How To Play a Round of Poker Golf

It’s getting around to the time of year when the sun is out, and the sprinklers are on.

Your local golf course should be looking as great as ever, with sparkling green fairways, golden sanded bunkers waiting to trap you and, of course, the 19th hole welcoming you in after a hard round.

If you play with the same group of players every week, you might find that the scorecards often look the same. Golf is a sociable game, and it’s likely you have a group of buddies you like to get out with, but what if one of them is far better than anyone else? Even with the latest rangefinders, clubs and equipment, you might still lag behind. That last round of beverages or your post-round meal is probably always free for them, depending on what the winner tends to get. Maybe, because the same person wins week after week, you don’t even bother putting anything up as a stake; after all, there’s little point for a foregone conclusion, is there?

Introducing Poker Golf

If that’s the case, then perhaps a round of poker golf is the thing for you. Poker golf is a side game which doesn’t impact your game but adds a side interest. So, if one player is always ahead on the scorecard, this is a way of bringing different competition into the round of golf without affecting the main game.

How Does It Work?

Poker golf treats each round as an opportunity to obtain a playing card. If you’re playing a par five, for example, then your score is likely to be between three (if you’re lucky) and perhaps anything up to ten. Assuming you’re an average player, let’s say you score a seven. Once on your scorecard, ‘7’ would be the first card of your poker hand. As you progress through the front nine, you’d build a card of different scores, perhaps 7,5,3,4,5,5,4,7,4. Ok, that might not be a great round, but it is a set of numbers you can make a poker hand from.

Applying your knowledge of poker hands, you’ll see you have what poker players call a full house there; three of one score and two of another. That would be your poker hand for the front nine, as the concept is to select the best five-card poker hand from your score. Of course, you could get five-of-a-kind, which isn’t an actual poker hand, but the theory remains the same. Each player would seek to make a hand to better the others. It might even lead to some excitement on the final hole, especially if you went into it with 3,4,5 and 6 – you’d only need a two or a seven for a straight.

Alternative Poker Golf

You could try this alternative version based on putting. Instead of adding up your scores, you are awarded cards per putt. You would have to take playing cards out with you for this version. You are dealt two cards if you hit the green and manage a one-putt. If you go over, you are handed a single card. When you reach five cards, you can choose which to keep and which to hand back and put into the deck. The player with the best poker hand wins at the end of nine holes. It is recommended that you play two hands over an 18-hole game. Otherwise, it can get a bit too complicated.

The Winner

To add some fun to the event, make sure your poker golf winner has a prize to look forward to, even if the others club around, and buy the first refreshments in the clubhouse. That way, even those a few strokes behind everyone else still have ample chance to win.

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