9 Unique Golf Game Formats You May Not Know About

Discover 10 lesser-known golf formats that add spice and variety to your next day on the golf course.

Golf isn’t just about perfect swings and serious competition; it’s also about camaraderie, laughter, and exploring the playful side of the game.

While many golfers are familiar with the standard stroke play and match play formats, there’s a whole world of creative and unconventional formats waiting to be discovered. From games that award points for quirky achievements to formats that require strategic partner selection, these lesser-known golf formats add a delightful twist to your time on the course.

So, grab your clubs, gather your friends, and try some of these golf formats next time you’re on the golf course.

  1. Chapman: Also known as Pinehurst, this format involves two-player teams. Both players tee off, then swap balls and play their partner’s ball for the second shot. After the second shot, they choose one ball to play alternate shot until holed. This one is great for playing with a range of skill levels. We’ve particularly enjoyed playing this with junior golfers who perhaps don’t hit the ball as far.
  2. Bingo, Bango, Bongo: This format awards points on each hole based on specific achievements. “Bingo” goes to the first player on the green, “Bango” to the player closest to the pin once all balls are on the green, and “Bongo” to the first player to hole out.
  3. Wolf: In this game, players take turns being the “Wolf” and select a partner for each hole. The Wolf decides whether to play as a team or against the other three players. The key is strategic partner selection and timing.
  4. Flags: Each player starts with a set number of strokes, represented by flags or tokens. When a player runs out of flags, they’re eliminated. The winner is the player who completes the round with the most flags remaining.
  5. Canadian Foursomes: Similar to Foursomes, but with a twist. Both players tee off, then play their partner’s ball for the second shot. After the second shot, they choose one ball to play alternate shot until holed. However, this format allows both players to putt.
  6. Bisque: Players are given a certain number of strokes they can use to deduct from their score on any hole before or after the round. This format rewards strategic thinking, as players must decide when to use their strokes wisely.
  7. Sixes: A team format where players take turns playing as partners for six consecutive holes. The team’s score for each hole is the better score of the two partners. It requires consistent teamwork and communication.
  8. Rabbit: One player in the group is designated as the “Rabbit” on the first tee. The Rabbit’s goal is to hold onto that title by having the lowest score on each hole. If another player beats the Rabbit’s score, they become the new Rabbit. The golfer who is the Rabbit after the final hole takes the chocolates.
  9. String: Players start with a length of string that represents strokes. They can use the string to improve their lie or remove their ball from hazards. However, each inch of string used counts as a stroke, adding an element of strategy to course management.

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