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How to Gamble In Golf: 5 Golf Betting Games for Degenerates

Golf is a versatile game. Unlike other sports you can play with friends (basketball and tennis, for example) there are tons of golf betting games you can play during a round of golf with your buddies.

So why bet?

Well, the truth is, you play differently when you're playing a golf betting game and have something on the line. Sometimes that means playing smart and laying up instead of shooting one through the trees, other times is means selling out and going for broke to bask in the glory of winning some cold hard cash.

Whatever the draw may be, betting on a game of golf is a great way to add excitement to an everyday round.

Now, while no golf betting game is perfect, some are better than others based on your foursome's skill level, patience for scorekeeping, and general approach to the round (more laid back vs. more competitive).

These are our Top 5 Golf Betting Games.

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Golf Betting Games

Nassau

Nassau is one of the most popular games to play on the golf course. 

To play Nassau, you must first decide whether you want to play as individuals or use a team score. From there, you establish three bets that are usually equal amounts: low front nine score, low back nine score and low total score.

For example, if you want to play a $5 Nassau with your foursome, you would wager $5 on each of the 3 scores (front, back, total) either as an individual or as a team.

  • In either scenario (individual or team) the most you can personally lose is $15 ($5x3).
  • The most you can win as an individual is $45 ($15x3).
  • The most you can win as a team is $15 ($15x1 of the opposing players)
Personally, I like to play team Nassau with 1x-1x-2x stakes. 

Closeout

Closeout is a simple form of match play that's a great alternative to Nassau.

In Closeout, you set your wager and play one 18-hole match. Standard lowest strokes wins the hole. Once that match is over (if a player reaches 5-up with 4 holes left, for example), a second match begins and is played over the remaining holes for half of the original wager.

For example, in a $10 Closeout you would wager $10 for the 18-hole match. If you win the 18-hole match 5-up, you would pocket $10 and play the remaining 4 holes as a new match with a $5 wager.

Skins

Skins is a golf betting game where you assign a money or point value to each hole, and the player with the lowest score on each hole wins the skin for that hole. 

Should there be a tie for lowest score, the skin is rolled over to the next hole. If there is a tie at the end of 18 holes (skins left over) only the players who tied the low score advance to sudden death. At the end of the game, each player collects based on their total number of skins.

Bingo Bango Bongo 

This game is a lot of fun if you're with a group of friends with different skill levels.

In Bingo Bango Bongo you set your stakes and assign point values to Bingo: first on the green, Bango: closest to the pin (once all players are on the green), and Bongo: first to hole out. 

It's such a great game for players of varying skill levels because all you need to do is be first at something to earn points and have skin in the game.

For example, if you are a weaker player, you can really rack up Bangos because it doesn't matter if it takes you 2 or 5 strokes to get onto the green, closest to the pin is closest to the pin.

Prop Bets

Prop bets keep things real simple and easy, particularly if you've been enjoying some beverages on the course and can't be bothered with scorekeeping. It's the lazy man's golf betting game.

Proposition bets, or 'prop bets' are simple bets that usually don't effect the outcome of a match. You establish the bet, set the wager, and play it out. Some examples of prop bets are:

  • Par 3 closest to the pin
  • Will a player get a birdie during the round?
  • Longest drive
  • Over/Under final score

The great thing about prop bets is they are easy to keep track of and they can be as silly or competitive as you'd like...as long as there is a taker.

 Now Go Bet on Golf!

So next time you're out on the course, put your money where your mouth is! Play for $5, $50 or the first round of drinks at the bar - it really doesn't matter as long as you've got some skin in the game.

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