Even though golf is a game you play for fun, you probably also like to play against your friends. Having a friendly match with friends not only gives you a chance to show off, but it also makes you better. On Sunday afternoon, you probably won’t be playing for millions of dollars, but you can still spice up your game with a friendly bet. So, we’ve put together a list of all the golf games you can play, from the easiest and friendliest to the more complicated ones that could make or break your wallet, depending on how they go.
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When planning a game with your friends, it’s important to take into account everyone’s handicap to make sure everyone has an equal chance of winning. For example, if your handicap is 12 and your partner’s is 15, your partner should be given one stroke on the three hardest holes (holes with handicaps of one, two and three). On your scorecard, you can find the handicaps for each hole. This kind of game is called “net” scoring, while a match where no strokes are given is called “gross” scoring.
Most people in the United States play a game called “stroke play.” In stroke play, each player keeps track of their shots and adds them up at the end of the round. The winner is the person whose total score is the least.
In match play, each player keeps track of how many holes they have won against their partner. In the British Isles, golf is the most popular game, and each hole is played separately. If player A gets a score of 4 and player B gets a score of 6, player A is “one up.” In a golf match, the winner is the player who wins the most holes.
Stableford scoring is another way to keep track of a player’s score. Instead of strokes, points are used. A bogey is worth one point, a par is worth two, a birdie is worth three, an eagle is worth four, and a double eagle is worth five. The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
A best-ball format is a game for foursomes in which each player is on a team of two. On each hole, the team with the lowest score is the one that wins. For example, if player A gets a score of five and player B gets a score of four, the team’s score for that hole is four. Match play is a common way to play this game.
Scrambles are a fun game format that encourages low scores and can be played with anywhere from two to four people. Each player hits a tee shot to start, and the best shot is picked. Everyone hits from there, and the best shot is chosen again. This is done again and again until the ball is in the hole. This is a great way for a company to raise money or for a less serious tournament where the main goal is to have fun.
One of the hardest formats is the alternate shot. Two-person teams just take turns shooting until the ball goes into the hole. If player A hits the first shot, player B will hit the second shot. In the traditional format, one player starts on even holes and the other on odd holes. Alternate shot match play is a great format for foursomes when all players are of similar ability.
The Chapman format is similar to the alternate shot format, but there is a small difference. In a two-person team, each player tees off. The second shot from player B is then hit by player A, and vice versa. After choosing the best second shot, each shot is played in turn until the ball goes into the hole.
Nassau is a popular game that can be played between two people or between two teams of two people. Most often played using match play, the score on the front nine is worth one bet, the back nine score one bet, and the 18-hole total another bet.
Skins is a fun game for at least two people. A player has won a “skin” if he or she has a lower score on a hole than anyone else in the group. If two people have the same low score, the skin is moved to the next hole, making it worth two skins, and so on. At the end of the round, the player who has the most “skins” wins.
Bisque can be played by just two people or by many groups at once. As an alternative to “net” scoring, in which players get extra strokes compared to par on the hardest holes, “bisque” lets players choose which holes they want extra strokes on before the round. Stroke play scoring is used, and whoever has the lowest score after 18 holes wins.
Ones is a popular game for groups that get together to play every week. O.N.E.’s is a net game in which a player’s total score is found by adding up only the scores on holes whose names end in O, N, or E. (holes 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18).
This game is great for golfers who have a higher handicap or who sometimes have holes that go badly. The scores of the players are just the nine lowest numbers on their cards. It’s fun to play best nine with more than one group.
In triple six, which is a game for four people, each player plays a six-hole match with someone else. Player A and player B play against player C and player D for the first six holes, players A and C pair against players B and D for the next six holes and players A and D pair against players B and C for the final six holes. Best-ball is the most common way to score in this format.
In this 2-vs.-2 partners game, each hole has a total of 6 possible points: 2 for the low score, 2 for the low total, 1 for the closest to the pin in regulation, and 1 for a birdie. It’s called a “umbrella” if one side gets all 6 points. The number of wins goes from six to twelve, growing like an umbrella opening.