NH Golf Notebook: Sometimes, for a little fun, it's good to be The Wolf

Roger Brown, The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester
·6 min read

May 3—GOLF IS A FUN GAME, or at least it can be. It can be even more enjoyable when you have a little side action on the results.

That said, here are seven popular (and illegal) gambling games that you can play while you're on the course. These may help you lighten a few wallets. Of course, your wallet could get lightened, as well.

BINGO, BANGO, BONGO

This game is about earning points. The first player in your group to get the ball on the green gets a point (bingo); the player who is closest to the pin once everyone's ball is on the green gets a point (bango); and the first player to hole out gets a point (bongo).

This is a good game even if there's a weak player in your group since you only have to be first at something. A weaker player may need more shots to reach the green, but could be closer to the hole once he or she gets there. That would be worth a point.

WOLF

In a group of four, one player is designated as "The Wolf." The Wolf rotates from player to player throughout the round, always hits last and can choose to play against the three other players (lone wolf) or pick a playing partner for that hole (2 vs 2). He has the option to make that decision after each player's first shot. If Player 2 hits a long drive in the fairway, The Wolf may want to pair up with that player, but he must choose to do so before the other players hit their drive. The winning player or team on that hole collects from the other players.

SIX-SIX-SIX (aka Hollywood)

In this game, you change playing partners in your foursome every six holes. Any scoring format can be used and each six-hole stretch is a separate wager. If you win at least two of the six-hole matches, you should be using someone else's money to buy dinner.

VEGAS

This involves two teams with two players on each team, and you play for a point total on each hole. Rather than adding each player's score, however, the scores are paired with the lowest score first. Instead of a 5 and 6 being an 11, it's a 56. One exception: If a player scores a 10 or higher on a hole, the higher score comes second. So a 10 and a 6 isn't 610, it's 106. Typically, players bet a fixed amount per point and each team's point total is added up at the end of the round.

BEST BALL OR FOURBALL

Like Vegas, there are two teams with two players per team. Each player plays out his or her ball. At the end of the hole, the lowest score recorded by the team counts toward the team tally, and the highest score per team is thrown out.

SKINS

A dollar amount is assigned for each hole, and the lowest score on each hole wins the skin. Should more than one player tie for the lowest score on a hole, the skin carries over. The winner of the next hole also wins any skins that carried over. One good thing about this game is a golfer may struggle for a stretch of holes, say four, but those holes may have been tied with no outright winner. If you can win the next hole, you get that skin plus all the skins from the previous four holes as well.

NASSAU

Perhaps the Super Bowl of golf gambling games, a Nassau features three separate bets: low score on the front nine, low score on the back nine and low total. The most you can lose in a $10 Nassau is $30. Teams can also "press" when they're down by at least two holes. A press ends the front nine or back nine bets and creates a new wager. If a team trails by two holes after six holes have been played and they press, it creates an additional bet on holes No. 7 through No. 9.

Rules question: In stroke play, a player's caddie, who is not attending the flagstick, accidentally deflects his player's ball in motion after a stroke. What is the ruling? (Answer below).

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Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire are among the five Northeast-10 Conference men's golf programs selected to participate in the NCAA Division II Championships Atlantic/East Region, which will be held from May 6-8 at Lake View Country Club in North East, Pa.

Bentley, the No. 2 seed in the East Region, is the highest-ranked NE-10 program in the eight-team competition. Franklin Pierce is the No. 3 seed, Le Moyne is seeded No. 4 seed, Assumption No. 5 and Southern New Hampshire No. 6.

The top four teams from each regional and the top individual not with a team will advance to the NCAA Championship on May 17-21 at PGA National Resort (The Champion Course) in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The Franklin Pierce women's team also qualified for the Northeast-10 Division II Atlantic/East Regional, which will be held Monday through Wednesday at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel, Ind. The Ravens earned the league's automatic qualifier bid and will be the No. 9 seed.

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The New Hampshire Golf Association season kicked off Thursday with a Stroke Play Series event at Campbell's Scottish Highlands in Salem. Harvin Groft (67), Sam Natti (70) and Bryce Zimmerman (70) are the three golfers who finished under par.

Answer to rules question: There is a one-stroke penalty if a player's caddie is not attending the flagstick and accidently deflects his player's ball in motion after a stroke.

Source: USGA Rules of Golf.

NEW HAMPSHIRE GOLF CALENDAR

May 8: NHGA Mixed Club Team Championship (Derryfield CC)

May 16: NHGA Spring Four Ball

May 17-19: NHGA Match Play (Cochecho CC)

May 18: NHGA Stroke Play Series (Candia Woods GL)

June 1: NHWGA Spring Fling (Owl's Nest)

June 3: NHGA Tournament Series (Lake Sunapee CC)

June 5-6: NHGA Players Invitational (Baker Hill GC)

June 9-10: NHWGA Women's Team Championship (Beaver Meadow GC)

June 10: NHGA Four Ball Championship (Owl's Nest)

June 13: NHGA Junior Spring Preview

June 15: NHGA Stroke Play Series (Pembroke Pines CC)

June 21: Junior Team Championship (TBA)

June 22: NHWGA President's Cup (Pease GC)

June 23: NHGA State Am qualifier (Breakfast Hill GC)

June 25: NHGA Junior Tour Mini Series (Intervale CC)

June 25: NHGA State Am qualifier (Bretwood GC/South)

June 27: NHGA State Am qualifier (Beaver Meadow GC)

June 28: Hoodkroft Junior Open

June 28: NHGA State Am qualifier (Abenaqui CC)

June 28: NHGA State Am qualifier (Maplewood GC)

June 28-30: New England Women's Amateur (Agawam Hunt/East Providence, R.I.)

June 29: NHGA State Am qualifier (Loudon CC)

June 30: Junior Tour (Owl's Nest)

July 1: Mini Series (Rockingham CC)

July 6-7: Junior All-Star Championship (Mt. Washington Resort GC)

July 8: Junior Tour (Candia Woods)

July 12-17: NHGA Amateur Championship (North Conway CC)

July 19-21: Mike Ryan Memorial Championship (Derryfield CC)

July 20-22: New England Amateur (Great River Golf Club/Milford, Conn.)

July 22: Junior Tour (Keene CC)

July 26: Junior Tour (Breakfast Hill GC)

July 27: Junior Tour (Loudon CC)

Aug 2-4: Junior Championship (Pease GC)

Aug 15-17: New England Junior Amateur (Val Halla Golf Course/Cumberland, Maine)

Aug. 19: Junior Invitational (TBA)

Sept. 14-15: New England Senior Amateur (Manchester Country Club/Manchester, Vt.)

rbrown@unionleader.com