Change up your golf game and try these scoring formats with your mates!

15 November 2018

Change up your golf game and try these scoring formats with your mates!

Stroke play not your jam anymore? We’ve rounded up some ace scoring formats to mix up your round.

Nines (5-3-1)

Can’t wrangle three of your mates for a round? No sweat, we’ve got you covered with Nines - the perfect game for a crew of three. Basically, each hole is worth nine points. Each point is divided according to the order of finish on each hole. So, if you’re winner, winner, chicken dinner you score five points, second receives 3 and lucky last gets one point. If the second two players score equal points, points are split between them.



With a snazzy name like that, this format can only be a hoot. This is great if your group is a mixed bag of skill.

Bingo is the first player to reach the green no matter how many shots it takes them.

Bango is the closest to the pin after everyone has reached the green.

Bongo is the first one in the hole.

Three points are allocated to every hole and every accomplishment is worth three points.


Keeping things steady, Stableford maxes out the score you can make on any hole so nobody needs to putt for a quadruple bogey. Scoring is typically:

Bogey - 1 point

Par - 2 points

Birdies - 4

Eagle - 8

This format is cruisy because bad holes don’t cost you that much and pace of play speeds up.

Round Robin

This one is fantastic for foursomes. Here you can change partners (carts, opposites, drivers) each six holes for three separate bets. You can play any team format: better ball, alternate shot or even scramble.

Las Vegas

The name just makes you want to play it, right? This works well for a foursome split into two teams against each other. But instead of better ball or combined scores, the team takes the two scores and combines the digits to make the lowest player number. Essentially, if one player makes a 4 and the other a 5, the score for that hole is 45. If the other team makes two fives that score is 55. It’s super easy to get way up or way down in this format. Kind of like Vegas itself really.


You’ve probably heard of (or even played) this version before. It works for individuals and groups and consists of three bets: front, back and overall match play. In the group version, it’s the two better balls from each team. You can spice this up by each team adding their scores together on each hole with the lowest total winning the hole (hurrah!)

The usual format involves auto two-downs, which means there’s a press each time a side gets two holes down.


Get your wolf pack together for this one. This format works with three or more players. Each player takes turns being the wolf on a hole. The wolf gets to pick a partner after seeing the tee shot of each player. Often this format requires the wolf to decide right after a player’s tee shot, gambling on the remaining player(s) abilities.

If the wolf doesn’t pick a partner, the bet is doubled. If the wolf decides beforehand to go lone wolf before seeing any shots, the bet quadruples.


You may have heard of this one, the player who scores the best score on a whole pockets the amount of money designated on that hole. Why not give this oldie but a goodie a shakeup? If you play carry-overs, let the holes roll over if there are ties for best scores. That way, if you’re not on top (and pick the perfect moment) a well-executed birdie can be a game changer.

You can also have each player contribute a set amount before the round into a pot, which is great if you’re playing with a large group.

One-putt poker (or 3-putt)

This one is good when you’ve got a pretty decent number of players. Assigning a value to each three-put, players ante up beforehand (a couple of bucks is standard) and agree to pay the pot a set amount for each three-putt. Every time a play one-putts, they get a playing card. At the end, players are dealt the number of cards equal to their one-putts. The winning poker hand (the player with the most one-putts has the best odds) wins the pot.


So, have you booked your round yet?