Popular golf side bets and betting games | TribLIVE.com
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$2 Nassau

A golfer who gets off to a bad start on the front nine can still recover and win some money back in this popular wager. It’s actually three bets in one. Low scorer picks up $2 on the front nine, $2 for winning the back nine, and $2 for carding the low overall score for 18 holes.


A wager, which is called a skin, is made on each hole, and usually range from half a buck to $5. All 18 holes are competed for individually. One-tie-all-tie is the most popular version of skins. When a hole is not won outright, the hole is tied and the money carries over to the next hole. The pot continues to carry over until someone collects it by winning a hole outright with a par or birdie.


This wager is both fun and fair because the golfer furthest from the hole always plays first. First ball on the green — Bingo – earns a point. Closest to the pin once everyone is on the green — Bango – earns a point. And first ball in the hole – Bongo – earns a point. Money is paid based on point totals. Everyone usually wins something, unless you agree to play winner-take-all and give the whole pot to the golfer with the most points. Another version is to award the third point, the Bongo point, to the winner of the hole using net scores.


This side bet honors golf legend Arnold Palmer, one of the all-time great scramblers. The value of an “Arnie” is determined before the start of a round. A golfer wins an “Arnie” by making par on any par-4 or par-5 hole without hitting a shot in the fairway.

6, 6 and 6

Also called Round Robin, this is a betting game for a foursome in which the two-player teams change partners every six holes. The round is divided into three six-hole matches. It’s a fair way to match high-handicappers with better players because every player gets teamed up with every partner.


This side bet honors another gambling player and great scrambler, Spain’s Seve Ballesteros. Also known as Barkies, Seves are paid to any golfer who makes par on a hole after hitting a tree. The value is set prior to the round.

Low ball, high ball

A betting game for a foursome with two-member teams. Two points are available per hole. The best low-ball score earns a point, and the lowest high-ball score earns a point. No points are awarded for ties.

Low ball, low total

Another game for two-member teams played in a foursome. Low ball is worth a point, low total earns another point, with no points for ties.

Criers & whiners

Also called Mulligans and many other names, this is a betting game for golfers who are always crying about the shots they’d like to take over. Mulligans are based on the golfer’s handicap index.


This betting game matches two-man teams against one another. After everyone tees off, one team selects the drive the other team must play. The game, of course, is to select the other team’s worst drive and force them to play from that gruesome spot.


The value of a sandie — and the rules for earning one – must be set before the round. Golfers usually earn a sandie either by scoring par on a hole in which they were in a sand trap, or by getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker.

Source: Trib research

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