4 Top Favorite Golf Gambling Games [Rules & How to Play]

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Looking for a fun way to pass time on the golf course? Why not try golf gambling games? Golf enthusiast Colleen Gilbert shares her favorite and best golf betting games and how to play them.

In my previous article, I wrote of my favorite five different golf games. Scramble, Best Ball, Match Play, Stroke Play, and Six-Six-Six are all suitable for any type of group or event.

In this article, I am including games that people like to bet on or, in other words, golf gambling games. So let’s get started!

⛳️ Related: 5 Best Types Of Games To Mix It Up On The Golf Course

1. Stableford Golf Game

I have listed this game number one because it always seems to be a crowd-pleaser when it comes to golf money games.

To start, here’s a quick history of the Stableford scoring method. Dr. Frank Barney Gorton Stableford (now there’s a mouth full) designed the Stableford scoring system at his home club in Wallasey, England. It was designed to help players with higher handicaps be more competitive and enjoy the game more.

The purpose of the game Stableford is to not penalize for poor play. This game uses your full handicap and scoring is based on your net score for each individual hole.

A point system is explained at the beginning of the game, indicating how many points would be awarded for each net score. The point system can vary depending on who makes the game up.

What is Stableford Scoring in Golf?

Below is a simplified example of one form of the Stableford scoring system used at our club. Again, this is based on your net score after your handicap is taken.

Eagle -5 points

Birdie - 3 points

Par - 2 points

Bogie - 1 point

Double bogey or worse - 0 points

For example, Sarah gets two strokes (based on her golf handicap) on a par four. She plays the hole and gets a five. Based on her handicap, her total score for the hole is a 3. A three is a Birdie, so she gets three Stableford points.

Pros & Cons of Stableford Scoring

Now that you have the gist of this golf gambling game, here are a few pros and cons on why it may or may not be for you.

To start, here are the positives. First, you move along a little faster because if you cannot obtain any points you have the opportunity of picking up and going to the next hole. Also, this game is great for all players and especially gives the high handicappers a chance of winning some money, too. This is a great game for singles or team play.

On the other hand, Stableford has a couple of negatives. Better golfers may struggle to score well due to this being a net score-based game in which low handicappers do not get as many strokes as high handicappers.

2. Quota

This golf game, in my book, is the flip side of the Stableford. It has a similar point game system.

Quota Golf Scoring System

First off, players take the number 36 and subtract their handicap from it. This total becomes your quota number for the game.

For instance, I have a 13 handicap. I would subtract 13 from 36 and my quota would 23. This would mean that I need to make my quota of 23 points and with luck go above that number. As in the Stableford golf game, this is a point-based system. An example of Quota scoring is listed below.

Eagle - 5 points

Birdie - 4 points

Par - 2 points

Bogey or worse - 0 points

This game is based on your gross score rather than a net score. So, at the end of the round you would count up your points and the winner would be the individual or team score with the most points over their quota number.

Pros & Cons of Quota

Quota is a great golf gambling game for lower handicappers, but it can be a challenge for higher handicappers. But it is also one of the fairest ways to treat all handicaps.

On the other hand, individuals with high handicaps may feel that they cannot contribute often due to using a gross score over a net score, which may cause frustration.

3. Skins Golf Betting Game

Probably the epitome of golf gambling is the skins golf game. This common golf betting game is pretty straightforward. Skins is known for being a side bet, one that is set up before you begin playing golf.

Skins Golf Rules – How Does it Work?

For instance, if you and your partner are going to play a match, before you begin you determine the rules and the amount of money of the skins. The rules may be if this will be a gross or net skin and if there is a tie the money is rolled over to the next hole. Depending on play the purse could get quite hefty if there are lots of ties. If at the end of the round you are in a tie you could have a playoff until one person wins or call it a day and head for the bar.

Pros & Cons of Skins in Golf

The skins golf game is enjoyed by all golfers of all skill levels. The higher handicappers normally prefer to play for net scores, while the lower handicappers favor gross. There are no real cons in skins unless you don’t win one!

4. Nassau Golf Game

showing a winning game of blackjack which is similar to Nassau golf gambling games

Another well-known golf betting game is Nassau. This golf gambling game is divided into three games, with the best score on the front and back nine and overall scores (combination of front and back.)

Before the golf game begins, the bet amount is determined. For conversation’s sake I will use the example of $2 for each game, so an individual could win a total of $6 if he wins the front, back, and total with the lowest score. Now, more money can be betted with “presses.”

Pressing is an additional bet when the losing player wants to gamble a bit more in hopes that he can better his score to not only win the press but the game. This is somewhat like playing the card game Blackjack when you can place a second bet on your hand in hopes that you will get a good draw in the cards.

Pros & Cons of Nassau

There are really no pros or cons to the Nassau golf game unless you go crazy with presses!

⛳️ Read Next: Why is Golf Fun? 8 Reasons to Convince Others to Play

Final Thoughts on Golf Gambling Games

Well, these are my favorite gambling golf games. I guess, in one way, golfers are gamblers; not only do we love to bet on ourselves in matches, but we also take chances or gamble while playing (trying to punch your shot out from under a tree and miss the water hazard at the same time). Best of all, there is a game for every amateur golfer, so come on take the gamble and get out and play!

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Colleen was born in Michigan and has been playing golf since she was 19 years old. She currently has a 12 handicap and is continually striving to improve her game. As a Senior Golfer, she spends her time playing golf, writing and investigating new golf courses.

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