As if golf were not enough fun all on its own, there are ways to make the game even more interesting and exciting.
Golf has been known as a place to create side games and side bets since it started.
There are many ways to play the game and some entertaining formats to play between teams.
If you want to shake things up this week during your regular round of golf, think about changing up the format.
Even if all the players in your group like to play their ball from tee to green, there are still ways to add some extra fun games to the round.
We came up with more than thirty golf games for you.
Each of these can be played in so many different variations, it may take a little trial and error to find the right match for your foursome.
30+ Fun Golf Games for the Course
1. Alternate Shot
Alternate shot formats can have a lot of different names.
They can be played with two golfers and sometimes even three.
Most commonly, an alternate shot format will consist of both players teeing off, choosing the best drive, and then alternating into the hole from there.
The alternate shot format may have rules about alternating tee boxes as well.
2. Best Ball
The best ball format is a standard tournament format where the best score for each hole is chosen as the team score.
Many people confuse the best ball with a scramble, but they are two different things.
The best ball tournament can be played with two people, three people, and even four people.
Some golf tournaments will want two best ball scores per hole, and others will just want the one.
The best ball format can have different variations, as well.
3. Bingo Bango Bongo
There are three ways to earn points if you are playing Bingo Bango Bongo.
You earn a point if you are the first to get on the green.
You earn a point for being the closest to the hole when everyone is on the green.
Lastly, you earn a point for being the first one in the hole.
There are three points given out on each hole, and at the end of the round, the points are totaled to see who the winner is.
Bingo Bango Bongo is fun because it does not require handicaps, and it helps players to focus on their short game and getting the ball in the hole.
Chairman is a fun golf game you will see played in a lot of country club matches.
The first player to win a hole outright becomes the Chairman.
If the Chairman wins the next hole, then they get the point from the other players.
This format continues with all players trying to collect as many points as they can throughout their round.
The Chairman format works best when using handicaps to make it fair.
It is hard to gain Chairman status and even harder to keep earning points as the Chairman.
This game will teach golfers how to handle pressure in golf.
The foursome is another way of saying an alternate golf shot match.
In the foursome format, players will split up into groups of two.
They will alternate shots right from the start of play.
If player A hits the drive off the first hole, then player B will hit the approach to the green.
This format is continued throughout the round.
Since only one ball is in play, the one score at the end of each hole will count as the team score for that hole.
6. Fourball Aggregate
A fourball aggregate format usually refers to a partner-type Stableford event.
Two players will be paired together as a team.
These players will then play a Stableford format where they get points for each of their shots.
When the hole is finished, the total of the points for all members of the team are added, and that is the team’s score.
This team will play against the other team in the foursome, or they will play against the rest of the field.
Ghost is a format used when there are three players, but there really should be four.
The fourth player is essentially a ghost, and they are considered to be a scratch golfer.
The ghost will par every hole and give other players shots based on this being their handicap.
Greenies are a side bet which is decided on before a round starts.
Players come up with a dollar amount for a greenie.
A greenie is when a player gets up and down from anywhere around the green.
Depending on how your group likes to play this format, the greenie could be only when you are inside 100 yards, or up and downs from anywhere on the course may qualify.
Greenies are not paid out at the end of each hole. Instead, they are paid out at the end of the eighteen holes.
To play Greensomes, you will need to pick a partner.
Two people will play as a team, and they will both get to tee off.
After teeing off, they will pick the better of the two shots, and then they alternate into the hole from there.
If player A’s drive were chosen, then player B would hit from this spot.
Then player A would hit from the spot where player B’s shot landed.
The alternate shooting is continued until the ball is in the hole.
10. Mutt and Jeff
The Mutt and Jeff format is only going to take place on the par-threes and the par-fives.
The winner of Mutt and Jeff is the player who gets the lowest score on the par-threes and the par-fives during the round.
You can play this format with handicaps or without handicaps, but because of the par-fives being so long, it is fairer to play with handicaps involved.
Lagging has much more to do with your greenside play than the shots you have hit on the hole.
When everyone is on the green, the person who is closest to the hole gets three points.
The next closest player gets two points.
The next closest player gets one point, and the person farthest from the hole gets no points.
At the end of the round, whoever has the most points wins.
12. Match Play
Match play is an excellent way to play the game of golf where you win holes, but you don’t keep score.
If a player makes a bogey and the other person in the match makes a par, they will lose the hole.
The match is kept like this with golfers winning holes both up and down until they run out of holes.
Sometimes this will take a full eighteen, and sometimes it will take fewer or more than eighteen.
If a player is four up with only three holes to play, the match is over.
Sometimes match play can be faster than stroke play because, if a golfer has a bad hole, they will just move on to the next hole and count that one as a loss.
A Murphy is a bet named after a great golf professional by the name of Bob Murphy.
The Murphy means you have the confidence you can get the ball up and down from your current position.
If you declare a murphy, you are saying you will be able to get up and down.
If you succeed, the other players in the group owe you money.
If you don’t, you will end up owning them some money.
Be careful when you decide to declare a murphy!
A Nassau in golf is a bet.
The money is wagered for the best score on the front nine, the best score on the back nine, and the total as well.
Playing the Nassau format is fun because, even if you have a terrible nine, you are not out of the event.
You can have a great back nine and win the back nine and the overall.
Most of the time, the Nassau is played in match play, but it can be played in stroke play as well.
Sometimes when playing the Nassau format, a player will choose to press.
This is essentially a way to introduce another bet within the Nassau.
Although you may think that Nines is a format which has to do with players splitting up the nine holes, it is a points game.
On any given hole, there are nine points to earn.
The player who gets the lowest score gets five points.
The player with the second-lowest score gets three points.
And the player with the third-lowest score will get one point.
This is a format to play when you are a group of three people.
The format does not work for a foursome because the points don’t split up properly.
It is important to note that, if there is a tie, all three players get three points.
If two people tie for the top, then they get four points each, and the bottom gets one.
The Pinehurst format is a two-person format where player A and player B both hit their drives, and then they switch.
Player A will play from Player B’s location, and Player A will play from Player B’s location.
Then the players will play this golf ball into the hole.
There are several other ways to play this format, and you may hear it called a modified Pinehurst.
17. Portuguese Caddy
This game is certainly not going to be found within the USGA rules of golf.
With this format, each player is given a certain number of “foot wedges.”
A foot wedge is when a player kicks a ball out of a bad lie.
The better you are, the fewer foot wedges you get.
The higher handicappers should have more foot wedges to use than the lower handicappers.
18. Round Robin
Round Robin is a great way to get every person in the foursome a chance to be partners.
For the first six holes, the players will split into two groups and play a team-best ball format.
For the second six, the partners will switch, and then they switch again for the last six.
This is especially fun when golfers switch carts up as well, so you are riding with your partner every six holes.
Sandies are a side bet which gives a player an agreed-upon amount of money each time they get out of the bunker and then into the hole with one putt.
If you can get up and down from a fairway bunker or a greenside bunker, you get a sandie.
The Sandies are recorded, and at the end of the round, they will be totaled, and players will have to pay up.
A scramble is probably the most common format played in golf outings.
Scrambles are when all players tee off, then you can go to the best shot, and everyone will play from this spot.
This format is repeated until the ball gets into the hole.
Scrambles save time and make the game more fun for new golfers.
Six-Six-Six tournaments can be played in a variety of ways, but it essentially is a way to split the golf course into three sections.
There will be one format for the first six holes, one format for the second six, and a third format for the last six.
You can put all of these scores together at the end to come up with the tournament score.
Skins are a common way to play golf.
It is a bit similar to match play, but it is a stroke play format.
A golfer who has the lowest score on the hole wins a skin.
The skins are then taken away and earned back as each hole is played.
This is an individual golf format.
Snake is a simple game which deals with three-putts.
The golfers will all keep track of who has a three-putt on each hole.
If you are the snake, you are the last person to make a three-putt before the round of golf is over.
If you end up being the snake at the end of the game, you owe the other golfers money.
Snake is fun because it makes people focus on putting, and the last three-putt could happen at any time.
Stableford is a scoring system for golf.
Instead of counting the total number of shots you have hit, you will get points based on your scores.
Depending on where you are playing, the Stableford points can vary.
Most of the time, the golfer will get one point for a bogey, two for par, and three for a birdie.
If a player scores an eagle, they can get four points.
If you can’t score a point on a hole, you can pick it up and move on.
Stableford should be a faster format.
25. Stroke Play
Stroke play is the typical way to play a round of golf.
You can play a stroke-play match with your friends using handicaps or no handicaps.
It is entirely up to you, but if there is a large discrepancy in player skill level, you should use handicaps.
Wolf is a popular but somewhat complicated golf side bet.
This is a four-person game, and each player plays their own game.
If you are the winner of Wolf, you have won the most points during the round.
The teeing order is essential when playing Wolf.
You must have players rotate the teeing order.
The Wolf is always the last person to tee off.
As each player hits, the Wolf can decide if they want that player on their team or not.
If the player does not choose anyone, then they will have to score the lowest net score for the hole.
There is a point system in place where the Wolf gets the most points for winning the hole on their own, and other players get points for beating the Wolf.
This game takes a little bit of time to learn, but once you get the hang of it, it can be a lot of fun.
27. Worst Ball
Most people know that a standard scramble format allows players to go to the best shot and all play from there.
This format is continued until the ball gets in the hole.
If you decide to partake in the worst ball format, you would have to go to the worst shot on each hole and play the ball from there.
This format can take a while if you are playing with some novice golfers.
Be prepared to be on the golf course for quite some time.
Rabbit is a golf side bet.
Before you start the round, you will have to determine how much the Rabbit will get.
If you have the lowest score for the hole, you become the Rabbit.
You won’t lose that status until someone has a lower score than you do on a hole.
The person with the lowest score at the end of every hole earns the Rabbit.
The objective is to be the Rabbit at the end of nine holes and the end of eighteen holes.
29. Pick Up Sticks
This is a match play format that can be played in a few different ways.
The overall idea is that each time a player loses a hole, an opponent can choose one club from their bag that needs to sit out.
The player can earn this club back by winning another hole.
It’s played just like a match play tournament, but it gets quite exciting when a player loses their driver and their putter, and they need to win a hole.
30. Pink Ball
The pink ball format does not require a pink ball. You can use any color golf ball, as long as it stands out.
This is for an event played between two foursomes.
Players will alternate who plays with the pink ball on each hole.
At the end of the round, the totals of all the pink ball scores are added, and that is the team score.
You can do this so that only the pink ball score counts or maybe the pink ball and one other net score.
There are lots of variations.
31. One Putt
At the beginning of a round of golf, you can set a side bet for one-putts.
This is a simple side bet where any golfer who happens to have a one-putt throughout their round gets the point.
Each point will be worth a dollar amount.
At the end of the round, all points are paid up.