10 Games to Spice Up Your Weekend Round
Whether you’re a scratch golfer or a 20 handicap, many golfers enjoy the rush of competition. There are many, many ways to spice up your golf round with friends – new or old. Here are 10 formats sure to add a bit of interest to your next tee time.
Skins: It’s up to you how much each hole is worth, but a Skins game can undoubtedly beef up the competitive pressure of your round. Each hole is worth a specific amount of money and the player with the best score wins that amount of money. The fun starts when a hole is not won and that total accumulates until the next hole is won. Larger skins games include tournament groups buying into the skins game with less of a chance to ‘win’ a skin but a much larger pool of money there for the taking.
Four Ball: One of the most popular team games, the four ball (better ball) is a team event that can be played in a match play format or stroke play. You and a partner play your own balls throughout the course. Your team score is the better score among partners on each hole. Four-ball events have gained popularity so much that the USGA will replace the annual Public Links championship with a national four-ball championship in 2015.
Stroke Play: The ‘original’ game can be spruced up during your weekend round by playing in either gross (scratch, no handicap strokes given) or net (handicap strokes given you even the field). Wagering of money, mortgages or other valuables are up to you!
Nassau: Turn your one weekend round of golf into three different games. Nassau games are netted, meaning handicap strokes are taken into account to determine stroke-play victors of the front nine, back nine and full 18. Three chances to win your money back!
Throw-Out: Golfers play separate scorecards and before tallying post-round, players are allowed to ‘throw out’ a previously-agreed upon number of holes. Have an eight or worse? No worries, it can’t ruin your round when playing ‘Throw-Out’.
3s, 4s & 5s: With handicap strokes given, the player with the most 3s, 4s or 5s on their scorecard wins. As you can see, birdies and pars are crucial in this interesting game.
Match Play: An oldie, but a goodie and perhaps the most competitive of games you can play on the weekend. Lowest score (net or gross) on each hole takes it. The player or teams with the most holes won wins (and drinks for free, likely).
Nutshell: Here’s this writer’s favorite. If you have time for 36, you can play an entire tournament in one day. The first nine is the stroke-play qualifier to determine seeds between you and seven of your friends. The back nine in the morning round is Round 1 with the semifinals and championship match played after lunch. Warning, may cause back pain.
Dots: This is a foursome, broken down into two teams. Instead of score against par or match play, teams are given ‘dots’ for being the longest drive in the fairway, being the first to reach the green, closest on approach, one-putting, taking the lower score on the hole. The team with the most dots at the end of the round wins.
Scramble: A favorite format of many a charity tournament, the scramble is played in teams of two, three or four with each player hitting off the tee and the team hitting from the best spot until the hole is finished. Some outings stipulate that each player must have a certain amount of shots used. Any way you slice it, this is a fun team event that keeps pace of play moving regardless of golfer skill level.