Betting is a part of most golfers’ typical outings; the extra competitive spirit of making bets contributes to the game can make golf that much more fun. Here are some bets you typically see on the course.

Remember: Never bet more than you can afford to lose.

  • A Nassau is a three-part bet with the same stake wagered on the first nine holes, the second nine, and the total for the round. If you’re playing a $5 Nassau and you win all three parts, you’re up $15.

  • Skins is the format in which each hole is worth a certain amount — but if two players tie, all tie, and the money goes into the pot for the next hole (and sometimes the next and the next).

  • To play wolf, one player takes on everyone else in the group. For a set price, the lone wolf can choose one of the others as his or her partner.

  • Snake is a side bet: The first player to three-putt a hole gets stuck with a “snake” that costs a predetermined sum each hole until someone else three-putts.

  • In Bingo Bango Bongo, the first player on the green earns a point (bingo), as does the one closest to the hole when everybody’s safely on (bango) and the first to hole a putt (bongo).

About This Article

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Gary McCord is a PGA Champions Tour player and celebrity golf instructor. He’s best known for the knowledgeable perspective, refreshing humor, and irreverent wit he has shown as a golf commentator for CBS for nearly 25 years.

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