who hit into the woods, water, OB. There is less time spent looking for lost balls.

JamesT1391 on July 07, 2013:

Me and my friends love to enter Four Man Scramble tournaments. You can shoot really low, our lowest score was -18 at a course in Orlando, FL. It takes the pressure away as everybody hits from the same spot after choosing the best previous shot.

soner67 on June 30, 2013:

nice lens

anonymous on June 11, 2013:

Ever hear of RED ball? Each team plays with a red ball, taking turns hitting it on each hole. At the end the team who has not lost their red ball puts it in a jar for a drawing. The balls are numbered with the team number in advance.

chrisilouwho on June 06, 2013:

I had no idea, thanks!

anonymous on June 06, 2013:

Best Ball as you define it is called a scramble. Best ball is as it sounds, the lowest score on each hole is counted for the score of the team.

ConvenientCalendar on May 07, 2013:

Great game ideas!

Margot_C on April 23, 2013:

Golf cart polo sounds fun, but I agree you'd get kicked off pretty handily. Thanks for the great list.

sawtrey56 on March 14, 2013:

A friend of mine likes to play Wolf, but he's a lot better than I am. He plays in a regular Wolf game at Cobblestone Golf Course in Georgia. Their group usually has too much money for me to feel comfortable with. I'm going to suggest some of the new games that I found on your lens. Maybe it will give us a chance to play more often. http://www.squidoo.com/workshop/how-to-find-a-publ...

BasementfinishingHQ on March 13, 2013:

Hi one foot:)

I've been golfing for many years and have not heard of most of these game variations. Sounds like they could be fun though.

Thanks for the info.

Ryan81 on March 04, 2013:

The Three Club Game sounds great. I think I might give that one a try.:)

Rankography on March 01, 2013:

Nice lens. I always wondered how the scoring goes in these games. I usually just tell the others to "tell me what I owe at the end". Blessed

balec1026 on February 22, 2013:

Great lens. It does get especially boring if you go to the same golf course and do the same thing over and over. My friends and I used to do three way best ball and have the loser buy the winner a meal. The middle man neither won or loss.

jsdiego92122 lm on February 12, 2013:

Some good ones in there, I'll have to try them out.

webdeep lm on February 12, 2013:

Great ideas... Thanks for sharing. I always play best ball.

chickie99 on February 08, 2013:

always go best ball!!!

GuysGoneGolfing on February 04, 2013:

I really liked your article. Best Ball is our favorite game on the course!

anonymous on January 21, 2013:

Will definitely give some of these a try with my foursome this spring.

Lee from Derbyshire, UK on January 19, 2013:

Interesting ideas. We just stick to the general rules - but might consider some of these if I'm bored

James1978 on January 03, 2013:

I love golf so much, I never get bored out on the course. However you have discussed several games that I have never heard of before.

Andy Six on November 23, 2012:

I have played some cool games but I did not know most of these. Great Lens

anonymous on November 21, 2012:

Hi there,

I have enjoyed reading your lens. I am a golfer and I just love the game. My youngest son who is 15 plays the game now. He has only been playing for 18 months and is down to a 5 handicap already. He want's to become a Pro.

I have just started doing my Blogs on G Mail and have done two lenses on Squidoo. Look forward to your new lenses

FantasyFootballRankings on November 13, 2012:

I really enjoyed your article about golf games and will be back to read more.

golfgpswatch lm on November 12, 2012:

Some great ideas here, will be having a chat with my friends this weeks and hopefully they will get involved with one or two of them.

anonymous on November 12, 2012:

I AM LOOKING FOR A PROGRAM THAT WILL GENERATE INSTRUCTIONS, PRINT SCORECARDS AND DISPLAY WINNERS WITH VARIOUS GAMES INCLUDED IN THE SOFTWARE. ANYONE KNOW OF A WINDOWS PACKAGE?

Lowsky on October 09, 2012:

Great lens will try one of these games out on Saturday with my buddies.

anonymous on October 08, 2012:

has anyone come across a fun golf game called Monopoly where you have cards giving instructions for forfeits or bonuses i.e. play this hole with one club only or you have just won the Club championship - take 5 extra points, etc.??

BestForTheMoneyz on September 19, 2012:

really cool lens with some great advice. Some of these I have not heard of before, def like worthy lens :)

Steve_Slay on September 14, 2012:

Great lens! Some of these games I do/have played. Some I haven't heard of and are great ideas for future golf outings!

Tobint44 LM on August 31, 2012:

I love best ball! Actually lets me reach par.

anonymous on August 24, 2012:

Red ball is played with two foursomes or more. You mark a golf ball (red) or any color. Each foursome has to rotate the red ball so each player has to play the red ball the full hole. The next hole it is passed to the next player and that order is kept until game is complete. You compare the "red ball" score card and lowest score wins. One catch is you can't lose the red ball. If all groups lose the red ball the team holding it the longest is the winner.

dale4292 on August 15, 2012:

Love your Lens, fantastic tips on varying up a round of golf, especially when playing with people of different levels. Thanks for the new ideas and best wishes!

GarminApproachGPS on August 12, 2012:

These are nice element of fun to the golf games with some hilarious mulligan golf cards. Such lenses can boost the mindset of an amateur by having a good knowledge about the game of golf. Nice lens and best of luck for the future!

anonymous on August 08, 2012:

@anonymous: Why don't you play a tin whistle or stapleford. It works for all handicap ranges, I just did it for 12 gals with handicaps ranging from 10 to 40. You give them their strokes where they fall and for example you are a 40 handicap playing a par five, the player gets two strokes and they have an eight. Their net score was a six for a bogey and so they get one point. 1 point for a net bogey, 2 points for a net par, 3 for a net birdie, 4 for a net eagle. At the end of the round the person with the most points wins the $$$ or prize.

anonymous on July 30, 2012:

Wolf is one of the best golf games you can play on the course. It definitely gives everyone a chance to score and win some bets. http://www.golfgamesfun.com

anonymous on July 22, 2012:

Funny games. Good site :-)

Badbreathguy on July 17, 2012:

Interesting lens. Very informative. Best ball is still my favourite game.

koobflog on June 30, 2012:

These are great. I had never heard of them before. Can't wait to try some of these.

anonymous on June 26, 2012:

@anonymous: To speed up play - play step aside. All 4 hit and whichever shot you take that person steps aside until the next shot..

Tom Fattes (author) from Naperville, IL on June 24, 2012:

@anonymous: I just added a game called "Strings", which seems to be a good game if there are golfers with varying handicaps.

anonymous on June 24, 2012:

can anyone help me with a game to play where we have poor golfers? I am trying to put togther an outing for 8 of us where the lowest handicap is me (5) and the rest are in the 20's and even 30's (they dont play often). Scarmble? hard to do when the lowest handicap on one team is 24. trying to make it fun and withour hold up groups behind us. thoughts are welcome. thanks,

anonymous on June 13, 2012:

Usually when my friends and I go out golfing. We decide that we can only use one club for each hole. You don't have to tell your friends what club your using either. For example, you can tee off on a par 4 with a 6 iron, hit your approach with a 6 iron, and try to putt with a 6 iron. Or else we designate a club for a hole that we all must use during a hole. One time we designated a 52 degree on a par 5. It took 5 shots to get close to the green but it was fun.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on June 12, 2012:

When I was playing golf we enjoyed playing Best Ball but these other games are new to me. I enjoyed reading about them.

chris1402 on June 08, 2012:

if you cant get to the course, then if you have the time & inclination, try the latest tiger woods 13 video game - it's almost as frustrating as playing the real game.

nice lens - see you on the 19th.

kindoak on June 06, 2012:

Great lens! I like the three club game.

anonymous on June 05, 2012:

It's called "Stink Hole". You play your normal round, but when you get on the green you can either putt for the flag. OR you can putt over where the hole USED to be. It's fun for people that cannot chip that well. If you miss the flag and have a 20 foot putt to the flag, look around for a former hole and putt over that. You can slavage a couple bad shots with a Stinky par or a stinky birdie.

In the matter of honors on the next tee box a normal par or bogey takes precedent over a stinker.

antoniow on June 04, 2012:

Great lens, Well done!

anonymous on May 26, 2012:

Fitzs best ball. 1 point awarded to whose best is used including putt.Best shot always hits next.If the best sinks their putt, they add an extra point,2 points for a birdie,3 for an eagle and 4 for a double eagle. The difference between the high and other scores is paid to the high pointer by the others. Point value should be kept low($0.25/point) so as not to bankrupt new or struggling players.After all, this is to be fun.

Bill Armstrong from Valencia, California on May 20, 2012:

Great lens and games, will try these out next time on course, have featured your lens

HonoluluMom on May 11, 2012:

Since I'm a terrible golfer and get bored at about the half way point...my favorite golf game is find the lost balls. It's like Easter Egg hunting for grown-ups.

karMALZEKE on April 28, 2012:

I enjoyed this lens. I am passing it on to my two brother's who live at the golf course.

PurpleParasols on April 27, 2012:

I live on a golf course. I might actually start to play now with these fun ideas!

Gloria Freeman from Alabama USA on April 27, 2012:

Hi I do not know much about golf but we sure have some nice golf course in Al.I enjoyed reading this.

Bob Zau on April 19, 2012:

"High Five" Lone Wolf is a game we play quite often,

MarionElodie on April 11, 2012:

I don't play or know much about golf, but this was an interesting read and I like the idea of creating games within a game. Thank you for sharing those ideas.

BlogsWriter on April 11, 2012:

Fascinating games worth trying.

anonymous on April 11, 2012:

I don't know much about golf. So, I don't have a favorite golf game, but I think this is a great lens. God bless!

LooLooBird on April 11, 2012:

Great lens! I'm posting this to my brother's wall on FB :)

Lynne Modranski from Ohio on April 10, 2012:

LOL!!! I play "three clubs" a LOT!!! I'm not a good golfer, so I end up using my driver (no matter how close the green), my four hybrid and my putter! (I guess I do throw my pitching wedge in there from time to time too!) Thanks for sharing!

Lauriej1 on April 10, 2012:

Cool lens!!

CreativeXpressi on April 10, 2012:

The only golf I play is miniature golf, but I found this lens to very interesting. I have friends who play "regular" gold and will share some of these games with with them.

SophiaStar LM on April 10, 2012:

My fiancee plays golf , I do not but I like to watch and ride. I really like the badges game:)!

HomeschooledKid1 on April 10, 2012:

Interesting games! I bet they're a lot of fun! (I'll have to try some of them!)

Gayle Dowell from Kansas on April 10, 2012:

I'm not much of a golfer, but these games sound fun.

YCHCap14 on April 10, 2012:

Bingo, Bango, Bongo - There are 3 points available on each hole - First on the green gets a point, closest to the hole, first to sink their putt. The player with the most points at the end wins. You can build variations of this.

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on April 10, 2012:

Golf. ;-)

cassie-resh on April 10, 2012:

I will have to show this to my friend! He is an avid golfer!

hexadtraining on April 10, 2012:

Someone just recently suggested I start playing golf. Squidoo is a great resource!!!

JohnMichael2 on April 10, 2012:

you do realize that my handicap is.... that I play golf...

jmatts1 on April 10, 2012:

Nice lens, thanks for the golf game ideas.

JoyfulReviewer on April 10, 2012:

I played miniature golf once. The games you've showcased look like a lot of fun.

TerryG247 on April 06, 2012:

Now I need to figure out which golf game to play next time I hit the course

anonymous on March 12, 2012:

Love to play golf. I was just looking to make it a little more fun for me and my buddies. You have some good ideas. Thanks

PennyHowe on March 08, 2012:

Thanks for this great lens and info. Add another element of fun to your golf games with my hilarious mulligan golf cards. Go here to download some free ones and try them out right away http://www.mulligangolfsite.com Here's wishing you fun on the golf course!

BestMensSkinCar1 on March 03, 2012:

will try playing some of these on my next round!

Sarata LM on February 17, 2012:

I never played golf, but interested to try.

Rebeljohn on February 09, 2012:

Very nice lens great info thanks for posting it

nophie lm on February 09, 2012:

stop by here on your lens, nice lens you have

desa999 lm on February 04, 2012:

Thanks for some great ideas on this topic.

opheliakeith lm on February 03, 2012:

Some great ideas. Thanks!

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