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Wolf golf is an exciting golf game. The best part about playing the Wolf golf game is that you can easily play with 3, 4 or even 5 players.
This golf game can give you a break from the usual stroke play. If you’re new to Wolf, you’re in for a treat! It’s fun and easy once you grasp the game’s basic rules.
Let’s drive into the game and learn how to play Wolf!
Basic Rules of the Wolf Golf Game
Wolf is a great golf game in which each hole is worth points. If you’re betting against each other, each point is worth a specific dollar amount. The game has wild swings, so no player or team is ever out of the game with this exciting scorekeeping strategy. However, there are many variations of this game to be aware of. We’ll cover the basic rules first.
The first rule of the game requires that the group set a specific playing order and to determine which player is the Wolf on which holes. The players toss a tee or toss balls into the air to determine the playing order and who is the Wolf first. One player is the Wolf for each hole. Once players pick the Wolf, they can opt to hunt alone against the entire group or partner with one of the other players against the remainder of the group.
Before the start of the round, the group lines up and tosses a tee into the air. The golfer that wins the tee toss becomes the Wolf on the first hole. The tee toss should continue until the rotation is set.
Another option is to collect all the golf balls from the group and toss them into the air. The balls that land closest to the tee marker is first. The rest of the order is set by the relative position of the remaining golf balls.
The order determined by the tee or ball toss will stay the same for the entire round. This means that Player A tees off on the first hole, while Player B tees off on the second hole, and so on.
All the golfers will play the role of a wolf the same number of times. Depending on how many players you have, the Wolf for the final 2-3 holes will be assigned to whichever player is losing at that stage in the game.
The Wolf Tees Off First
After determining the order and who is the Wolf, the players begin to tee off starting with the Wolf. After each tee shot, the Wolf decides if they want to partner with that particular player.
If they see all the other players hit and do not select a partner, they have decided to hunt alone by default – as a Lone Wolf. Some groups will require you to let out a little howl to signify your decision.
Determining the Scores in Wolf
When playing in best ball teams, the team with the lowest score wins. Say Team 1 scores a four on the hole, and Team 2 scores a 5. Team 1 scored the lowest (4 strokes), winning the hole. There are no points awarded for ties and no carryover points. This also applies when the Wolf plays alone.
Points are assigned based on the number of players, each player representing one point.
When playing in foursomes and the wolf takes a partner, each player on the willing side earns 2 points. If the Wolf plays alone, they stand to win 3 points. However, they can also lose 3 points to each of the other three players.
Similarly, when playing as a threesome, the player playing alone can earn all 2 points by winning the hole. Whereas the players that are teamed up can only win one point each.
If you play as a fivesome, the team playing with three players can earn 2 points each for a winning hole, while the two player teams can earn 3 points each for a winning hole. If the Wolf plays alone, he stands to win 4 points but can also lose 4 points to each of the other players.
The Wolf golf game requires a lot of confidence. The biggest winners in the Wolf golf game are players willing to risk going alone and performing well enough to win the hole by themselves.
How Many Players Can Play Wolf Golf Game?
Golf is typically played in foursomes, so four golfers playing the Wolf golf game is common. However, variations allowing an odd number of players (3 or 5) make this a perfect game when you don’t have the normal foursome.
The three-player Wolf golf game and the five-player Wolf golf game variations slight rule changes as mentioned above. We’ll discuss these variations in more detail.
3-Player Wolf Golf
Three-player Wolf golf involves playing with three golfers. This game mirrors the traditional four-player Wolf. Each player will be the Wolf five times during a full 18-hole round of golf. On the last three holes, the player with the fewest points will be the Wolf.
Each hole in the game features a 2 vs. 1 best ball competition. One point per player (3 points) is a common method, but you could also assign 6 or 9 points for each hole.
If the Lone Wolf wins a hole, they earn all the points. But if the other two players win the hole, they split the points between themselves. If no golfer wins the hole outright, each player receives equal points.
Here’s how this turns out on the course using six points per hole.
As the players take their tee shots, the Wolf must decide to take a partner or play alone. The decision is made one player at a time, but it must be made before the next player takes their shot. If they fail to decide on a partner, they become the Lone Wolf.
If Player 1 chooses to go alone and wins the hole against the other two players, they earn 6 points for that hole. However, if Player 2 or 3 scores better than the Lone Wolf, they divide the 6 points, scoring 3 points each. If the Lone Wolf ties with either Player 2 or 3 for the lowest score, they all get 2 points for that hole.
In a scenario where the Wolf decides to work with Player 2 as a partner, they’ll have to accept a maximum of 3 points each for the hole. However, Player 3 can win all 6 points by beating the other two players.
5 Player Wolf Golf
As previously noted, five players can play the Wolf golf game. Some courses, especially private clubs, will allow fivesomes. Just be sure to play ready golf and keep the pace of play.
Like any other Wolf golf game, the first step is to determine the order. The order remains the same until players get to the 16th tee, meaning each player will be the wolf three times during the round. On the last three holes, the player with the fewest points will be the Wolf.
Five player wolf usually involves assigning points based on how the teams are balanced. The team playing with three players can earn 2 points each for a winning hole, while the two player teams can earn 3 points each for a winning hole. When playing alone, the Wolf stand to win 4 points but can also lose 4 points to each of the other players.
Variations of the Wolf Golf Game
Variations differ from one Wolf to another. These variations are meant to spice things up and make the game more interesting.
Birdies Double (Eagles Triple)
If a player wins a hole with a birdie, they double the wagered. Suppose they win with an eagle; the bet triples for the hole. “Trash birdies” (or non-winning birdies) earn similar points for each player.
See our previous article on Must-Know Golf Scoring Terms.
When the Wolf selects a partner, that player can chose to refuse the partnership. This is called a divorce and it will leave the player by himself to play as the Lone Wolf. The Lone Wolf will take on all the players in the group using the standard scoring system.
The Pig Wolf variation is similar to the Divorce variation. When the Wolf picks you as their partner, you can “Pig” them and turn down their offer. This means the Wolf will hunt alone. Bets double in this variation. The variation allows players to either win big or lose big.
The Blind Wolf is a notable variation of the Wolf game. In this variation, the Wolf declares upfront whether they will go alone even before other players take their swings. If they decide to go all alone before anyone hits a shot, the points triple.
Tips To Win at Wolf
Now that you know the rules for the Wolf golf game, here are tips to help you outsmart other golfers.
Wolf is a game of strategy, but you must play with confidence. Playing with confidence and putting other players in difficult situation can easily make them nervous. This gives you a competitive edge.
One way to show confidence is to declare yourself a Lone Wolf before taking your tee shot. Some variations call this the “Wolf Hammer” and allow for a 4X multiplier. Other players will quickly know that you’re there to deliver a tough game.
Partner With a High Handicapper
This tip works well when you’re playing with a wide range of different handicaps. It makes sense to choose a partner that is getting extra strokes on a particular hole. If the higher handicap player makes 5, their net score is recorded as a 4.
Paying attention to handicaps will make it much easier to collect points along the way. Learn more about golf handicaps and what they mean.
Don’t Take Things Too Seriously
Finally, the Wolf golf game should be fun and more exciting than the usual stroke play or match play. You should be competitive, but it doesn’t mean you should take things too seriously. Lighten up and have funs with your buddies. Just make sure the dollar amounts don’t get too crazy.
Wolf Golf Drawbacks
Wolf is a fun game, but it has some drawbacks. The main issue being playing order.
When playing Wolf golf, you must maintain the exact playing order. This can slow the round down as you spend a few moments on each tee box confirming who is up and who is next. Much like Bingo Bango Bongo, the order has to stay the same for the entire round.
Also, Wolf can get out of hand if you’re not playing well. The other players will see you struggling and can easily gang-up on you by forcing you to play alone as often as possible. When this happens, you stand to lose a lot of money.
Wolf is a perfect game for an odd number of players. Next time you’re playing in a threesome or fivesome, give the Wolf golf game a try.
Looking for other fun golf games to try? We’ve detailed many great ones like: Split Sixes, Scotch, High Ball-Low Ball, and many more! We even explained some fun golf drinking games you could try.
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