Top 5 Golf Betting Games to Play: Gambling on Course

Golf is fun in general, but it gets more fun when there are stakes involved and you get creative with different kinds of games. Just like Basketball has H-O-R-S-E and 21, golf has its own set of games you can play with your partner or a group of friends for some money. Here are five ways to make the game more interesting and gamble some money with a group:

1. Scramble

If you’ve ever played in a group golf tournament, you are probably familiar with scrambles. Many times you play with a group of four and you’re all on the same team playing against other groups. Other times you play with just a partner and play against another pair or group.

Scrambles are basically best-ball. If you play as a group of four against other groups of four, each player hits a tee shot and you pick the best shot to play for your second shot. You all hit from the same spot. After you all hit the second shot, you pick the best shot and you all play that same ball. After 18 holes, you total your score up and hope for a win. You can also do this in 2 vs. 2 matchups.

Fun Rating: 10 out of 10
Players Required: Minimum 4

2. Skins

If you want to have some fun with money, you can play a skins game in your group. This works best with groups of three or four. Each hole has a dollar amount attached to it and the winner of that hole gets the money. If no one wins that hole, then the pot increases for whoever wins the next hole. For example, if you’re in a group of four and playing $10 a hole, the winner of the first hole will collect $40. If no one wins the first hole, the winner of the second hole collects $80. Once someone finally wins a hole, the pot resets to $10 a hole. It doesn’t matter where you finish each hole; if you aren’t the clear winner, the money is up for grabs for everyone on the next hole.

Fun Rating: 10 out of 10
Players Required: Minimum 3 players

3. Nassau

Nassau tournaments are three tournaments in one. You can incorporate a scramble into a Nassau. Basically, you have three winners. After the front nine, you have a winner. Then you reset and have a back-9 winner. Third, you have a winner for the best overall score. With money involved, it becomes very competitive.

Fun Rating: 10 out of 10
Players Required: Minimum 4 players

4. Match Play

This works if you’re going one-on-one with someone. It doesn’t really work in groups of three or four. Match play is unique in that it doesn’t matter what you score each hole, as long as you score better than the other player. If you score better on the first hole, you’re considered “1 up”. If you tie on a hole, it’s considered “a halve”. If you win the first hole, halve the second, then win the third, you’re then 2 up. The other player is considered 2 down.

You can bet in different ways. Whoever wins the match gets the money, or you can do it by hole. A match play doesn’t have to go 18 holes. If you’re 3 up in the match and only two holes are left, you’ve won the match. The correct way to write the win is 3&2, meaning you won by 3 and didn’t play two holes. The Match Play Championship is played every year in March among the PGA Tour players, so if you want to gain a better insight on it, be sure to watch.

Fun Rating: 8 out of 10
Players Required: 2 players

5. Vegas with a Twist (High Rollers)

This works in a group of four and is similar to the game “Vegas” which is another golf betting game. Basically, in a group of four, you each play separate shots and total your score per hole. If you and your partner get a 4 and 5, you score a 45 on that hole. If another team scores a 5 and a 5, they get a 55. The lowest number always goes first. You could pay out several different ways. One way is the difference per hole, so 45 vs. 55 means $10 on that hole. Or you can add it all up at the end of the round and lowest score wins and they get that certain amount.

There are also bonus rewards you can get. For example, if a team scores a 33 on a par-4, you can double the payout. Depending on your talent levels, you could do 44 on par-4s and 33 on par-3s, which would be double-pars. This game is usually for guys who have lots of money and are willing to wager big as there could be big dollar amounts as scores pile up.

Fun Rating: 9 out of 10
Players Required: 4 players

I have a BA in Journalism from the University of South Florida and worked as a sports editorial assistant and supervisor for the Tampa Bay Times for 10 years. I've also taught and managed a Journalism program at the high school level and currently work as a freelance writer. I have a deep passion for sports, particularly golf, football, and baseball, and have been active in the gambling industry for the last 10 years.

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