Playing golf with your buddies is always a good time. Taking shots, putting for birdie, cracking jokes are all part of an 18-hole round. A popular way to add a little spice to the game is to bet on the golf round. Having a gentleman's wager on a game is common. Just don’t be on the losing end or you’ll never hear the end of it. If you aren’t sure about what game to try next, here are our selections of fun golf bets to have with your buddies.
One of the more popular games, Skins is a simple match style play. How it works is each hole is worth a number of “skins.” You can set each hole the same value of skins or escalate it depending on how you want to play. Let’s say holes 1-17 are worth 10 skins and the last hole is worth 50. Then at the end of the match whoever has the most skins at the end wins the pot (whatever the amount you decide on). Also, holes can carry over skins value. For instance, if two players score par and the other two score a bogey, the next hole is worth 20.
This game is best played in a foursome where two golfers team up against the other two in the foursome. Every hole is match play and you hit the best ball your team can produce. So, if your teammate hits into the rough and you hit it down the fairway, your team would play from the better shot. The winning team with the lowest score in terms of strokes wins the game.
Best to Next is like the game Best Ball in which players take their own shots, but players play as a team. The one difference with this game is that ties are broken up by the highest individual score. This helps in tie-breaker situations. In a scenario where one team scores 4-4 and the other 4-5, the first team wins that hole.
Nassau is a simple game. What you do is you have separate wagers on the first nine, back nine, and the aggregate 18 holes. The lowest score for the front nine, back nine, and the overall 18 holes wins. What separates this game from normal match play is that players can press – meaning if players on the front 9 are two holes down by hole 6, they can press to end the current wager and create an additional wager for holes 7-9. It’s typical for players to press after being down by 2 or more.
One of the more fun games to play, Hammer is played as 1v1 or 2v2. You create a set pot for each hole ($10 bucks a hole for example). How it works is one player/team can “hammer” the other. The other player/team can either “fold” (and lose the wager/hole) or the hole doubles in value.
For example, let’s say the first team hits a shot in the trees off the first tee while team 2 hits it in the fairway. The second team would likely hammer it to $20, but if Team 1 then hits a shot out of the rough and is closer to the hole, they can then hammer back the other team and make it worth $40. It goes back-and-forth. If Team 2 then hits it to 8 feet from the hole and subsequently drains the putt, they would re-hammer Team 1 and make them drain their putt for $80.
It’s time to put your money where your mouth is. So, the next time you’re playing with your buddies, you can recommend one of these games and win the pot. And if you don’t happen to win the wager, you can always look like a winner wearing one of Proud 90’s golf polos.
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