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 game well-known among golfers: 'Wolf.'
Wolf is played with four players, where all players play independently. The objective of the game is to be the player with the most
points at the end of the round.
Before the first hole, the order of play is decided by drawing or by flipping a tee. The 'Wolf' is always the last player to tee off.
At each hole, the players rotate the tee-off order (on the first hole 1,2,3,4 and on the second hole 2,3,4,1 and on fifth hole 1,2,3,4 again) so that
each player becomes Wolf once every four holes. On the 17th and 18th holes the first and second players are Wolf, respectively.
After the tee shot of each player, the Wolf decides whether or not to take that player on his/her team. Or, after all three other players have teed off,
the Wolf can play as a 'Lone Wolf' if they feel they can beat all three other players. As the Lone Wolf, the player plays alone and tries to shoot the
lowest NET score on the hole. Otherwise, each hole is played NET best ball (only the best score of each team counts) with scoring as follows:
- If the Wolf and their partner win the hole, they each receive 2 points.
- If the non-Wolf partners win the hole, they each receive 3 points.
- If the Lone Wolf beats all the other players (shoots the lowest NET score), he/she receives 4 points.
- If another player beats the Lone Wolf on a hole, all players - except the Lone Wolf - receive 1 point.
The example below illustrates the first six holes of a game of Wolf. On the first hole, a tee is tossed and Jack is chosen as Wolf (designated by the red W).
After Tom hits his drive, Jack chooses him to be his partner (designated by the blue WP). Jack shoots the low NET score of 4, and thus he and Tom each
receive 2 points. On the second hole, Sharm is Wolf and he chooses Jack to be his partner. But it is Tom who shoots the low NET score this time, thus both Tom and
Grover earn 3 points. On the third hole Tom is Wolf, and after watching the other players' tee shots he chooses to go Lone Wolf. As Lone Wolf, Tom shoots
the lowest Net score on the hole, and thus earns 4 points. Three more holes are illustrated below, see if you can figure out how they played out.
At the end of the match, the player with the highest total points wins a predetermined 'pot.' Alternatively, a set amount is determined for each point,
and the player with the lowest point total pays the difference to all other players. For example, if four players end up with 4,6,8, and 10 points
respectively, then the player with 4 points owes 2, 4, and 6 to the other three players. The player with 6 points owes 2 and 4 to the top two players.
And the player with 8 points owes 2 to the top player.
As with many popular games, there are several variations to Wolf:
- One variation, submitted by Marc Busser from Richmond, Virginia,
is to allow for a Blind Wolf, in
which the wolf for that hole declares he is going lone wolf before anyone
tees off. They give triple points for the winner of that hole.
- Another variation, also from Marc, takes place on the last two holes of the round. Instead of the 1st and 2nd place
players being wolf on 17 & 18 (as would be determined by the rotation), whoever is in last place becomes the wolf. This
gives them one last chance to win some money back...or really go down in
flames by going blind wolf.
- A third variation, submitted by another member of the MyScorecard community is called Pig.
In Pig, if the Wolf picks you as a partner, you have the option to throw the Wolf back and play solo against all three. When this happens, the Wolf just
got 'Pigged'. The catch is that if you 'Pig' someone, all the current bets double - in this variation you can win big, or lose big.