How Does Bingo Bango Bongo Work?

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One of the great things about golf is all the different games you can play with your golfing partners. Standard formats like match play and stroke play are fine but mixing in other formats like Bingo Bango Bongo can add excitement.

Bingo Bango Bongo is a points-based golf game designed to reward players that are the first to accomplish certain achievements on each hole. 

Let’s explore how this quirky game works. We’ll explain the basic rules, some of the advantages of the game, and expose the many problems with Bingo Bango Bongo. Here we go!

Bingo Bango Bongo Golf Game Group
Bingo Bango Bongo

Basic Bingo Bango Bongo Scoring

Bingo Bango Bongo has three available points on every hole. Here are the three points and how players earn each point:

  • Bingo = First Player to Hit the Green in Regulation
  • Bango = Player That Hits Their Ball Closest to the Hole
  • Bongo = First Player to Make the Ball into the Hole

One point is awarded for each of these achievements and the player with the most points at the end of the round wins. A value is assigned to each point (usually $1 or $2) and the margin of victory determines the payout.

As you can see, playing order is critically important to this game. Hitting your shot out of turn can give you an unfair advantage and is often penalized by disqualification for the hole.

Problems With Bingo Bango Bongo

Bingo Bango Bongo can be fun but it has many drawbacks. Here are a few to consider.

Strict Playing Order

Since playing order is so important, Bingo Bango Bongo requires everyone in the group to adhere to the formal rules of etiquette related to the order in which players hit their shots.

This means that honors must always be played from every tee box. That is, the player with the lowest score on the previous hole must tee off first, second lowest score tees off second, etc.

Also, players must allow whichever player is furthest from the hole (out) to hit their shot before playing their own shot. Playing out of order is strictly prohibited. This applies to any shot that could result in a Bingo, a Bango, or a Bongo.

Most golfers play some version of Ready Golf, so adjusting to this strict order can be difficult. Keeping perfect playing order in golf will also slow down the game and hinder the overall place of play on the course.

Imagine if everyone had to mark gimmie putts to allow another play their fair chance at Bongo. The round would take forever!

Scores Don’t Actually Matter

Another drawback to Bingo Bango Bongo is that your golf score has little to do with the points earned in the game. You could beat your playing partners handily in the stroke play but rarely score a Bingo, a Bango, or a Bongo.

Games that use points unrelated to actual golf scores aren’t a good reflection of the game.

No Handicaps

Since the achievements scored in Bingo Bango Bongo aren’t related to actual golf scores, there is no way to handicap the game. It has more to do with dumb luck than anything else.

In fact, shorter hitters often have an advantage since they play first on approach shots and have the first chance at Bingo. They can also snag Bongo points by making a few longer putts. Maybe that’s why this game is popular among less skilled golfers.

Bingo Bango Bongo 3 Point Golf Game
First On, Nearie, First In

Bingo Bango Bongo Advantages

There are a couple advantages to Bingo Bango Bongo. It’s worth pointing a couple of those advantages out here.

For one, less skilled players can enjoy the game without worrying too much about their score. A group of high handicap players can enjoy themselves and track points even if they’re not scoring well in the traditional stroke play sense.

Also, the game be played with any number of players. We do not recommend it for a fivesome since it would slow down the whole golf course, but it might be good for two or three players stuck behind a full tee sheet of foursomes.

Two players that will be waiting behind larger groups could add Bingo Bango Bongo to a game of Nassau for some added interest. Just don’t let the playing order slow you down too much.


Bingo Bango Bongo is an interesting and gimmick way to score golf, and it might be best played as a golf drinking game. The game can be played with any number of players and less skilled players still have an opportunity to win points even without handicaps.

However, Bingo Bango Bongo slows down the round of golf, since you must keep a strict order. The game also has little or nothing to do with the quality of your golf and is based more on luck.

Feel free to give this wacky game a try, but we’d recommend playing the Scotch golf game instead.

David Shelly
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