There are a lot of fun games for golfers, no matter how many are in your group.
Games for Individuals
Here are some fun golf games you can try when playing by yourself.
Play 2 balls on every shot, selecting the best ball from each. This gives you more repetition, making for good practice while playing. You could even add a third ball, but be careful not to interfere with other golfers if you start taking too long.
Herman & Sherman
Opposite of Best Ball, play 2 balls on every shot and select the worst shot. This makes for a challenging round. It can help force you into focusing on execution.
Golf Games for Multiple Players
Whether you have 2 players or up to 8 golfers, you’ll find some fun games on this list.
Match play can be done as a 1-v-1 or in a team format. Players or teams will compete head-to-head on a per-hole basis. Every hole is treated individually. The player, or team, that finishes a hole with a better score will win the hole. Whoever wins the most holes after 18 is the winner.
You can read more about Match Play and tips to win here.
Now that you know how match play is handled, pick up sticks allows you to take clubs from your opponent when you lose a hole. This starts to level the playing field a bit. When the player who has lost a club loses a hole back to you, they get to take any one of their clubs back.
There is definitely a bit of strategy with this game and knowing your opponent. Some variations exist where players will make the putter off-limits.
Stableford is a popular format in the UK. You can play as individuals or as teams. Points are awarded depending on how well you score on a hole. 1 point for a bogey, 2 points for a par, 3 for a birdie, 4 for an eagle, and 5 for a double-eagle.
The player, or team with the highest points at the end of the round wins. One of the cool things about this format is – it sort of removes blow-up holes. If you had a triple-bogey in stroke play for example, that is a big impact on your score. With Stableford, you just miss out on one point.
Nassau can be played in a group of 2 or more. Typically a side-bet will be made on each of the 3 parts of this game. Firs nine holes, back nine, and overall. The player with the lowest score in each of these 3 parts wins the individual bet.
Bingo Bango Bongo
Another game that can be played in groups of 2 or more. Each hole has three points up for grabs, and the person with the most points at the end wins. 1 Point is awarded for each of the following.
First on the green
The person closest to the pin after everyone is on the green
The first ball to be sunk
This game can be fun for players of any skill level playing together.
Say you had two bogies and carried the first one, that would be 5 for the first hole, 10 for the second hole and a total of 15 banked.
A skins game can be played with just a couple of players, all the way up to a full league. Each hole can potentially have a skin. The player with the lowest score on a hole wins the skin. If there is a tie, the skin carries to the next hole. To win a skin, you need to be the only player to have the best score on a particular hole.
During tournament or league play, skins are normally competed for by flight, or players with similar skill level.
Normally played with teams of two, each player will tee off and the best ball will be selected. From there, each player will play the rest of the hole with their own ball. You add up all strokes taken for each hole for the team score.
The player with the lowest score becomes the chairman and they will remain chairman until another player beats them on a hole. A tie goes to the current chairman. The objective is to hold the title for the most holes.
Nines is a game for 3 golfers. Each hole is worth nine points. Points are awarded based on score. If all 3 players tie a hole, each is awarded 3 points. Lets say there is a birdie, par, and bogey. Birdie will get 5, par 3, bogey 1. Or, birdie, par, par – 5-2-2 is awarded.
Criers & Whiners
AKA No Alibis – During the round, you get to replay the same number of strokes as your handicap. So if you are a 10-handicap, you get to play 10 shots over. But the catch is, when you decide to use one, you must use the 2nd shot.
Let it Ride
Players can earn points from each hole outright.
Bogey = 5
Par = 15
Birdie = 30
Eagle = 30
Instead of taking the points after a hole is complete, they can choose to “let it ride” on the next hole. Point values are doubled on each subsequent hole, a double bogey causes all carried points to be lost.
So for example, say you carry a bogey worth 5 points, a bogey on the next hole would be worth 10 point, pay 30 and so on. You can bank points any time after finishing a hole. When you bank points, you are banking the sum of each hole.
Good luck on the golf course!