MIND & BODY

A Bro’s Guide to Gambling on the Golf Course

Golf Gambling

Very few articles I’ve seen have touched on one of the best aspects of playing golf: gambling. I know you can technically gamble on other sports as well, but if you bet your friend $50 on a game of 1-on-1 basketball, chances are it’ll turn into a UFC fight within 10 minutes. Some people argue that golf takes too long and is boring, which is why you should treat golf the same way you treat the random Colorado State-Nevada game on a late Thursday night and throw some money on it — just to give you a reason to care.

So here are some of the best gambling games you and your friends can play on a golf course. And if you’re not a gambler, my advice to you is just slugging enough beers to make your round tolerable, but not enough to where it leads to a sexual harassment lawsuit from the cart girl. I mean, c’mon bro, I know she’s hot but she’s like 19 tops and you’re a balding 29-year-old with a bulging waistline and a weird sense of humor. Just give her a nice tip and eye-bang her from a distance like a normal person.

Partner Match

I’ll start with the most popular form of golf gambling, the classic 2-vs-2 partner match. Ideally you want to make the teams as even as possible, and if you’re in a group with fairly serious golfers, you’ll all have official handicaps so you know how many strokes each person gets throughout the round. There are several ways you can gamble on a partner match, the most common being best ball, meaning whichever player gets the lowest score on a given hole, that team wins the hole and whatever the hole is worth (usually anywhere from $1-$10 per hole depending on how big of gamblers you are).

Golf Gambling

You can also play a combined score, where you add up your total team score against the other team’s total score. The downside to that is that one of the players can sit there hacking the ball six times out of the bunker and completely fuck it up for his partner who birdied the hole. In both match formats, if the hole is tied, the next hole is worth double, or in golf terms, a “carryover” hole. There are other wrinkles you can add to the match, which I’ll get to shortly.

Junk

And by shortly I mean now. The reason I list junk separately from the partner match is that sometimes people will only play junk and not a match, but most of the time it’s incorporated within a match on top of winning the holes. Junk basically means you get money for doing cool shit. Here are the most popular forms of junk:

  • Greenies – I think greenies are drugs too, but not here. In golf, a greenie is when you hit your tee shot onto the green on a Par-3 and make par or better. If an opponent (or teammate) also got it on the green off the tee, whoever is closer to the pin has the greenie opportunity. However, the person further away can steal the greenie if they make their birdie putt. If they do, the closer person can now re-steal if they make their birdie putt too. A greenie is usually worth one “dot”, which is whatever amount you guys agree on before the match. Got it? Good.
  • Sandies – In order to get a sandie, you have to get up and down from the bunker, while also making par or better. A sandie is usually worth one dot as well, but sometimes two because it’s a little tougher.
Golf Gambling
  • Par-Par – If both players on a team make par or better, it’s worth an extra dot. You’re also required to slow motion embrace like Rocky and Apollo on the beach in Rocky 3.
  • Birdies – If you don’t know what a birdie is, you probably didn’t click this article. Birdies can be worth anywhere from 2-4 dots depending on the quality of your group.
  • Eagles – If you’re playing with someone who made an eagle against you, go ahead and punch them in the dick. If they’re gonna be that good at golf, it’s not fair for them to be good at sex too.