Variations of golf
are games or activities based on or similar to the game of golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....
, in which the player utilizes common golf skills. Some are essentially identical to golf, with only minor rules changes, while others are more distant and arguably not simple variations but distinct games. Other variations include contests or activities intended to help the player practice or reinforce skills, which may or may not have a competitive aspect. Most of the variations are played in non-professional settings, without the presence of officials and sometimes without strict adherence to official game rules. Some of the variations were created to level the playing field for players of varying skill levels to be able to compete. Often, the rules are in place to provide a structure for side-betting that is independent of the final "traditional" score.
In a skins game
A skins game is a type of scoring for various sports, most notably golf but also for curling and bowling.-LG Skins Game:There was an annual skins game for male professional golfers which takes place in November or December each year after the end of the official PGA Tour season. It is recognized by...
, golfers compete on each hole, as a separate contest. Played for prize money on the professional level or as a means of a wager for amateurs, a skin
, or the prize money assigned to each hole, carries over to subsequent holes if the hole is tied.
Stableford is a scoring system used in the sport of golf. Rather than counting the total number of strokes taken, as in stroke play, it involves scoring points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole...
points play (originated by Dr Frank Stableford, 1870–1959, was first used on 16 May 1932 at Wallasey Golf Club, Cheshire, England) the player gains points for the score achieved on each hole of the round or tournament (1 point for a bogey, 2 points for a par, 3 points for a birdie, 4 points for an eagle). The points achieved for each hole of the round or tournament is added to produce the total points score, and the player with the highest score wins.
- A foursome
A foursome, also known as alternate shot, is a type of match in the sport of golf.Golfers compete in teams of two, using one ball, and taking alternate shots until the hole is completed. Team members also take turns in teeing off on each hole, i.e...
(defined in Rule 29) is played between two teams of two players each, in which each team has only one ball
A golf ball is a ball designed to be used in the game of golf.Under the Rules of Golf, a golf ball weighs no more than 1.620 oz , has a diameter not less than 1.680 in , and performs within specified velocity, distance, and symmetry limits...
and players alternate playing it. For example, if players A and B form a team, A tee
A tee is a stand used to support a stationary ball so that the player can strike it, particularly in golf, tee ball, American football, and rugby.- Etymology :...
s off on the first hole, B will play the second shot, A the third, and so on until the hole is finished. On the second hole, B will tee off (regardless who played the last putt on the first hole), then A plays the second shot, and so on. Foursomes can be played as match play or stroke play.
- A four-ball
A Fourball match is a type of golf match used in match play competitions.A fourball match consists of two teams of two players competing directly against each other. All four golfers play their own ball throughout the round, and each hole is won by the team whose member has the lowest score...
(Rules 30 and 31) is also played between two teams of two players each, but every player plays his own ball and for each team, the lower score on each hole is counted. Four-balls can be played as match play or stroke play.
There are also popular unofficial variations on team play:
- In a scramble (also known as Ambrose), each player in a team tees off on each hole, and the players decide which shot was best. Every player then plays his second shot from within a clublength of where the best ball has come to rest, and the procedure is repeated until the hole is finished. In a champagne scramble, each player in a team tees off on each hole. The best drive is used and all players play their own ball from this spot.
- In best ball, each player plays the hole as normal, but the lowest score of all the players on the team counts as the team's score.
- In a greensome, also called modified alternate shot, both players tee off, and then pick the best shot as in a scramble. The player who did not shoot the best first shot plays the second shot. The play then alternates as in a foursome.
- A variant of greensome, often referred to as a gruesome, is sometimes played where the opposing team chooses which of their opponent's tee shots the opponents should use. The player who did not shoot the chosen first shot plays the second shot. Play then continues as a greensome.
Bingo Bango Bongo
Bingo Bango Bongo is a points-based game that can be played by two or more players or teams. In Bingo Bango Bongo, three types of achievements are rewarded with a point. The first player in a group to get his ball on the green gets a point (bingo). The player in the group whose ball is closest to the pin once all balls are on the green gets a point (bango). And the player in the group who is first to hole out gets a point (bongo). Lowest score on hole wins 2 points but,if 2 players tie all tie which means no points are given out. At the end of the game the player with the most points wins the money which comes from the other players in individual play or the other team. The amount of money can be a certain amount for 18 holes or for Team-play a certain amount for each hole.
A betting game whereby any player making par after having been in a bunker on the hole wins points or money. The bunker can be at any spot on the hole. But the particulars are really up to those playing the game.
Barkies, sometimes called Woodies or Seves (as in Seve Ballesteros), are paid automatically to any player who makes par on a hole on which he hit a tree. The value of a Barkie is determined before the round.
Arnies are side bets whose value should be determined prior to the round. They are won automatically by any golfer who makes a par without having managed to get his ball into the fairway. Named in honor of Arnold Palmer, who made quite a few "Arnies" in his time.
Wolf is one of the classic golf betting games for groups of four, but it gets a little complicated. Players rotate as the "Wolf." On each hole, the player designated as the Wolf has to choose whether to play 1 against 3, or 2 on 2; and if 2 on 2, then the Wolf has to choose a partner. The Wolf can win or lose more money by going it alone.
In the event there are only three golfers available, another version of this classic game can be played. Once per round, each player must call "Black Imjo Woofez". This enables the "Wolf" to score 8 points by scoring better than the score of his two opponents. In the event he does not score better, each opponent receives 4 points each. This is often considered the greatest risk/reward bet in golf. In addition to calling "Black Imjo Woofez", each player must also call "Black Imjo Woofez Dupont" once per round. Adding the "Dupont" variation allows the lone wolf to hedge his bet to a degree. While playing "Dupont", beating your two opponents gives you 6 points, and a tie will offer you 2. However, both opposing players will earn 6 points each for an outright win.
Aces and Deuces, or Acey Deucey, is a bet in which there is a winner, two modest losers, and one big loser on each hole. It's a game for groups of four, obviously. The low scorer on each hole wins a certain amount from each of the other three players; while the high scorer on each holes owes each of the other three.
The Nassau is three bets in one: low score on the front nine, low score on the back nine and low score over the full 18. The $2 Nassau is perhaps the most common bet among golf buddies.
Round Robin, also known as Hollywood or Sixes, is a betting game for groups of four that involves two members of the foursome teaming up against the other two. The catch is that partners rotate every six holes.
Criers and Whiners
Criers and Whiners is known by many different names, but the gist is the same: it's a game of mulligans for those players who are always crying and whining about that handful of shots they screwed up. "If only I could have hit that one again ..." The number of do-overs golfers get in Criers and Whiners is based on their handicap index.
Best in Show
Best in Show allows golfers to score points in up to six different categories. Before the round, each player should contribute an equal amount of money to a central pot.
On each hole, a player scores a point for driving in the fairway (not played on par-3's), hitting a green in regulation, or one-putting a green. One point is also awarded for having the longest drive in the group (obviously, not used on par-3's), being closest to the pin once all balls are on the green, and for having the lowest score on the hole (all players who tie for lowest score are awarded points).
After the round, the player who scored the most points in each category wins 10% of the pot, except for most holes won, which pays 20%. The player with the most points overall is deemed "best in show" and wins the remaining 30%.
Games based on golf have evolved as well.
Miniature golf, or minigolf, is a miniature version of the sport of golf. While the international sports organization World Minigolf Sport Federation prefers to use the name "minigolf", the general public in different countries has also many other names for the game: miniature golf, mini-golf,...
is a popular variation of golf, using only a putter in unusual, often comical situations. Examples include putting into a dragon's mouth or between the blades of a windmill
A windmill is a machine which converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Originally windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. In the course of history the windmill was adapted to many other industrial uses. An important...
or Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...
's legs. This mill/president combination featured in an episode of The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...
which climaxed with a grisly decapitation
for President Lincoln. More sedate miniature golf holes might require the ability to navigate through a skull's eye socket or over a see-saw. It is not uncommon to putt through a loop-the-loop or the portcullis
A portcullis is a latticed grille made of wood, metal, fibreglass or a combination of the three. Portcullises fortified the entrances to many medieval castles, acting as a last line of defence during time of attack or siege...
of a castle. Further examples include putting round a lighthouse and avoiding the rotating legs of an octopus. Some holes don't even have comical obstacles, employing merely the use of unusual gradients to negotiate. Some courses, especially those built with a limited budget and/or imagination, have few obstacles and undulations to overcome. Regardless, one can still garner much pleasure from these paltry courses by employing new rules such as ricocheting the ball off a pre-determined number of walls before holing out. In these cases the potential for great amusement is limited only by the competitor's enthusiasm. Apart from that featured in The Simpsons, celebrated miniature golf courses include those found in:
- Overboard (1987 film)
Overboard is a 1987 American romantic comedy film starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It was directed by Garry Marshall, produced by Roddy McDowell and loosely inspired by the 1974 Italian film Swept Away...
, which cleverly incorporated the 7 Wonders of the World
Various lists of the Wonders of the World have been compiled from antiquity to the present day, to catalogue the world's most spectacular natural wonders and manmade structures....
- The Tee Off, Mr. Bean episode of Mr Bean.
- The Entertaining Father Stone episode of Father Ted
Father Ted is a comedy series set in Ireland that was produced by Hat Trick Productions for British broadcaster Channel 4. Written jointly by Irish writers Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan and starring a predominantly Irish cast, it originally aired over three series from 21 April 1995 until 1 May...
which saw Father Stone struck by lightning after the windmill fell over.
Other variations of golf include Speed golf
Speed Golf is a sport started in California in 1979 by American runner Steve Scott and which involves completing a golf course in the lowest combination of strokes and time...
which is a combination of golf and running played with a limited number of clubs.
Games similar to golf using items other than clubs and a golf ball have also been created, including Dart Golf
Dart Golf games are games in which darts are thrown at traditional dart boards or dart boards that resemble golf courses with colored areas that represent a golf course. Dart golf games use golf-like rules and scoring...
Sholf is a game that is a cross between table shuffleboard and golf. Players take turns putting golf balls into scoring zones printed on a putting green.-Game play:...
and Disc Golf
Disc golf is a disc game in which individual players throw a flying disc into a basket or at a target. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, "The object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc." Of the more than 3000...