6 Popular Golf Point Games and How to Play Them

Many may not be aware of it, but golf is a surprisingly ancient game with the sport tracing its history all the way back to the times of the Roman Empire. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that modern golf is a game with a staggering number of variations when it comes to gameplay. When it comes to raising the stakes at a golf game and make the match all the more intense, there is no way better to do it than through a point-based golf game. In this blog, we’ll be listing down 6 of the most popular golf point games and teach you on how to play them.

Blog image showing a golf player taking his shot to represent the 6 Popular Golf Point Games and How to Play Them

  Table of Content

6 Popular Point-Based Golf Games

  • Aces and Deuces

  • Scotch

  • Las Vegas

  • Bingo Bango Bongo

  • Trouble

  • Best at Something

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is the Difference Between Match Play and Stroke Play?

Concluding Note

  6 Popular Point-Based Golf Games

1. Aces and Deuces
Image showing four golf players, one is seen playing his shot and three other playing are seen watching his shot from behind representing one of the popular golf point games Aces and deuces

Also sometimes called ‘Acey Ducey,’ this is a very simple but very competitive foursome point-based golf game. The central premise of the game revolves around setting agreed-upon points for both the lowest scorer (ace) and the highest scorer (deuce) on each hole. The agreed point value could be of any value, but typically, the ace value is set at twice the deuce one.

At the conclusion of a hole, the ace wins the agreed points from the other players while the deuce loses the agreed points to the other players.

To illustrate with an example, suppose the agreed bet is 4 points for ace and 2 for deuce. At the end of the hole, the ace receives 14 points (4+4+4+2), and the deuce loses 10 points (-2-2-2-4) while the remaining two players have a net loss of only 2 points each (2-4).

Naturally, this makes Aces and Deuces are really high-stake game, with lost or win each hole considerably impacting the overall chances of winning the whole game. Since this is a game where the risk of one player dominating the entire game is quite high, it is often recommended to play it with others of similar skill or using the appropriate handicaps.

2. Scotch
 Image showing two balls on the golf course near the hole representing one of the popular golf point game, Scotch

Scotch is arguably one of the most popular of casual golf games you might see being played on a weekend’s golf course. It derives its name as a nod to its Scottish origin. It is typically played in a foursome two-player team setting. The scoring system can either be match play or stroke play.

On each hole, the shot alternates between the two team players, with one hitting the drive, then their partner hitting the second shot, and so on. In another modified version of the game, both of the team players hit a drive and select the better one of the two and then alternate their following shots accordingly.

For example, if player A has hit a drive where the ball landed in a more optimal position, it would get selected, and player B would take the next shot.

However, sometimes it may be strategically more advantageous to choose the worse drive. To illustrate with an example, suppose player A has a better drive, but player B can’t hit long enough to reach the green, then player B’s drive will be selected to allow player A to hit the long shot.

A standard scotch match play incorporates a 5-point system for each hole. The first is the lowest score on the hole, one is for the team combined score, one is for putts, one is proximity to hole, and finally one for scoring a birdie.

3. Las Vegas
Image showing 4 players where one is playing his shot while others are watching with their golf stand bags representing popular golf point game, Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a foursome game in which two teams of two players go up against one another. The most notable feature of this golf game is its rather unconventional scoring system. Rather than added together, the scores of the two team players are paired together to form a double-digit number. The lowest score of the two goes first within the pair.

To illustrate with an example, suppose player A has a score of 3, and player B has a higher score of 4. These scores are paired together to make a final score of 34 for that hole.

One exception to this rule is when a player scores 10 or higher, in that case, the higher number will go first. So, if player C has made an 11 and player D a 4, the final score would be 114.

Which team is awarded points is determined by subtracting the difference between the two teams’ final scores. Taking the final scores from our above examples, 34 and 114, we get a subtracted score of 80. This is awarded as points to the team with the lower score of the two (players A and B).

Because of the high stakes involved, Las Vegas is a golf game best played by people of similar skill levels or with appropriate handicaps.

4. Bingo Bango Bongo
 Image showing 3 players walking towards their golf balls near the golf pin flags representing popular golf point game, Bingo Bango Bongo

In a game of Bingo Bango Bongo, the play set up can be two, three, or four players and also in foursomes. The name of this golf game refers to the point system it incorporates.

A Bingo is awarded for the first player to get their ball onto the green. A Bango is awarded to the player whose ball is closest to the pin after everyone has played their ball onto the green. Finally, a bongo awarded to whoever manages to clear the hole first.

In some of the game’s variations, double the points may be awarded if a single player managed to secure all three on a hole.

The ordering of who goes first to secure a Bingo, Bango, and Bongo is entirely up to the players. Typically, the player with the shortest drive is given the first attempt at a bingo. Similarly, the player with the worst position in the green is allowed the first attempt at a bango. Lastly, the player who is the furthest from the hole gets the first attempt. Whoever wins a bongo then gets the first honor on the next hole’s tee.

Because of its unique scoring system, this golf game is highly welcoming to the less experienced players. Regardless of your skill levels, you always have a realistic chance of winning points at each hole.

5. Trouble
 Image showing a low angle snap of a player playing his shot  where the ball is shown flying in the air representing the popular golf point game, Trouble

Trouble is a strange golf game because here, players would want to avoid winning any points. In a game of trouble, you don’t get any points for playing it clean but rather an agreed amount is awarded each time your play is in ‘trouble,’ e.g., hitting the ball out of bounds, in the waters or the sands, hitting a slice, hook or shank, etc. Whoever has managed the least points wins the hole. On the next hole, the player with the highest score is given the first tee honor.

Because of its rather uncomplicated point system, the game can also be played with 5 or more players or in teams. While, trouble doesn’t often work as the main betting game but, nonetheless, makes for an excellent side game with lots of fun and where anyone can join in and play. Handicaps in this golf game type are typically not required.

6. Best at Something
Image of golf stand bags  filled will golf clubs representing the popular golf point game, Best at something

Best at Something, also commonly referred to as dots, trash, and garbage, can be best explained as essentially a collection of side bets, with rules and scoring systems entirely up to the players to determine.

Before the start of a Dots round, all players agree on all the side bets for the game (e.g. scoring a hole-in-one, eagle, birdie, closest to the pin, etc.) as well as assign the points for each of these bets. On any hole, the player that wins one or more of these side bets is awarded the assigned points for them. In some games, negative achievements may also be incorporated, deducting points from the player.

One important thing to keep in mind with this golf game type is to ensure that the number of bets remains on the low value. Having a great number of them could really complicate things and make it extremely difficult to do bookkeeping.

  Frequently Asked Questions

  What Is the Difference Between Match Play and Stroke Play?

Both match play and stroke play are common scoring systems used in golf. In a match play, points are awarded to players separately for each hole. The player with the most accumulated points at the end of the round(s) wins the game.

In a stroke play, in contrast, the total score is added up for one or more round for all players. The player with the lowest score at the end of the round(s) wins the game.

  What is the Best Shot in Golf Called?

On most golf courses, the longest hole is a par-5 where a hole in one can probably be stated as the best golf shot. In line with the naming convention for an under-par shot, a 4-under par is called a Condor. On some rare golf courses, a par-6 is also found, and a name for a 5-under par is an ‘ostrich.’ However, such a shot is extremely rare to make.

  Concluding Note

With point-based golf games, especially when real money is involved in the wager, it is important to ensure that complete transparency and accuracy are maintained when it comes to awarding points to players. Our dedicated golf app, BEEZER GOLF, can allow players to easily keep track of their score and points on even most complicated of a golf game. Spent more time focused on your play and let the app manage the rest of it.