Wolf golf? We know this sounds like something out of a fairy tale, but believe us when we say it may be the most fun you can have wagering with your group of friends on the course.
Throughout time, serious golfers have come up with many different formats for friendly wagering.
In this article, we will explore Wolf golf. This exhilarating game with your buddies combines elements of individual play along with team golf. The pressure and strategy of this game are everything you can ask for in the next round with your buddies.
In this article, you will find:
- The Game of Wolf
- Determining the Order of Play
- How to Play Wolf
- How to Score Wolf
- How to Play Wolf with a Fivesome
Let’s dive in and answer the question: how to play wolf in golf?
The Game of Wolf Golf
When betting on the course with your buddies, Wolf is a fantastic way to get the competition going while still keeping an individual approach.
So, how do you play?
Within the game of Wolf, there are many intricacies that, at first, will be hard for you to remember. Don’t worry about these at first, as once you grasp the larger concept of the game, these small details will fall into play.
Determining The Order Of Play
When your group arrives on the first tee, your first order of business will quite literally be to determine the order of play for the day. This order is very important as it will rotate throughout the round.
To determine this order, some groups like flipping tees, tossing balls, or drawing numbers. Whatever way your group decides to figure things out, make sure you stick to this order throughout the round.
An example would be the order 1, 2, 3, 4 on the first hole and 2, 3, 4, 1 on the second hole. The first player to tee off is the wolf for that hole, and everyone gets to be the wolf once every four holes.
You may be wondering what happens with the final two holes. Since the math doesn’t exactly work out for eighteen, the players with the least points tee off first on seventeen and eighteen.
How to Play Wolf Golf
Now that your group has established your order let us go over how to play this fun game.
As mentioned earlier, the wolf is the first person to play on each hole. The wolf will hit their tee shot, and then after each of the next three players hit, they will have the option of picking one of them as their partner for the hole.
If the wolf picks a partner for the hole, it turns into a two vs. two better ball match to determine who gets that hole’s points.
If the wolf decides not to pick a partner, it is referred to as going lone or “lone wolf”, and the hole goes to a three-on-one match with the wolf playing his ball and the other three in the group playing better ball.
Your group can decide the exact rules you want to play when it comes to the wolf choosing a partner, but this is what we have seen in the past that works well.
- The wolf can wait until the last three players hit and then decide.
- If the wolf wants someone as their partner, they have to pick them before the next player hits, or else that player would be unavailable.
- Our personal favorite, the wolf, has to pick their partner before their tee shot lands. This adds an added element of drama as the wolf has to make a split-second decision.
We will get into the exact scoring in the next section, but there are also two more important details to consider regarding the wolf’s options.
- The wolf can go lone before any other players hit
- The wolf can go lone before they hit.
If you are feeling confused, don’t be, as this game, when played on the course, becomes a lot simpler than it is on paper.
The easiest way to think about it is that Wolf is a combination of eighteen single-hole matches with matchups being determined by the wolf on each hole, aka the first person to play.
How To Score Wolf Golf
Hopefully, so far, you are tracking how to play this awesome game; now, let’s talk about how to score Wolf in golf.
The cool thing about Wolf is that the scoring is completely customizable; we have added the way that we like to reward points as follows:
- If the wolf picks a partner, the hole is played for 2 points, with one going to each player on the winning side.
- If the wolf goes lone after everyone else in the group hits their tee shot, the wolf would receive 3 points if they win the hole, and everyone else would receive 1 point if their team wins the hole.
- The points double if the wolf goes lone after they hit but before anyone else. If they win the hole, they would get 6 points, but if they lose the hole, everyone else would get 2 points.
- If the wolf goes lone before they hit, the points triple. If they win the hole, they would get 9 points, but if they lose the hole, everyone else would get 3 points.
To throw a couple more caveats in the game, you could also play where the point values on the last two holes are doubled to make the opportunity of a wild swing high.
Before starting the round, you and your group will typically assign a monetary amount to each point; for example, one point could equal $1. At the end of the round, you would add everyone’s points and pay out accordingly.
You could also play where the overall loser pays the overall winner a set amount, but the fluctuations in points make things more interesting if each one is representative of a small amount.
How To Play Wolf Golf With A Fivesome
The most popular way to play Wolf in golf is with a foursome, but we have also done it in a fivesome setting, which can make the swings even larger.
Going lone in this format is even more risky as the wolf would be up against four other players. However, where there is risk, there also is great reward.
The course of the game is the same as in a foursome match, but the rotation would go for the first fifteen holes instead of sixteen, and points would be broken up into fractions for three versus two matchup holes.
Here is the way the scoring would go in a fivesome:
- If the wolf picks a partner, the twosome would receive 1.5 points each for a win, and the threesome would receive 1 point each for a win. If you find yourself as the wolf or the wolf’s partner, you have a great risk, as a loss means -1.5 points, but a win means +1.5.
- If the wolf goes lone after everyone else in the group hits their tee shot, the wolf would receive 4 points if they win the hole, and everyone else would receive 1 point if their team wins the hole.
- If the wolf goes lone after they hit but before anyone else, the points double. If they win the hole, they would get 8 points, but if they lose the hole, everyone else would get 2 points.
- If the wolf goes lone before they hit, the points triple. If they win the hole, they would get 12 points, but if they lose the hole, everyone else would get 3 points.
The only true difference here is that the twosome is playing at a risk of 1.5 points instead of the typical 1 point when competing in a foursome.
Wolf Golf Game: Key Takeaways
Playing Wolf in golf is a great way to fuel individual competition while wagering with your buddies on the golf course.
It combines an individual approach while also adding a team component. On one hole, you will find yourself rooting for someone to make a birdie, while on the very next hole, you will be praying they miss.
With the opportunity for the wolf to go lone each hole, everyone is always one hole away from getting back in the money and racking up a lot of points.
Try it out during your next round with your buddies; the competition, wild swings, and pressure-packed shots will be sure to get your heart pumping!