19 Fun Golf Games For You To Try Out On The Course [Plus Bonus Games!]

Golf is a sport that has been around since ancient times. It’s also one of the oldest sports played today.

The game involves hitting a ball into a hole using clubs. There are several variations of the game, such as golf, mini-golf, and even golf video games.

Golf is a great way to spend time with friends or family. If you want to play golf at home, you can get a portable golf simulator.

These devices allow you to practice your swing without having to go outside.

If you’re looking for new ways to entertain your kids, then why not give them some fun golfing experience?

This comes as a surprise to many people, but there are numerous ways to enjoy golf. Whether you prefer playing alone or with friends, there are plenty of options out there. Some of them include:

Table of Contents

Single Player Golf Games

These particular games are perfect for people who tend to go to the golf course on their own and want to switch things up a little.

Best Ball

The name says it all. This game requires players to hit roughly 2 or 3 balls for each hole, and only count the best score of the balls that they hit.

You will need to make sure that you have enough space in front of you to hit these balls.

You can use this game to improve your accuracy because if you miss a shot, you won’t be penalized.

However, if you manage to hit the ball within the boundaries of the fairway, you’ll be rewarded with points.

Another thing about this game is that, as we mentioned earlier, this is a game that can be done by yourself. You don’t necessarily have to play against other people, which is perfect for those golfers who aren’t too keen on heated competition. 

Of course, if you want to play this game with other golfers, it isn’t hard to adapt the rules to more than one player. Simply compare the highest score between you, and you’ll have your winner!

Worst Ball

Yeah, this game is pretty much exactly as it sounds.

This is pretty much the exact opposite of the Best Ball game we described in the last section.

In this case, you will be taking the worst scoring ball of the several that you are playing with, and measuring your performance through that.

And that’s it! This is a great way to try and gauge how well the lower end of your skills is improving.

It’s important to remember that, while this is a solo game, you still need to keep an eye out for any errant shots that might take place. 

Herman & Sherman

This one can be considered a slightly more advanced game to play on the golf course, but that just means that there’s a little extra challenge involved! 

The game is done in sets of 4 different holes. All you have to do is draw shot holes 1 and 2. Holes 3 and 4 are then played with a fade shot from your club.

The goal here is to see how long it takes you to complete all four holes by using these two golfing techniques.

There are two different versions of this game available, both of which you can download more detailed rules for. One version is designed for a single player, and the other is for multiplayer.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and pick the version that suits you better!

Multiplayer Golf Games

The games mentioned from this point onwards are, as the heading suggests, made for more than two or more players.

Alternate Shot

This is another very popular game among golfers. It allows you to compete against other players at the same time, without having to worry about not being able to get out of your swing.

To play this game, you will need to choose a partner and then alternate between hitting the ball into the hole of their choice.

If you’re wondering why you should play this game, then let us tell you that it’s extremely fun and challenging.

You will find yourself trying to master the art of driving the ball into the green, where you will receive points for landing the ball on the correct spot.

If you happen to miss, then you will lose some points, so make sure that you pay attention to the line of the green when you’re aiming.

Whilst this is normally played with two golfers, this can be played with three people if you like.

Bingo Bango Bongo

Frank Sinatra-inspired name aside, this betting game is perfect if you enjoy having a game where scoring well isn’t the only determining factor in winning the game.

Instead, you will need to win by getting certain achievements that are set and decided before the start of a game, whilst the rest of the points will be given to the player that manages to get on the green around the hole first.

Third place will be awarded to whoever can get closest to the pin. Bets are made before a round starts and are paid out accordingly.

This gives you a chance to beat your opponent fairly, which makes it a lot more enjoyable than most other games on this list. This game is usually played with 3 or more golfers.

That’s all there is to it! Just make sure that you and your opponent agree beforehand on the number of balls that you’ll both need to putt.

Stableford

The Stableford game is an excellent way for you to test your skills on the golf course. You will need to try and get the best score possible by choosing the right kind of shot at each hole.

Each hole has a specific type of shot that you could use to achieve the highest score possible, and you will need to decide whether to go for power, accuracy, distance control, or even finesse shots.

The scoring system is simple for this game:

  • A bogey is 1 point
  • Par is worth 2 points
  • A birdie is 3 points
  • An eagle is 4 points
  • An albatross gets you 5 points!

You will also need to take into account the wind direction and strength, as well as any hazards that may lie in your path.

It’s important to note that you don’t always have to hit the ball straight, and you can aim to get as close to the hole as you possibly can.

Golden Ball

Another classic game from the golden age of golf, this game requires you to drive the ball into the hole using the least amount of strokes possible.

To do this, the players will rotate using a single golf ball that is considered the golden ball.

As soon as one player hits the ball, they must give up possession of the golden ball to their partner.

17 Golf Games For You To Try Out On The Course

However, once they’ve done so, they can no longer hit the ball again until they’ve used their turn.

After each player has used the golden ball 6 times over the course of the round. They will then switch roles, and the next person will take their turns.

When the last player has finished their turn, the total number of strokes taken will determine who wins the game. If someone takes fewer strokes than another, they will win the game.

In case of a tie, then the player who took the fewest strokes overall will win.

Skins

Skins is a fun game that allows you to play against yourself. To begin with, you will be asked to choose between two different clubs – one being a driver, and the other being a fairway wood.

Once you have chosen the club that you want to use, you will be shown a series of holes that you will need to navigate through and assigned a point value, whatever that might be.

As you progress through the rounds, you will see how many strokes you managed to complete along the way.

You will also be able to compare your results with those of other players. The points you earn on each hole will be carried over to the next hole.

If you manage to finish the round without hitting the ball into the water, trees, or sand traps, you will be rewarded with some extra points towards your final score.

Stringball

The rules for this particular game are simple and can be played in groups of either 2, 3, or 4 golf players

In this game, you determine each player’s handicap and assign a number to them. You then give them the equivalent number in feet of string.

So, for instance, 9 or 10 handicapped players would have 9 or 10 feet of string. They can then move their ball from their spot by an amount that is shorter than the string.

Any movement has to be taken from the total amount of string you have left and must be cut off to show the amount of movement you have left.

For example, if you have 10 meters of string, and you move your ball 5 meters away from where it was originally placed, you would only have 5 meters of string remaining.

This means that you must make sure you keep track of all the strings as you move your ball around the course.

After everyone has had their turn, the winner is determined based on the lowest score.

Stroke Play

This might be one of the simplest games that we have on this list. This can be played with pretty much any number of people, whether you are on your own, or with a larger group.

This is, by and large, your standard game of golf. You simply count the number of strokes that you take for a given hole, and the smallest number of strokes wins.

You could even add a twist to the game by adding a penalty stroke for every time you fail to sink your putt.

You don’t need to know anything about golf before playing this game, but it certainly helps!

Murphys

Murphys is a game that comes in a variety of forms. It can be played with up to four players, or just you and your friends.

The game itself is fairly easy to pick up and is very similar to Stroke Play. However, there are a couple of differences.

The first thing that you notice when you start playing Murphys is that you do not get a set number of shots per hole. 

You will find out what distance you should aim for after you hit the shot, and you will have to adjust accordingly.

Also, once you have completed the hole, you will be awarded points based on how close you were to the target.

If you miss the target completely, you will lose a point, while if you come close enough to the target, you will gain a point.

Your points are counted through your scoring through a single hole. Getting a double bogey or worse on a single whole will give you -3 points, a single bogey will get you -1 point, and par will keep you at a net-zero.

To gain points, you can score either a birdie, which will fetch you 2 points, and eagles, which will get you 3 points. Get the fabled hole-in-one, and you’ll earn yourself 8 points.

Finally, your total score at the end of the round will be the sum of all the points that you earned throughout the entire round.

Mulligan Recall

This is another game that is relatively simple to learn and can be played by anyone who knows how to play golf.

It requires no special equipment, so you won’t need to worry about finding a club or putting down a divot.

All that is required is a pencil and paper, and a few minutes of your time.

Each player decides how many mulligans can be used, which effectively are just recalls that allow a player to redo a stroke from the same position, and recalls, where a player can force another to do the same thing.

This means that this game requires at least two people to play.

Players decide upon a number of mulligans, and then they proceed to play a round of golf.

When each player completes a hole, he/she records his/her score, along with the number of times that he/she was able to use a mulligan.

When all the rounds have been completed, the player with the lowest score wins.

If you want to try this game without having to go to the range, you can always download some free apps online.

Portuguese Caddy

This game can be played very similarly to Mulligan recall, where you set up how many mulligans you may use in a round of the game.

However, instead of recording your scores as you complete each hole, you record how many times you used a mulligan.

Then, at the end of the game, you tally up how many times you used your mulligan, and compare it to the other players.

The player with the lowest score and the amount of mulligans used will win.

Ghost

Don’t worry, there’s nothing supernatural about this game!

This game is played with an odd number of people. The team with the lowest amount of people will have an effective and imaginary player on their team, a ‘ghost’ if you will.

The ghost will always score par on any hole they play, and other players have to effectively equal or beat that score.

Your team may also have a limited number of shots per round and must take those shots within a certain time limit.

Once the round ends, you’ll see what kind of score you achieved against the ghost and their team.

Nassau

This game can be played with two or more people or groups.

A round is split into 3 sections. The winner of the front nine wins a point, and the winner of the last part of the round gets the same.

The person with the most points by the end wins.

You should also note that Nassau can be played with a full 18 holes, but there are only 9 different types of holes.

Snakes

This particular game is a betting game, and you can bet how much money you think that you would win if you were to win the game.

To start, everyone puts a small wager on whether or not they think they would win or lose the game.

Then, when someone loses the game, they lose their wager. If a person manages to 3-putt a hole, then they become the snake until someone else does the same, where they will become the new snake.

Whoever is a snake at the end of the round then has to pay the other players who had lost their bets.

There are a few variations to this game, such as the ability to make a free putt on every hole, but these variations don’t change anything about the basic rules.

Lagging

The goal of this game is to get your ball as close to the green as possible while avoiding getting your ball stuck in the sand. You do so by hitting balls to the closest available spot on the green.

After each shot, you’re scored based on how far away from the pin you hit it.

If you manage to get your ball stuck in the grass, you’re given a penalty stroke.

In addition, if you manage to get your club stuck in the ground, or even just hit your club into another player, you’re penalized one stroke.

Bonus Games

Golf Match Play

Golf match play is a slight variation of the comparably conventional scoring system used in stroke play. Additional emphasis is placed on each hole’s result in this format of play as opposed to shooting the lowest number for the full round. 

Match play scoring is commonly used in pro tournaments such as the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup. Match play differs from conventional stroke play golf as the scoring for match play is based on the holes won in the round rather than the aggregate number of strokes. This means the number of strokes necessary to win a hole isn’t as meaningful. In short, it is best to view golf match play as a series of 18 individual games.

The scoring of match play is centered on awarding a point for the player/team with the low score for a hole. If there is a tie, half a point is awarded. The team or player with the most points at the round’s end is the winner. If the score is tied, it is considered all square. 

A two hole lead is referred to as 2 up. If the number that a player or team is ahead by equals the number of holes still to play, the leader is referred to as dormie.

The scoring system of match play sets the stage for players to implement an aggressive strategy as the aggregate stroke total is not that important. This means an aggressive drive into the woods will likely lose the hole yet the match will still be in play. 

Furthermore, if a player or team is down by several points, it makes sense to be more aggressive, especially as the number of holes dwindles into the single digits as there is a shrinking window of opportunity to make up the point difference. Once a player or team is up more points than the number of holes left to play, the match is over. It is also possible for players or teams to concede the match at any point.

In terms of variations, scoring for three ball match play is in effect when three golfers are playing. Each individual golfer competes against the other in two distinct matches. Match play scoring can also be implemented with teams as opposed to individual players.

Golf Scramble

When it comes to fun golf game ideas, Scramble is one of the top formats. This type of tournament is typically played with teams of two, three or four people and sometimes 5 players. Though handicaps can be applied, plenty of scramble tournaments rely on gross scoring. 

The format starts out with each golfer on a team hitting an initial drive. The drive results are compared. The ball that is the best is identified and marked. The remaining golf balls are picked up and moved to the location of the best ball. The second stroke is played, allowing the process to repeat over again. The best ball of the second shot is selected and the other balls are moved to that position for the third stroke and so on, all the way up until the hole is complete. 

When golfers move their balls to the site of the chosen shot, they can play within a single club length of the original ball position.  This is a situation where it is really good to know your best wedge distance, the distance you are the most accurate from.  You can choose the shot closest to your ideal distance and maximize your opportunity to hit a close approach shot.

However, the caveat is this club length must be farther away from the hole as opposed to closer to it. Furthermore, the original ball’s lie cannot be enhanced in any way. This means if the chosen shot lands in the rough, the rest of the team members must also hit from the rough as opposed to the fairway.

And always make sure you know the exact distance you need to hit your team’s shots with an accurate golf rangefinder!

The order of play is determined by each individual team. However, there is no need for the same golfer to hit each shot ahead of his or her teammates as the game progresses. You can change up the order as desired. 

You have a better chance of winning scramble tournaments if you let the worst player in your group swing first, have the longer hitters in the middle and the straightest ball-strikers hitting last. The opportunity to play second or third provides the long-ball hitters with the freedom they need to go all out. 

Furthermore, it is sensible to let the golfer who hit the best initial drive hit the second shot as a reward for the initial solid stroke.

Above all, you should consider which members of your team are good at driving, hitting irons, chipping and putting. Take this information into account when determining the order of play. 

The best strategy for par-5 holes might be for those who are light hitters to play first, laying up and setting the stage for the long-ball hitters to hit the fairway shot to the green. In terms of strategy around the hole, be sure to consider the green’s undulation, angles, hazards, the lie and pin position when selecting a ball. The worst putter on your team should not putt first. Let the best putter go first providing an accurate read and putting will prove that much easier for the rest of your team.

All different types of golf scramble variations are played. As an example, Bloodsome scrambles involve teams playing their worst ball as opposed to the best ball. Ambrose scramble relies on a net score with a handicap applied. Florida scramble is centered on requiring the golfer whose ball is selecting skipping the next stroke. Miami scramble requires the golfer with the best drive to sit on the sidelines until his or her team reaches the green. These are just a couple examples of the many different golf scramble formats.

Shamble

Shamble is a variation on scramble. This format is unique in that everything changes following the initial tee shot. Players tee off as they normally would in the scramble format of play. Similar to scramble, everyone on a team plays what they consider the best ball. 

However, from the second shot struck to the point of holing out, players continue to play their own ball, essentially combining features from stroke play with scramble play. Shamble golf is typically played by teams of four golfers. 

Unless the players competing have a similar skill level, their full handicaps should be accounted for. You can switch things up by counting the top two scores or even the top three scores as opposed to the best score if you want to play a slight variation of shamble.

Some choose to require upwards of four drives from each golfer within a foursome to heighten the pressure all the more. Certain golfers choose to change the requirements in accordance with each hole’s unique par. As an example, each player plays his or her ball on par-3 holes until holing out. 

Some choose to select the optimal drive on par-3s and have each player play the ball until holing out. Others choose to go with the best first couple shots on par-5s, allowing each individual to play his or her ball until holing out. Regardless of the variation of shamble you choose, be sure to explain the nuances of the rules to all players to prevent confusion.

Four Ball Golf Format

Four ball golf is a golf format that can be used in either stroke play or match play in which there are two partners per side. Each golfer strikes his or her own ball. The side’s score is that which is the lower of the two partners on each specific hole. 

For the most part, four ball is played in the form of match play in which teams of two golfers compete with one another. This is precisely why four ball is called as such. Four balls are played on every single hole when teams of two square off against each other. 

According to the USGA, the course handicap for each of the four players is decreased by the lowest handicap of the players involved in the competition. This player then plays from scratch. The remaining players are provided with 100% of the difference. The USGA states when four ball stroke play is played, the two golfers per side are permitted 90% of the course handicap. This figure bumps up to 95% for female players.

Chapman Golf Format

The Chapman golf format, also known as the Chapman System, is the moniker for a two-person team competition in which both golfers on a team hit drives, playing the other’s golf ball on the second shot. 

When it comes to fun golf tournament games, Chapman shines particularly bright. In tournament format, this game can be played with stroke play or between two-golfer teams. The better of the second shots is used for the subsequent shot. The two teammates continue alternating shots until holing out.

Lone Ranger Golf Game

Lone ranger golf is centered on two teams of three or four players competing against one another. This game is played with best ball format. Each golfer plays his or her own ball though those players take turns as the lone ranger as determined prior to teeing off. 

Two scores are recorded per team in the form of the long ranger score and teammates’ best ball score. The first player is the lone ranger for holes 17, 13, 9, 5 and 1. The second player is the long ranger for holes 18, 14, 10, 6 and 2. Golfers enjoy this format as it puts pressure on each individual player to play at his or her best.

Quota Golf Game

The quota golf game is optimal for players of varying handicap levels. Players subtract their handicaps from 36 at the beginning of the round. The resulting figure is the golfer’s quota for that day. At this point, the players establish a point system maintained without the implementation of handicaps. 

As an example, eight points can be awarded for an albatross, six points for an eagle, four points for a birdie and two points for a par while zero points or even negative points are subtracted for a bogey, double bogey, etc. The golfer who finishes the round with the most points above the quota is the winner. 

This winner is provided with the pot the players decided on prior to the round. Alternatively, the losers can pay the winner a certain amount of money based on the point differential.

Peoria System Golf

The Peoria system is a one-day handicapping system for golf competitions in which the majority of the golfers do not have actual handicap indexes. This system is partially based on luck. 

A handicap allowance is decided upon at the start of the round and subsequently applied to each player’s score. The groups play stroke play to complete their rounds. However, the max score for each hole is double par, meaning six is the maximum possible score on a par-3 hole. 

Once play is complete, the half dozen Peoria holes are announced. These holes have unique par scores to ensure the golfers do not strictly play par-3s or par-5s. These “secret” holes are played, the total is multiplied by three and par is subsequently subtracted form the total. 

The number from this calculation is multiplied by 80%. This figure represents the golfer’s allowance.

The allowance is reduced from the golfer’s gross score, generating the net Peoria score. Let’s take a look at an example to simplify this golf scoring format. Consider player X who requires 30 strokes to complete the half dozen Peoria holes. The 30 strokes are multiplied by three, equaling 90. Subtract the par of 72 for the 18 holes and you have 18. 

This figured is multiplied by 80%, resulting in an allowance of 14. This figure is subtracted from the player’s gross score of 90, generating a Peoria score of 76. In other words, the Peoria scoring system should be thought of as a single day handicapping system for golfing tournaments in which the majority of golfers lack actual handicap indexes. 

The logic in not using gross scores is to provide newbie and intermediate golfers with a chance to compete with better players.

Wolf Golf Game

Wolf is played by golf foursomes. This game is quite strategic in all regards. Players decide on a permanent driving order prior to the start of play. 

The wolf is the initial player to hit. The wolf hangs back and observes the ensuing shot. The wolf then decides if he will partner with one of the golfers who hit after him, creating a two on two matchup or, alternatively, opting to play his or her own shot and competing against the other three players. 

This means each hole on the courses is contested as either a one versus three match or a two versus two match. If you don’t want to keep score on your own, download one of the many golf apps for scoring wolf games and you will find the game is quite easy to play and keep track of. However, your group will have to decide on a dollar value for each point. In a two versus two match, the side that wins gets a point per player. 

If it is one versus three, the winning team is provided with two points per player while the wolf point’s double in the event of a victory. If the wolf plays by his or her lonesome, the winning side is provided with three points, meaning the wolf has the potential to win triple points. If a hole ends up tied, there is a wash and the points do not carry over.

Daytona Golf Game

If you are looking for golf fun, you have found it in Daytona. Daytona is a golf wagering game in which teams consisting of two players square off against one another. 

Daytona is a unique game in that the two golfers per side do not add their scores together. Instead, their scores are paired to generate a new number. Also known as Las Vegas, Daytona golf has the partners with the low score hitting before the competition. 

In the context of Daytona, flipping the bird refers to a situation in which one side makes a birdie and the other side does not, setting the stage to reverse the opponents’ score so the higher number is first. 

This means the game’s points can add up surprisingly quickly, making the stakes in Daytona uber-high. Flipping the bird makes the game even more risky as the numbers just keep on rising. This is why players should exercise caution when setting the dollar value for each point at stake in Daytona. Once the round ends, the points are added up and the payouts are paid accordingly.

Cha Cha Cha Golf Game

This golf tournament format is typically played with teams of four golfers. There is a three-hole rotation that determines the scores used to determine each team’s score. 

A single score, two combined scores or possibly even three combined scores are used on each hole to represent the score of a team. The hole’s placement in the rotation shapes the score. Also known as Arizona Shuffle, Irish Four Ball and 1-2-3 Best Ball, Cha cha cha golf is a ton of fun to play. The game’s namesake stems from the first hole within the rotation being known as the “cha” hole. 

The subsequent hole is the cha cha hole, the third hole is referred to as the cha cha cha hole and so on. This golf game has the same format as the previously mentioned 1-2-3 Best Ball game. As noted above, one player’s score is the team’s score on the first hole. 

The two scores are combined on the second hole. Three scores are combined on the third hole and the rotation begins once again once the fourth hole is reached.

It is the low score of each player that is added to determine the team score for the hole. 

Furthermore, it is important to note this format of golf is not a scramble. Each team member plays his or her ball throughout the course, tracking the score the entire time. Let’s take a look at an example of Cha cha cha golf scoring to give readers a better idea of what this game is really all about. Consider an outing in which four golfers on a team tee off on the first hole, scoring 7, 6, 5 and 4. The single low score for the initial hole counts, meaning the team score is 4. 

The team’s scores for the second hole are 7, 6, 5 and 5. The two low scores count on this hole, meaning the team’s score for the hole is 10 as it is the result of adding 5 to 5. The scores of the team are 6, 5, 4 and 3 on the third hole. The three lowest scores are tabulated for this third hole, meaning the score is 12 as it is the sum of 5, 4 and 3. The rotation starts over again on the fourth hole where the lowest score represents the team score.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to spice up a game of golf without resorting to cheating.

These games are fun, easy to learn, and easy to play. They’re perfect for a quick round of golf with friends, or even a tournament between multiple teams.

We hope you enjoyed this list of the best golf games online, and we’d love to hear some of your suggestions for some golf games that you have heard of, or even developed yourself!

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