Ultimate List Of Side Golf Games

Are you tired of playing the same old round of golf every time you hit the links with your family and friends? If you’re looking to add an extra dose of excitement and friendly competition to your golf outings, then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we present to you the ultimate list of side golf games that are specifically designed to be enjoyed with your loved ones. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting out, these games will bring a whole new level of fun to your golfing experience. Get ready to discover a variety of thrilling game options that will have everyone teeing off with enthusiasm and creating lasting memories on the fairways. So, grab your clubs, gather your family and friends, and let’s dive into the world of side golf games that are guaranteed to make your golf outings truly unforgettable!

Recommend Side Golf Game Venues or Settings

  1. Public Golf Courses: Public golf courses often offer a wide range of amenities and facilities suitable for side games with family and friends. These courses typically provide well-maintained fairways, greens, and practice areas, along with clubhouses where players can gather before or after their rounds. Public courses often have affordable green fees and are accessible to players of all skill levels.
  2. Resort Courses: Resort courses provide a more upscale and immersive golfing experience for players looking to combine their side games with a relaxing getaway. These venues often feature beautiful landscapes, stunning views, and world-class amenities such as luxurious accommodations, spas, and dining options. Resort courses offer the perfect setting for memorable golf outings with family and friends.
  3. Golf Clubs: Golf clubs offer a more exclusive and tailored experience for players. These venues usually provide well-manicured courses, professional staff, and a range of amenities such as driving ranges, practice areas, and clubhouse facilities. Joining a golf club can provide regular access to the course for side games and other social events.
  4. Par-3 Courses: Par-3 courses are an excellent option for playing side games with family and friends, especially for those who are less experienced or looking for a more casual and relaxed setting. These courses typically consist of shorter holes, making them more beginner-friendly and quicker to play. Par-3 courses often have a laid-back atmosphere, making them ideal for family outings and introducing newcomers to the game.
  5. Family-Friendly Golf Centers: Family-friendly golf centers or entertainment complexes offer a range of golf-related activities suitable for all ages and skill levels. These venues often feature mini-golf courses, driving ranges, and other golf-themed attractions. They provide a fun and interactive setting for playing side games with family and friends while catering to a diverse range of abilities and interests.
  6. Backyard or Home Setups: For a more intimate and personalized experience, consider setting up a small golf course in your backyard or utilizing home-based golf simulators. This allows you to create your own mini-golf course or engage in virtual golf games, providing a convenient and enjoyable setting for side games with family and friends.

The Game of Golf

1457: The birth of modern golf.

Scotland: Birthplace of golf as we know it today.

25,950,000: The number of Americans who played golf in 2017

2 Million: Number of people employed by the American golf industry.

The popularity of golf is a sure indicator of the beauty and fun of the game. Here is a list of golf games you can play with family and friends – just for fun on the course, of course.

Acey Deucey

Aim:

In the context of golf, Acey Deucey is a side golf game or betting game that is played within a round of golf. The aim of the Acey Deucey golf game is to accumulate the highest number of points by achieving Aces, Deuces, or Pars on each hole.

Rules:
  • Requires 2+ players.

    1. Acey Deucey can be played by two or more players, and each player competes individually.
    2. Before starting the round, players agree on a set amount of money or points that will be wagered for each hole.
    3. The game is typically played alongside a regular round of golf, with players participating in both games simultaneously.
    4. On each hole, players tee off and play their shots as usual.
    5. Once all players have completed their tee shots, they look at the distance of their balls from the hole.
    6. The player whose ball is farthest from the hole has the option to call “Acey Deucey” or “Deucey Acey” (both terms are used interchangeably).
    7. Calling “Acey Deucey” means that the player predicts their next shot will be closer to the hole than the player who called “Acey Deucey.”
    8. Calling “Deucey Acey” means that the player predicts their next shot will be farther from the hole than the player who called “Acey Deucey.”
    9. Once the call has been made, the players proceed to play their second shots.
    10. At the end of the hole, the player who made the correct call (Acey Deucey or Deucey Acey) wins the wagered amount from each player who made the incorrect call.
    11. If there is a tie or multiple players make the correct call, the wagered amount is split among those players.
    12. If no player makes the correct call, the wagered amount carries over to the next hole.
    13. The game continues in this manner for each hole of the round, with players making Acey Deucey calls and determining winners based on the outcomes.

    Acey Deucey adds an extra element of strategy and risk-taking to a regular round of golf, making it an exciting and competitive side game to enjoy with friends on the course. Remember to agree on the specific rules and wagered amounts before starting the game to ensure a fair and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Scoring System
  • Ace: If a player scores a hole-in-one, they earn a predetermined number of points, often the highest possible.
  • Deuce: If a player scores two shots less than the target score (e.g., a birdie on a par 3), they earn a set number of points, usually the second-highest.
  • Par: If a player scores the same number of shots as the target score (e.g., a par on a par 4), they earn a certain number of points, typically a lower value than an Ace or Deuce.
  • Other outcomes: If a player’s score exceeds the target score, they earn zero points or negative points.

Bingo, Bango, Bongo!

Aim:

Be the first to get on the green, closest to the pin, and first to the hole.

Rules:
  1. Before starting the round, players agree on a specific point value for each achievement (e.g., Bingo, Bango, and Bongo).
  2. Bingo: The first player to reach the green with the fewest number of strokes is awarded the “Bingo” point. The aim here is to have the lowest number of shots to reach the green.
  3. Bango: The player whose ball is closest to the pin after all balls have reached the green is awarded the “Bango” point. The aim here is to have the ball closest to the hole, regardless of the number of shots taken to reach the green.
  4. Bongo: The player who completes the hole with the fewest total strokes (including putts) is awarded the “Bongo” point. The aim here is to have the lowest total score for the hole.
  5. After each achievement is awarded, the points are recorded, and the process is repeated for the subsequent holes.
  6. At the end of the round, the player with the most accumulated points (Bingos, Bangos, and Bongos) is declared the winner

“Bingo, Bango, Bongo!” introduces a level of excitement and competitiveness to a round of golf, as players strive to achieve different objectives and earn points throughout the game. It encourages a focus on various aspects of the game, such as accuracy, distance, and overall scoring, providing a fun and dynamic experience for golfers of different skill levels.

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Wolf

Aim:

The objective of the side golf game “Wolf” is to accumulate the most points by strategically forming teams and winning holes throughout the round.

You need four players for this particular game. All players play independently. The goal is to be the player with the most points at the end of the round.

Rules:
  1. “Wolf” can be played by a group of four golfers or more.
  2. Before starting the round, players agree on the order in which they will act as the “Wolf” on each hole. This order should rotate evenly throughout the round.
  3. On each hole, the player designated as the “Wolf” tees off first. The remaining players hit their tee shots in the agreed-upon order.
  4. After each player has hit their tee shot but before any subsequent shots are played, the “Wolf” has a decision to make:

    a. Lone Wolf: The “Wolf” can choose to play the hole alone against the other players. If the “Wolf” wins the hole alone, they receive extra points (e.g., double the regular point value). However, if any other player wins the hole or ties the “Wolf,” the other players earn the points.

    b. Team Up: The “Wolf” can choose to team up with one of the other players. The “Wolf” and the chosen partner form a team against the remaining players. If the team wins the hole, both the “Wolf” and the partner earn points (e.g., regular point value multiplied by two). If the team loses, the other players receive the points.

  5. If the “Wolf” decides to team up, they must choose their partner immediately after their tee shot, before any other players hit their shots.
  6. Once the decision is made, the players proceed with their shots in the determined order.
  7. The game continues in this manner for each hole, with players taking turns as the “Wolf.”
  8. At the end of the round, the points earned by each player based on winning holes or being on the winning team are tallied up.

The player with the highest total points at the end of the round is declared the winner.

Scoring:
  1. Lone Wolf Victory: If the “Wolf” decides to play the hole alone (as a Lone Wolf) and wins the hole against the other players, the “Wolf” receives a predetermined number of points. This point value is often higher than the regular point value for a hole. The exact point value can be agreed upon before starting the game.
  2. Team Victory: If the “Wolf” decides to team up with another player (as a Team Up) and their team wins the hole against the remaining players, both the “Wolf” and the chosen partner earn a predetermined number of points. Again, this point value is usually higher than the regular point value for a hole.
  3. Other Players’ Victory: If any player other than the “Wolf” wins the hole, either individually or as part of a team against the “Wolf,” those players earn the regular point value for the hole. The regular point value can be predetermined or agreed upon before starting the game.
  4. Ties: In the event of a tie between the “Wolf” and another player or team, no points are awarded, and the hole is considered halved.
  5. Point Accumulation: After each hole, the points earned by the players are recorded. The points from each hole are tallied up as the game progresses throughout the round.

Round Robin

Aim:

Emerge as the winner despite having 3 different partners every 6 holes (and win a bet if you decide to spice things up).

Rules:
  • Requires 4 players.

  • Rotate partners every 6 holes.

  • Each 6-hole stretch is a separate bet.

Scoring:
  • Use any scoring format in 6’s.


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Alternate Shot / Foursomes

Aim:

Work as a team with your partner to complete the round using only one ball. The game emphasizes collaboration, strategy, and shared responsibility between partners.

Rules:
  1. Team Formation: Players are divided into teams of two. Each team consists of two players who will alternate hitting the same ball throughout the round.
  2. Tee Shots: On each hole, one player from the team tees off on the odd-numbered holes (1, 3, 5, etc.), while the other player tees off on the even-numbered holes (2, 4, 6, etc.).
  3. Shot Rotation: After the tee shot, the players take turns hitting the ball until it is holed. The player who did not hit the tee shot will take the second shot, and the players will alternate shots from there. For example, if Player A hits the tee shot, Player B will hit the second shot, Player A the third shot, and so on.
  4. Shot Selection: As a team, players decide together which shot to play after each stroke. They should communicate and strategize to select the best shot based on each player’s strengths, the lie of the ball, and the desired position for the subsequent shot.
  5. Hitting Order: The player whose ball was not selected for the next shot will take the next shot. For example, if Player A’s shot is chosen for the second shot, Player B will hit the third shot.
  6. Continued Alternation: Players will continue to alternate shots throughout the round, hitting the ball until it is holed on each hole.
  7. Penalty Strokes: If a team incurs a penalty stroke, the player who hit the previous shot will also hit the next shot. The alternating shot order continues even after penalty strokes.
  8. Putting: On the green, players continue to alternate shots until the ball is holed. The player who putts first on one hole will putt second on the next hole, and so on.
  9. Scoring: The team’s score is recorded based on the total number of strokes taken to complete the round. Each team’s score is compared, and the team with the lower score is the winner.

Rabbit

Aim:

The aim of the side golf game “Rabbit” is to become and remain the “Rabbit” throughout the round by achieving the lowest score on each hole.

Rules:
  1. Determining the Rabbit: At the start of the round, the “Rabbit” is determined. This can be done randomly, such as drawing lots or flipping a coin, or based on a predetermined method agreed upon by the players.
  2. Scoring: The player who holds the “Rabbit” title is the one with the lowest score on each hole. The objective is to score lower than the other players on each hole to capture or maintain the “Rabbit” title.
  3. Passing the Rabbit: If a player achieves the lowest score on a hole, they become the “Rabbit” for the next hole. The title of “Rabbit” passes from player to player throughout the round as different players score the lowest on each subsequent hole.
  4. Maintaining the Rabbit: To maintain the “Rabbit” status, the player must continue to score the lowest on each hole. If another player scores lower on a subsequent hole, they become the new “Rabbit” and take over the title.
  5. Ties: In the event of a tie for the lowest score on a hole, the current “Rabbit” retains the title. The tiebreaker can be determined by either a predetermined rule (e.g., previous hole’s score) or through a playoff hole designated specifically for resolving ties.
  6. Winner: The player who holds the “Rabbit” title at the end of the round is declared the winner of the game.

Las Vegas

Aim:

The aim of the side golf game “Las Vegas” is to accumulate the most points as a team or an individual throughout the round by winning holes and achieving specific outcomes.

Rules:

Certainly! Here are the rules for the side golf game “Las Vegas”:

  1. Team Formation: “Las Vegas” can be played by two-person teams or as an individual game.
  2. Point Values: Before starting the round, agree on specific point values for various outcomes. For example, you might assign point values for winning a hole, winning the front or back nine, or achieving specific scores on certain holes. It’s important to establish these point values before beginning the game.
  3. Match Play Format: “Las Vegas” is typically played in a match play format, where teams or individuals compete directly against each other on each hole.
  4. Scoring: On each hole, calculate the team’s or individual’s score based on their net score. The net score is determined by subtracting the handicap from the gross score. The team or individual with the lower net score on the hole wins the hole.
  5. Points Awarded: The number of points awarded for winning a hole is determined by the agreed-upon point values. For example, if winning a hole is worth 2 points, the team or individual that wins the hole earns 2 points.
  6. Carrying Over Points: If a hole is tied, the points for that hole are typically carried over to the next hole. This creates the potential for higher point values on subsequent holes.
  7. Additional Scoring Opportunities: In addition to winning individual holes, there may be opportunities to earn points for winning the front or back nine, achieving specific scores on designated holes, or achieving other predetermined objectives.
  8. Accumulating Points: Throughout the round, teams or individuals accumulate points based on their performance on each hole and the additional scoring opportunities.
  9. Final Scoring: At the end of the round, tally up the points accumulated by each team or individual. The team or individual with the most accumulated points is declared the winner of the game.

Remember to establish and agree upon the specific point values and scoring rules before starting the game to ensure clarity and fairness.


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Best Ball / Four-Ball

Aim:

The aim of the side golf game “Best Ball” or “Four Ball” is for a team of two players to achieve the lowest score on each hole compared to the opposing team.

Rules:
  1. Team Formation: “Best Ball” or “Four Ball” is played in teams of two, with each player playing their own ball.
  2. Scoring: On each hole, both players on a team play their own ball from the tee to the hole. Each player’s individual score is recorded for the hole.
  3. Best Score: After both players complete the hole, the lower score of the two players from the team is recorded as the team’s score for that hole. This means that only the best score among the teammates is counted.
  4. Opposing Team: Simultaneously, the opposing team follows the same process, with both players playing their own ball and recording the lower score as their team’s score for each hole.
  5. Hole-by-Hole Scoring: Compare the team scores on each hole. The team with the lowest score on a hole wins that hole.
  6. Match Play Format: “Best Ball” or “Four Ball” is typically played in a match play format, where teams compete directly against each other on each hole. The team that wins a hole earns a point.
  7. Ties: In the event of a tie (both teams have the same lowest score) on a hole, the hole is typically halved, and no points are awarded to either team.
  8. Overall Score: Keep a running tally of the number of holes won by each team. The team that wins the most holes at the end of the round is declared the winner of the game.
  9. Handicaps: Handicaps can be used to adjust players’ scores to level the playing field if there are differences in skill levels between teams. Each player’s handicap is subtracted from their score on each hole to determine the net score.

Skins

Aim:

The Aim of the side golf game “Skins” is to win individual holes and accumulate the most “skins” throughout the round. In this game, each hole is worth a specific value (usually called a “skin”), and the player who wins the hole outright receives the corresponding skin. The goal is to win as many skins as possible and have the highest total number of skins at the end of the round.

Rules:
  1. Determining the Skin Value: Before starting the round, agree upon a value for each skin. This can be a set amount of money, points, or any other predetermined unit.
  2. Individual Hole Competition: On each hole, players compete individually against one another. Each hole is treated as a separate competition for a skin.
  3. Winning Skins: The player who achieves the lowest score on a hole wins the skin for that hole. It’s important to note that ties do not win a skin outright, and the skin carries over to the next hole.
  4. Carryover Skins: If a hole results in a tie (two or more players have the same lowest score), the skin carries over to the next hole, increasing its value. This process continues until a hole is won outright.
  5. Accumulating Skins: Players accumulate skins won throughout the round. The player with the most skins at the end of the round is the winner.
  6. Tiebreaker: In the event of a tie at the end of the round, a tiebreaker can be used, such as a sudden-death playoff or a predetermined tiebreaker hole, to determine the winner.
  7. Skins Distribution: Skins can be distributed in various ways, depending on the agreed-upon rules. For example, skins can be evenly distributed among players who win holes or can be awarded to the player who wins the most holes outright.
  8. Halved Holes: If a hole is tied by all players (no outright winner), the skin for that hole is typically carried over to the next hole.
  9. Skin Values: Each skin has a predetermined value, which is agreed upon before the round. The value can be the same for all holes or can increase as the round progresses.

Nassau

Aim:

The objective of the side golf game “Nassau” is to win the most points or monetary units by winning a combination of three separate bets within a round of golf. The game is divided into three segments: the front nine, the back nine, and the overall round. The goal is to win as many of these segments as possible.

Rules:
  1. Betting Structure: Before starting the round, players agree upon the amount of money or points to be wagered on each segment of the game: front nine, back nine, and overall round.
  2. Front Nine: The front nine segment is treated as a separate bet. Players compete to have the lowest score on the front nine holes. The player with the lowest score wins the front nine segment and receives the agreed-upon wagered amount for that segment.
  3. Back Nine: Similarly, the back nine segment is treated as a separate bet. Players compete to have the lowest score on the back nine holes. The player with the lowest score wins the back nine segment and receives the agreed-upon wagered amount for that segment.
  4. Overall Round: The overall round is the combined score of all 18 holes. Players compete to have the lowest total score for the entire round. The player with the lowest total score wins the overall round and receives the agreed-upon wagered amount for that segment.
  5. Potential Winnings: In Nassau, there are three potential winnings: one for the front nine, one for the back nine, and one for the overall round. A player can win one, two, or all three segments, depending on their performance.
  6. Press: In some variations of Nassau, players may have the option to “press” after losing a segment. Pressing allows the losing player to initiate a new bet on the remaining holes, attempting to recoup their losses or potentially win more money.
  7. Tiebreakers: In the event of a tie on any segment, the bet may carry over to the next segment or be split among the tying players, depending on the agreed-upon rules.
  8. Wager Amounts: The agreed-upon wagered amounts for each segment can vary among players and should be established before the round begins.

How do side Golf Games Enhance Overall Golfing Experience?

Side golf games serve as a wonderful addition to the traditional round of golf by introducing an extra layer of excitement, friendly competition, and camaraderie among players. These games create opportunities for players to engage in strategic decision-making, teamwork, and friendly banter, making the golfing experience more enjoyable and interactive.

Firstly, side golf games provide a break from the routine of stroke play and add variety to the game. They inject a sense of competitiveness and challenge among players, making each hole more engaging and meaningful. Instead of solely focusing on their individual scores, players can immerse themselves in the strategic aspects of the side game, such as choosing the best shots, teaming up with partners, or strategizing to win specific objectives. This engagement enhances the overall golfing experience and keeps players invested throughout the round.

Moreover, side golf games promote social interaction among players. By participating in these games, players have the opportunity to form connections, build friendships, and strengthen existing relationships. The shared experience of playing side games encourages conversation, laughter, and friendly competition, fostering a sense of camaraderie on the golf course. Whether players are teammates or opponents, side games create a friendly atmosphere that encourages interaction and builds lasting memories.

Side Golf Games Suitable for Players of Different Skill Levels?

Side golf games provide a fantastic opportunity for players of all skill levels to participate and enjoy the camaraderie of the game. Certain side games are particularly well-suited for players of different abilities, allowing everyone to have a fair and enjoyable experience on the course.

For beginners or players who are less experienced, simpler side games with straightforward rules are often recommended. Games like “Scramble” or “Best Ball” allow players to contribute to the team’s score, even if they are not hitting the best shots consistently. In these games, each player hits their shot, and the team selects the best shot to continue from. This format ensures that players of varying skill levels can contribute and feel involved in the game, promoting a positive experience for everyone involved.

Similarly, games such as “Rabbit” or “Skins” can be adapted to suit players of different skill levels. These games focus on individual hole-by-hole performance, allowing players to compete against each other on specific holes rather than for the overall score. This enables players to showcase their skills and have a chance to win holes, regardless of their overall skill level.

On the other hand, more competitive players or those with higher skill levels might enjoy games that emphasize individual performance and strategic decision-making. Games like “Wolf” or “Las Vegas” require players to make strategic choices, such as teaming up with partners, selecting shots, or betting on specific outcomes. These games provide a greater challenge and an opportunity to showcase individual skills, making them more suitable for players who are confident in their abilities.

Professional Golf Tournaments that Feature Side Golf Games

While the majority of professional golf tournaments adhere to stroke play or traditional formats, there are a few notable events and exhibitions that feature side golf games to provide additional entertainment and engage fans in a different way. These events showcase the skills and personalities of professional golfers in a more relaxed and fun-filled atmosphere.

One such example is “The Match,” which is a series of exhibition matches featuring professional golfers, celebrities, and athletes. “The Match” has featured side games like “Best Ball” and “Match Play” formats, adding a unique element of competition and camaraderie. These events are often televised and attract a wide audience, allowing viewers to witness professional golfers in a more lighthearted and interactive setting.

Another notable event is the “Ryder Cup,” a biennial team competition between Europe and the United States. While not strictly a side game event, the “Ryder Cup” incorporates various match play formats and competitions, including “Foursomes” (Alternate Shot) and “Fourballs” (Best Ball). These formats add an extra layer of excitement, strategy, and team dynamics to the competition, making the event highly anticipated and memorable for both players and spectators.

Conclusion

In conclusion, side golf games bring a whole new level of excitement, camaraderie, and fun to the golfing experience. Whether you’re playing with family, friends, or even participating in professional events, these games offer a refreshing break from traditional stroke play and create memorable moments on the course. With a wide variety of games available, there’s something for every skill level and preference. From strategic decision-making to friendly competition, side golf games add an extra layer of engagement and entertainment to your rounds. So, the next time you tee off, don’t forget to spice up your golf outing with a thrilling side game that will have everyone teeing off with enthusiasm and forging stronger bonds along the way. Get ready to elevate your golfing experience and create lasting memories with your loved ones through these exciting side golf games.

So, the next time you hit the links, consider adding a side golf game to your round. Whether it’s the strategy of Wolf, the teamwork of Alternate Shot, or the excitement of Skins, these games will undoubtedly take your golfing experience to new heights. Embrace the challenge, enjoy the friendly competition, and create unforgettable moments with your loved ones on the fairways. Happy golfing!

Featured Image via Pixabay

 

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