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Golf Games Explained

How to play 'Wad': The golf gambling game that rewards making putts


Andy Lyons

Golf Games Explained is exactly what it sounds like. You want to mix it up and try something new for once? Well, someone has to do the thankless work of playing different golf formats and telling you if it's worth it. You can thank me later.

Last week, we showed you how to play the putting game called "Snake," where the pot gets bigger and bigger for every three-putt from your group. As fun—and expensive—as Snake is, it can also get very toxic. Particularly if a player who hasn't three-putted all day ends up three-putting the last hole when the pressure is highest, thus getting stuck paying out the big pot because of all the other three-putts all day.

If negativity and poor putting is not your thing, than may we suggest "Wad," a game I just learned in Las Vegas (naturally) that actually rewards making putts, not missing them.

Number of players required: Wad could be played with two players, but in order to really spice things up, three or four players is the ideal amount.

Best for: Aggressive, clutch putters. People who like rooting for each other. "Vibes first" guys and gals. Birdie-makers.

How to play: First thing to do is to determine the amount of money each "Wad"-eligible putt is worth before the rounds starts. Let's call it $2 for the sake of this explainer. Now, a Wad-eligible putt is a putt that is at least the length of the flag stick or longer. Or, you could simply agree with the group that anything longer than six feet is eligible and then just eyeball it together for the rest of the round and agree on whether or not it's eligible. You want as many Wad-eligible putts as possible for maximum fun, so eyeballing and coming to an agreement each time is best, as opposed to laying out the flag stick to measure every putt and holding up the groups behind you.

@cpowers141 Chrissy explains how to play “Wad,” the game that rewards one-putts #golf #golftiktok #golftok #gambling #betting #games #money ♬ original sound - ChrissyDoes

Any time a player in the group makes a Wad-eligible putt, $2 goes into the pot, but the catch is that the putt has to be your FIRST putt on the green, and it can be for any score, which keeps everyone alive on each hole. A 10-foot putt for a triple-bogey 7 and a 35-footer for a par would both be Wad-eligible so long as they are the player's very first putt on the putting surface. Putts from the fringe only count if you make them. If you miss a putt from off the fringe and it rolls out to a Wad-eligible range, the next can count since that's technically still your first putt on the green. Chip-ins would also count towards the Wad pot. If any Wad-eligible putt is made for a birdie, you double the amount that goes into the pot. So a birdie would be $4 toward the pot.

In order to win Wad, you have to be the very last person to make a Wad-eligible putt, which is very similar to Snake, which punishes the final three-putter of the round. Only in this case, you win the money as opposed to having to fork it over. The best part? In Wad, if the final pot is $20, every other player in the group has to pay you $20 separately. So you would take away $60 in a foursome if you win Wad. This creates a very exciting, aggressive putting environment as opposed to a defensive one like Snake.

The final catch - on the last three holes, the Wad-eligible putts have to be for net par or better in order for you to win. A 10-footer four double bogey on the last would not win you the game (unless you are getting two shots). However, if no one makes a Wad-eligible putt on the last three holes, whoever made the most-recent Wad-eligible putt, be it a double bogey putt on the 15th green or a putt for a 9 on the 12th green, would be the winner.

Variations: Considering I personally just learned the game and was not given any variations of it by the person who taught me, I'm not sure there are any other than upping the bet amount or making birdies, pars, bogeys and "others" all worth different amounts. If you've ever heard of "Wad" and know of any other fun variations of it, don't hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter/X @Cpowers14.