Parkwood Area Retired
Golf Group


Competition Variations

If you're interested. there is a  wide variety of ways we can introduce a little "competition" into our matches. Here are just a few examples:

Stroke Play
Stroke Play is the most common form of competition. In stroke play, every player (or team) competes all 18 holes and counts the total number of strokes and the person (or team) with the lower total score wins.

Match play
In match play, two players (or two teams) play every hole as a separate contest against each other. The party with the lower score wins that hole, regardless of how many shots he won the hole by. If the scores of both players or teams are equal the hole is "halved" (tied). The game is won by that party that wins more holes than the other.

Each player in a team (of two, three or four players) tees off on each hole and the players decide which shot was best. Every player then plays his second shot from that spot and the procedure is repeated until the hole is finished. This type of competition is popular with golf groups. Texas Scramble is a variation in which a set number of drives of each member of the team must be used during the course of the round. In this way, both individual play and team play are rewarded.

Bingo Bango Bongo

It doesn't sound like a name for a golf game but it is always a favorite. A player receives one point for each of the following:

  • Bingo - First one onto the green
  • Bango - Closest to the pin (once everyone is on the green)
  • Bongo - First one in the hole

The player to accumulate the most points wins. Losing player pay money to the winner (ex. 10-cents a point). This fun thing about this game is that your final golf score is irrelevant, and the game is not necessary won by who can golf the lowest score. A perfect game to play when you have a group that has a mix of skill levels.


Wolf is a game in which the players in a foursome establish a tee off order on the first tee and rotate that same order throughout the round. The player that tees off first is the Wolf. The players take turns playing the Wolf based on the rotation of the established tee off order.

The Wolf has the following options:

  • Choose one of the other three players as a partner for the hole (see example below), or
  • Play the hole alone against the other three players.

The Wolf would tee off first. The second player in the rotation tees off next. Based on the results of the second players drive, the Wolf has the option to select the second player as a partner or pass. (Here is where the strategy begins). Once the third player hits their tee shot, the second player is no longer eligible as a partner for the Wolf. Likewise, once the fourth player hits their drive, the third player is no longer eligible as a partner for the Wolf.

Once the fourth player tees off, the Wolf must select the fourth player as a partner for the hole, or play the hole alone against the other three players.

Points are earned as follows:

  • Winning team:  2 points each player
  • Wolf plays alone and wins: Wolf earns 3 points
  • Wolf plays alone and one player beats Wolf: All players earn 2 points except Wolf.
  • No Points earned for ties.

If you enjoy games that involve strategy, try Wolf. It will become one of your favorites.

A foursome is played between two players in partnership, playing one ball which they hit alternately. One tees off on the odd numbered holes, the other on the even holes, regardless of who played the last putt on the first hole. The other shots are played in turns until the hole is finished. Foursomes can be played under match play or stroke play rules.

Teams need to put some thought into who drives which holes. Do the holes that require a good carry tend to be odd or even? Put your long hitter on those tees. Do the par-threes fall on the odds or evens? Put your target hitter on them.

Foursome is an excellent game. It really brings a team together, for better or worse. It's also a fast game, as players tend to walk ahead of their partners in a leapfrog fashion. The popularity of this format is one of the main reasons golf is played faster overseas.

Four ball
The same as foursome but each player plays with his own ball and the better score of the team counts. Four-balls can be played as match play or stroke play.

A variation of Foursome where both teammates of each team make a tee shot and each team selects which one they prefer. The player whose ball was not selected, then plays the second shot and all future even-numbered shots on this hole, the other teammate playing all further odd-numbered shots.

The six first holes are played in Four-ball, the next six in Greensome and the last six in Foursome. The final count of strokes is calculated as in Foursome.

A variation of Four Ball where each player hits a tee shot and swap positions to hit the second ball (each player of the same team hit their teammate's ball), whereafter they decide which of the two balls they choose to play for the remainder of the hole. The other ball is picked up. Once the best position is selected, the teammates alternate strokes until holing out. Also called "Pinehurst".

Type of match play game in which each hole is worth a given amount of points or money, which you can win only by winning the hole outright. If the best score for the hole is achieved by more than one player it's a "half" (tie) and the money or points are carried over to the next hole, making all subsequent holes potentially worth considerably more. In the event that two or more golfers halve (tie) the final hole, a playoff begins until one golfer wins a hole outright.

Round Robin

Round Robin, or "6,6,6" as it is sometimes called, is played in foursome in which the two player teams change partners after every six holes.

The round is divided into three 6-hole matches which allows each player to play with a different partner in each of the three matches. A "payoff" system can be agreed upon before teeing off.

Twosome Best Ball

This game is played with two players on a team, each playing their own ball. The team is allowed to use the lowest of their two scores on each hole.


This game is played in a foursome with two players on each team. The teams remain the same throughout the entire round. The round is divided into three segments of six holes each. The type of game changes after each six hole segment.


  • The first 6 holes could be a two player best ball.
  • The next 6 holes could be low ball- low total.
  • The last 6 holes could be played as a two person scramble.

This is a format which allows the players to experience a variety of games during the round.

This game rewards the player that manages to stay OUT of trouble! Trouble is a point game in which your actual score isn't relevant, at least not directly. The goal is to collect the least number of "trouble points" possible during a round. Players shoot for a set amount per point (say 50-cents). Thus, at the end of a round a player accumulating three (net) trouble points owes each of his opponents $1.50.

Points are assigned as follows:

  • Out of bounds - 1
  • Water hazard - 1
  • Bunker - 1
  • Three-putt - 1
  • Leaving ball in bunker - 2
    (Take an additional two points if you leave the ball in again and so on.)
  • Hitting from one bunker to another - 2
  • Four-putting - 3
  • Whiffed ball - 4

A player can erase all the points accumulated on a given hole by making par. At the end of the round, simply net all the points against each other and settle up.

Trouble is an excellent game for the intermediate player. Often, such players are feeling pretty smug as their handicaps drop, and they need to be taken down a notch or two. Trouble encourages smart golf (again, not to be confused with fun golf) and might just produce a surprisingly low round for all those would-be daredevils out there.

Here are some Internet links to even MORE fun ways to play golf. Look some of these over. If you find one that sounds like fun, let Jerry know, and he'll suggest it to the group.


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