How to play Bingo Bango Bongo, the golf gambling game for rule followers

scorer holds rules of golf

This week's golf gambling game is only for the fiercest followers of course etiquette.

Getty Images

As your fearless curator of golf gambling games, I’ve outlined many games (like Las Vegas and Split Sixes) that are perfect for everyone. They’re easy to play, don’t discriminate based on handicap and are perfect for anyone heading out to the course, so long as they’re looking for a good time.

That’s exactly why it takes a lot for me to admit that this week’s golf gambling game isn’t for me (but that doesn’t mean it isn’t for you). This week’s game, Bingo Bango Bongo, is built for those who live and die by the rules and etiquette of golf. In fact, the single most important element of this week’s game is an insistence on playing in the proper order.

Call it a stroke of insanity, dear reader, but I’m a hardened advocate for “ready golf.” The more efficiently a round can be played, the better. If that comes at the expense of a shot or two out of turn, so be it!

Scott Hend tees off during the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship earlier this year.
This proposal would REALLY solve the slow play problem in golf
By: Nick Piastowski

This week’s golf game allows for none of such tomfoolery. But, I must admit, it is for good reason. Bingo Bango Bongo requires an insistence on proper etiquette, but for those willing to follow the rules, an awesome game awaits. Here’s how to play.

The Big Picture

Bingo Bango Bongo is a game in which three points are up for grabs on every hole. Each point corresponds to the completion of a different activity. The first golfer to complete each activity earns a point, and at the end of the round, points are added up and cash is divided based on point totals (groups will generally play $1 per point).

Scoring

Bingo: The “bingo” point is given to the first golfer in the group who lands their ball on the green.

Golf balls on a putting green.
I’m addicted to this popular putting game that PGA Tour players use
By: Luke Kerr-Dineen

Bango: Once all balls are on the green, the golfer with the ball closest to the pin earns the “bango” point.

Bongo: The “bongo” point is awarded to the player whose ball lands in the cup first.

Why Etiquette Matters

Etiquette is everything in Bingo Bango Bongo, largely because two-thirds of the points awarded in a given game are dependent upon being the first golfer to achieve them. If a player goes out of turn to win the “bingo” or “bongo” point, the point on the hole is awarded to the second person to achieve either.

Etiquette becomes increasingly important on par-3s, when golfers can theoretically earn both the “bingo” and “bongo” points before the remaining players in the group have teed off.

Why You Should Try It

Bingo Bango Bongo is a fantastic game for playing with golfers of varying skill levels. The point values aren’t reflective of a player’s score on a given hole (theoretically, a player could shoot triple-bogey and beat a player with a par to all three points), which adds a level of intrigue to every hole, no matter the performance.

If you’re willing to wait the extra few seconds to ensure that everyone in the group is playing in the proper order, this could be the perfect golf game for your next round.

Golf Magazine

Subscribe To The Magazine

Subscribe

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine on a broad range of topics. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow, during which time he cut his teeth at NFL Films, CBS News and Fox Sports. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from.