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Golf is one of the most amazing games discovered in human history. Hundreds and thousands of people all across the globe are golf players (though personally we prefer to call players like us golf addicts or avid golfers). There are people for whom golf is the only comic relief (as Shakespeare would have said) between their hectic work routine and home life. For some, golf is the platform through which they judge their physical and analytical faculties. For others, golf is a sport which can be replaced by none; and consequently, you might want some tips on golf games to play on the golf course to spice things up a bit. We are sure you fall into one of these categories of golf lovers. (If you weren’t why would you be here in the first place?).
But even if you love the game, there is a chance the game can become stale from time to time. (Golf isn’t the only thing that gets boring of course, it’s the same with everything). Without any new competition or spice, the game can feel like you are swatting balls all day long in a big chunk of green land.
Does that mean you ought to chuck away your golf clubs in your junk yard and look for a new distraction, since old and boring can only be remedied by new and exciting ones? If you are a golf addict like us, your heart would actually sink on the prospect of parting with your beloved golf clubs and your beloved game no matter how weary and boring it may get after some time.
Since we know how that can feel, we have come up with the perfect solution to add the perfect amount of spice, intrigue, competition and excitement in your golf games. We have a number of tricks (or maybe we should say golf games) up our sleeve that are wonderful to be played on the course, no matter how many players there might be.
If you are tired of your usual stroke plays and want to keep things moving (scratch moving, if you want to rock up things) then just keep reading below and get acquainted with amazing innovations in the domain of golf. Pull up your socks and let the fun begin!
For the Solitary Player
We have a number of golf formats for individual players too which are fun and exciting that we thought we’d start with. The beauty of golf is that even if you are the only one playing, the game has the potential of livening up and making the evening (or morning, whenever you prefer to play) a blast for you.
1. Herman and Sherman
Herman and Sherman is a very popular game in which primarily you would be playing two holes with a draw followed by two with a fade. See how the nice name complements the game’s nice strategy. Also, if you are planning to play a tight course, then make sure that you take lots of extra balls with you.
2. Worst Ball
You, my dear, are your own competitor in this game (make sure to eye yourself angrily the next time you come across a mirror). This golf game works by playing two balls, however, only the ball that scores the highest is counted.
For the Twosome
This in other words means that we would be listing down golf games for a bi-player format. Let’s start with the most classic game of all.
Singles is played while paying heed to the handicap difference.
Handicap or net basis may be deployed for awarding points in this game. The awarding scale goes like this:
5-------Albatross----------------You nailed it man!
1--------Bogey-------------------Could do better
Below Bogey--------------------Go Back Home
Skins is another very popular and rampantly played golf game on the course. What happens in this game is that each hole is synonymous to one skin. If you are winning the hole, you are winning the skin. However, if no one manages to claim victory to the hole, then the next hole is equated to the worth of two skins. This process continues until someone manages to pull through the pressure putt. You could either play on the basis of handicap difference or off scratch.
It’s spring time! Oh darn no, it’s String time! Make sure your scissors are with you.
You would not be making handicap strokes in this golf game. For every shot you make, you would be given a piece of string. Measure up the distance moved and then move the ball by cutting a piece out of the foot of string given to you according to the measurement.
This string comes in real handy. It could be used to hold out, to remove your ball from the vicinity of any hazard, and other such purposes. You might be able to avail the opportunity of getting hold of an extra piece of string on scoring a birdie.
Three is the Magic Number
Skins can be played in a three-player format just as it was played formerly in the two-player format. The only difference being the increase in number of players.
The same is true for stableford as well. The basic playing strategy would remain the same in both formats, despite the increase in number of players.
String ball also stays the same for any number of players.
4. Split Sixes
Each hole comes with six points. The first one to get it would be able to lay claim to 4 points, whereas the runner up gets two points. The third however ends up with no points. There could also be a possibility that after the first outright win, the remaining two players get the hole simultaneously so that the scoring grid now would be something like 4-1-1.
If there is no sole outright win, many people favours that two players get the hole together rather than the scoring end up being 3-3-0.
Murphys is very similar to Stableford; it is the better refined and a little modified sibling of the two. The only difference between the two games is the difference in their scoring points.
Experience being a chairman at least for a few hours on your golf course! If your net score is the lowest then you become the chairman of the hole. Another lowest net score would enable the chairman to win the hole. The more holes you win, the more likely are your chances to win the game.
However, if there happens to be a tie between both players, both having the same net score; then in order to ensure equality the present chairman would also take over the next hole.
I always imagine Casper, the friendly ghost, when playing this game; and it also happens to be one of my favorite ones, since you play with 3 real players and one ghost player. (Scared my friend? No need to be. This ghost player is an imaginative one).
One player is elected who befriends the ghost player. The ghost player being a pro successfully pars every hole. The ghost player can play off scratch. Also, he has to give shots to all the other players as well. This game is best played if the Ghost player pairs with the highest handicapper.
Four People Party
If risk is your thing, then this is surely your game. The four players are divided into teams of two. Their scores are also added together which implies that if each of them managed to score fours then the total score awarded would be 44. This happens when both of the teams have the same scores, however, what to do if the teams end up with different scores?
In this case, the team’s performance and how they made it to the par is taken into consideration. The lowest score is given to that team which gets a par, however, the highest total is given to the team which had both players above par. The money is given to the lowest total, but the game comes with many other swings and perks too.
Are you a person who favors binaries? If yes, then High-Low is your game. The players have to pair for the game, however, the ball is played individually by each person. The best point is awarded to the pair which has the lowest score, so lower scores would help you win a point over each hole.
However, it is not only the lowest scores that fare well. In contrast, the highest score from both the pairs also gets another point. But what if there is a tie between the high and low scores? If such an instance happens then no scores are awarded on that ball. The ultimate winner would be the team that has the most points.
3. Four Ball-Aggregate
Four Ball-Aggregate, as the name itself indicates, is a combination of the scores of four balls. There are two teams and each player plays his/her ball individually, but later a combined score is given to the team. You might be wondering on which basis the team score is given. Handicap difference together with net scores for individual players are used to get the combined score for the team.
4. Four Ball-Better Ball
If the name is making you think that fourball is the better ball then your primary understanding of the game’s name has to be revised (not saying that foursomes aren’t better, they are the best rather). This match play has two teams that play on their own and then for each hole ‘the better score’ is taken into consideration.
5. American Foursomes
Now that we have said that foursomes are the best, let’s look at foursomes named after the country of their origin or where they are played most frequently. In this golf game, shots are played by both players to their partners while both of them drive as well. This is followed by the decision regarding which balls have to be played.
6. Canadian Foursome
This foursome is also similar to the former one since the decision about which balls have to be played comes later once the players have driven their shots.
7. Scotch Foursome
Scotch foursomes have all the qualities of your usual foursome, however, what it differs in is its alternate shots. Bluntly put, if the first player is driving the shot to the first hole then the next hole would be done by the second player and so on.
8. St. Andrews Foursomes
This foursome is a game of odds and even. In basics, it is similar to all other foursomes, however, player A would take care of all the holes which are even-numbered, whereas player B would drive shots to all the holes that are odd-numbered. Both players would be driving and simultaneously they would also choose the best drive so that the appropriate player can play on it.
Gruesomes are just another foursome, however, the difference lies in the fact that once you have driven the shots, it wouldn’t be you who chooses the drive to play on, rather it is your opponent who does that for you.
If you lag behind in this golf game you are sure to end up empty-handed. No matter how many strokes you play, points are awarded on the basis of your closeness to the hole.
3 points----very close to the hole
2 points----next to the closest player
1 point------next to the player with 2 points
Very far away from the hole----0 points
At the end, the winner is declared after combining all the points for 18 holes.
Shambles is also a modified version of a foursome. However, once both the players have driven their shots, the best tee spot is chosen by them and this is the spot from where they would play ball for the hole’s completion.
Outing Golf Games
1. Bingo, Bango, Bongo
You may also come across a variant name of the game i.e. Bingo, Bango, Bunco. This is the best playing format so far for a group that comprises of individuals having different playing abilities. The scoring is done on the basis of first not finals (no more finals, yaay). The firsts include the first player who gets to the green, the first player who manages to get closest to the hole, the first player who putts etc. This format would ensure a very exciting day ahead for you and a game in which every player feels included.
2. Texas Scramble
Here the players are divided into groups (each group comprising of three or four players). All players drive shots and then select the best one. The point of the best shot is marked and this is the point from where the next shots are going to be hit. The procedure is repeated until finally you hole out.
3. Bloodsome Scramble
This golf game is similar to Texas Scramble in its basics; the only difference lies in the fact that the best shot is not selected, rather the worst one is.
Bisque is an exciting game which can add spice to your ordinary stroke play, match play, and even stable ford. What happens in this game is that the players are given the authority to nominate anytime when they would be taking their handicap strokes. It is important to nominate the strokes, before the hole is actually played.
In Pink ball, teams are made of three or four players. Each player plays his/her own. However, the ‘pink ball’ is played by merely one of them. The score of the pink ball is combined with the score of the other best three balls. The aggregate score which is the lowest and the pink score which is the lowest wins the money. However, it is important to know that losing the pink ball means you are no longer in the game.
You could have a side bet on scoring of a par and putting once on the green. The catch being that you don’t hit the fairway.
Get ready to act as a dunce if you somehow manage to get the worst scores on each hole. There is a special dunce hat for this purpose (go for the silliest ones possible since the sillier, the merrier). The player would have to sport this hat for the rest of the evening.
Buckshot is similar to Dunce since the player also has to wear the designated silly headgear. However, it is not on the basis of worst scores, but on the basis of the tee shot.
If you fail to make your way out of the bunker, you end up with a penalty.
A metoo is the golf game where you swap your shot with that of another player in your group. The players can jointly decide the number of allowed metoos during each hole.
6. Portuguese Caddy
This is where the players have the authority to move the ball around by kicking it without receiving any penalty for it. Just as the number of metoos have to be decided upon, similarly the number of Portuguese caddies allowed to one player in each round should also be decided upon prior to the game.
Ferrets is the game where you manage to hole out of the green without the help of your putter.
8. Golden Ferret
It is a golden ferret if you manage to get out of a bunker and its weightage is double to that of a normal ferret.
Golf Games to Play on the Golf Course: The Final Game
There you have it! This article, though, is by no means a complete directory of these games. There is a myriad of other games out there as well. However, we did try to introduce you to the basic playing formats out there. You may have been acquainted with the games given under these formats previously as well. If yes, then this article should be a reminder for you to incorporate these exciting games in your golf routines. If you didn’t know them beforehand, then try them out and experience the competitive fun which they bring along.