Getting together with the ladies for a round of golf is a great way to mix exercise and friendly competition. If you and your companions are of similar skill levels, or are of different levels but scoring your round using the handicap system -- a system allowing players to adjust their scores based on ability -- anyone in your foursome could potentially win the match. But there also are side games of skill -- and luck -- you can play during the round. Whether you choose to play for prizes or just for fun, these games add an interesting twist to your day on the links.
Better than Bingo
One game with easy-to-remember rules and an even easier-to-remember name is Bingo Bango Bongo. You can play this game with two to four players. The game often involves small wagers, such as 10 cents, which each player pays to the winner of Bingo, Bango and Bongo. On each hole, the first player to reach the green is declared the winner of Bingo. When all the players are on the green, the one closest to the pin wins Bango. The first player to put their ball in the hole is the winner of Bongo.
Lay Your Dollar Down
Nassau is a popular side game to play if you and your companions enjoy wagering. It can be played with two to four players, in teams or as individuals. In Nassau, a round of golf is played as three separate matches consisting of the front nine holes, the back nine holes and the whole round. Players decide on the wager, such as a $1 Nassau. The player or team with the lowest score in each match wins a dollar from each player. A losing team or player also can make a second wager, or "press," during the round if she is down by two holes. In a press, the losing player offers to wager, typically the same amount as the original bet, that she will win the next hole or holes.
Time to Change Partners
The game of Dots, also known as Amigas, is played among a foursome, with partners being decided at the beginning of each hole's play. Players take their tee shot and teams are formed according to where the balls land, with the hole serving as a divider. The two balls landing to the right of the hole are designated as one team and the balls landing to the left of the hole represent the other team. Each player plays the hole as they normally would, and the best ball scores from each team are compared. Partners with the lower best-ball score mark a dot under their score on the scorecard. At the end of the round, the player with the most dots is the winner.
Pick and Choose
Your golf group can play one of the many side games that are based on using a portion of the each player's total score in deciding the round's winner. Players decide on the game before beginning their round. In the game Consecutive Three, each player circles three consecutive holes on their scorecard. The scores on these holes will be deducted from their score and the full handicap is used. The game of Criss-Cross allows players to choose nine holes to calculate their final score, but they must choose alternate holes from the front and back nine, such as one or 10, two or eleven, three or 12. They also only use one-half of their handicap. In Crier's Competition, each player substitutes the par score for their worst three holes before calculating their total score and using their full handicap.