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Each month we will try to bring to you straightforward examples of popular - and not so popular - games on the course; games that will make your rounds more challenging and fun to play. In this next installment of Game of the month, we will present a new version of a well-known golf game: 'Canadian Wolf.'
Canadian Wolf vs. WolfCanadian Wolf is played in teams of two. On each hole players tee off in order of NET score. Thus the player with the lowest net score from the previous hole shoots first, and the player with the highest NET score becomes the wolf. (On the first tee, the order of play is decided by flipping a tee). After each tee shot, the wolf decides whether or not to take that player on his/her team. If the wolf accepts a team member, then the teams are set for that hole.
While the rotation, the teams, and the option to play as 'Lone Wolf' is the same, the main difference between Canadian Wolf and Wolf is in the scoring. In regular Wolf, only the low net score counts, so a player who mis-hits his drive may lose interest in the hole. But because the net high score player loses a point in Canadian Wolf, the two players with higher scores still compete. Thus the key benefit of Canadian Wolf is that each player is always kept in the game, even if they play a hole badly.
Once a teammate is chosen, the teams play out the hole for both the high and the low NET score. A team wins one point for the lowest NET score and wins one point if the opposing team has the highest net score. Score keeping can be confusing the first time the game is played, but the situations below should illustrate the scoring method.
Suppose Jack and Sharm play against Tom and Grover. In the first example (A), Jack has the low NET score of 4 and Tom (on the opposing team) has the high NET score of 7. Jack's team wins two points. In the second example (B), the same team has both the low and high NET scores, and no points are scored (also called 'no blood'). In the final situation (C), Jack has the low NET score of 4, while there is a tie for the high NET score. In this case, the team with the low NET score earns a point, and no points are gained for the high NET score.
Note that because players may switch teams every hole, individual point totals should be kept for each player. Also note that the total points should always sum to zero.
When on the tee, there is an additional option for the wolf. Once the first two players have teed off (and before the third player hits their ball), the wolf has the option to either team with the third player or to declare that they will play the hole as the 'Lone Wolf.' As a lone wolf, the player needs to have the lowest NET score to win the hole. If the wolf does shoot the lowest NET score, then they receive one point from each of the other players (for a total of three). If another player shoots the lowest net score, then the wolf loses a point to each of the other players (a tie results in no blood). In the example below, Jack goes 'Lone Wolf' and wins three points - one from each of the other players.
With each player always kept in the game, the rotation of teams changes the play every hole, and the option to go 'Lone Wolf,' Canadian Wolf maintains a high level of excitement throughout the round.