I love the game of golf. No question about it. And I love playing as often as I can. But once in a while it’s nice to shake things up a bit and play a “game within a game.” It keeps things interesting.
The other day I was playing with a couple of friends on my home course. I’ve played it about twenty times this season so I’m pretty familiar with the dips and drops, the hills and swails, the undulating of the greens, etc. In other words, I know the course. I wasn’t really bored, but when one of my companions suggested a “game within the game” to keep us on our toes, I thought it a grand idea. It turned out to be so much fun, I thought I’d share it here.
It’s very simple to play. You keep score, hole by hole. If you drive the fairway, you give yourself 5 points. If you end up anywhere else, give yourself a zero. Continue to play your ball as usual till you get to the green. Count the number of putts you make and then subtract that number from your “fairway” score. The resulting number is your “score” for this “game within the game.”
For example, on the first hole I drive the fairway. I write down “5” on my scorecard. I continue to play as usual. When I finally make it to the green, it takes me two putts to get into the hole. So my “game within the game” score for that hole is a “3.” (Fairway points of “5” minus the number of putts-in this case, a “2.”) It may have taken me 7 strokes to get from the tee box to hole out, so my official score for handicap purposes will be a 7, but for the “game within a game” my score is a 3.
Another example: on the second hole I do my usual trick and end up in the woods, off the fairway and into the pine straw. My “game within a game” score is a big fat zero as I did not land on the fairway. I keep playing till I get to the green and “Tra La!” I one putt. My “game within the game” would be a “-1″…. “0” for the fairway score minus “1” for my one putt….
At the end of the round add up all your “game within the game” scores and declare the winner. Play for $$$, or for a beer at the 19th hole, or for a pair of socks in the pro shop… or just for the sheer joy of bragging rights. Lots of fun.
If you play this way, you’ll find yourself hitting more fairways and making more one putts! (I think it’s psychological!) You’ll be cheering yourself and your partners as your drives land in the rough and roll just inches into the fairway, or you’ll end up with a lot of chips that are “putt savers!” It’s a hoot and a simple enough game that you should try it on your next round.
If you do, add a comment below and let us know what you think. Simple, simple, but a great way to improve and have fun at the same time.