Ten Great Golf Gambling Games
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7. BOUNCE BACK
PERFECT FOR: Shaking off bad holes
DESCRIPTION: Among the many side bets, this one is my favorite because it rewards players who don't give up. Essentially, any time a player follows up a double bogey or worse with a par or better on the next hole, they win a point (dollar value determined in advance by your group). Any time a player makes back-to-back double bogeys or worse, they lose a point.
8. LET IT RIDE
PERFECT FOR: Hardcore gamblers
DESCRIPTION: Players earn points for making a bogey or better on a hole. A typical point distribution would be 5 for a bogey, 15 for a par, 30 for a birdie and 60 for an eagle (better groups can start with par as the first point-eligible score). After earning points on a hole, the player has the option of banking the amount or "letting it ride," meaning the point total can still grow on subsequent holes. The point totals double for every hole that they aren't banked. So a bogey on a second consecutive hole would now be worth 10 and a par would be worth 30 and so on. However, if a player elects to let his or her points ride and a double bogey or worse is made, the player's total points not banked goes back to zero. Banked points can't be taken away and are credited at the end of the round. The players with the highest point totals are paid a predetermined amount for every point they have earned in relation to the other players. This is a great game for golfers who are streaky and also for golfers who love to gamble. Think about it: If you make back-to-back birdies without banking, you'll have earned the equivalent of making 18 bogeys earned at 5 points each.
9. PICK-UP STICKS (BAG RAID)
PERFECT FOR: Twosomes or foursomes looking to break up the monotony of their usual games.
DESCRIPTION: This is a standard match-play competition with a little twist. When a golfer or team wins a hole, they "remove" a club from the opponent or opponents' bags. That means the other team can't use that club for the rest of the round. This continues until the match is decided. A variation of this game allows a team to reinstall clubs to their set if someone on the team makes net birdie or better to win a hole. Things can get really creative and shotmaking becomes a bigger part of the round when certain clubs are eliminated. Obviously, the putter should be first to go.
PERFECT FOR: Improving shot selection and course strategy
DESCRIPTION: Instead of rewarding players for good play, golfers are given points for their mistakes. The players with the lowest point totals are paid a predetermined amount for every point less they have in relation to the other competitors. This can be a side-bet game or the group's main wager. A common point allocation: Hitting a ball in a bunker (1); Hitting into the water (2). Hitting out-of-bounds (3). Three-putting (1). Four-putting (4). Duffing a tee shot (1). Points can also be subtracted for stellar play such as making birdies, holing long putts or stiffing shots from off the green, etc. This is a great game to learn course management and how to stop taking unnecessary risks.