Single Shot Challenges

July 12, 2016

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Useful Games looks to provide information on various forms of on course competition for players of all levels.  Along with some of the more popular formats for group play, we will also explore unique games you can try with your foursome on the next round.


While most on course games involve a 9-hole or full round scoring format, sometimes a single shot challenge is a way to swing the momentum if holes aren’t going your way. If you find yourself sitting a couple holes down on the front nine, you can try flipping the script on your luck by offering a long drive contest on a par 5 or a closest to the pin on the next par 3.

Typically, a long drive contest is won by the player with the longest ball to safely land in the fairway. We usually require that player to finish with a par or better on the hole to earn the victory, but that rule can be up to your group. Similarly, a closest to the pin contest is won by the player with the ball closest to the hole and safely on the green. Again, par should be a requirement to seal the win. Should no one in the group manage to hit a tee shot in the fairway on a par 5 or on the green on a par 3, you can decide to let the stakes carry over to the next single-hole opportunity.

Now stakes don’t always have to be pocket money, beer, or cheap plastic trophies. Try adding a fun twist to these single shot contests by grabbing an old club that all players must use. An old school driver, persimmon or titanium, or even a driving iron can be found on ebay for under $25. The small sweet spot of these older clubs should make for some interesting results. Bring it out on the next round and offer that the winner of the hole get to keep the club as a trophy, with the understanding that anyone can challenge to dethrone the victor on a future opportunity. Think of it as a championship belt and savor the feeling of being on top, as it may be short lived.



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