Are you the leader of your foursome? Try this golf game

February 14, 2020

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You zag when others zig, you shoot when others dribble, you’re not afraid to walk alone. In other words, you’re the leader of your group. While those lines sound recycled from a car commercial, they’re also the casting call for the ideal player of this week’s golf game: Wolf.

Wolf is a constantly morphing golf game. Every hole brings different circumstances, different challenges, even different teammates. The only constant is that those daring enough to be the leader hold the greatest chance of leaving a winner. Here’s how it works.

The Big Picture

On every hole, every participant in the game is either the “wolf” or the “pack.” In either case, the primary goal is to beat the side you aren’t on in a best-ball format. If you’re willing to stack the odds against yourself, you could make a killing. But be careful, a series of bad gambles could leave you LIGHT in the pocket.

The Rules

1) Pick an order

This can be done on the first tee or beforehand (drawing straws or a similar method is fine). Each player is given an order in the group (first through fourth). As the game progresses, your order will determine who is the “Wolf” on each hole. There’s no strategic advantage to going first or in any order. Whoever is chosen to go first will tee off first on hole 1, and once every player has been the wolf four times, wolf duties for the final two holes are delegated to whoever is in last place.

2) Watch the tee

Once the wolf has been selected on a single hole, he or she tees off first. Then, the remaining members of the group tee off in the order selected on the first tee.

3) Pair up (or don’t!)

After each tee shot, it’s up to the wolf to decide if he or she wishes to pair up with the tee shot of a member of the pack. Typically, a wolf only chooses this option if he or she has hit a dreadful tee shot, or if a member of the pack has hit a tee shot so good, it’s impossible for the wolf to win the hole outright. But buyer beware! The wolf must make the decision on whether or not to pair with each member of the pack after their tee shots. And once a decision’s been made, there’s no going back!

4) Play out the hole

Once everyone has teed off, the game then morphs into best-ball, taking one of two forms.

The first, if the wolf hasn’t chosen a partner, is the wolf against the remaining three members of his or her foursome. In this case, the hole would be worth 2x. If the wolf wins the hole, they are owed 2x the agreed-upon dollar amount by each of the three members of the pack. If the wolf loses, it’s reversed, with the wolf paying out 2x the agreed-upon amount to the remaining three members.

The second, if the wolf has chosen a partner, is two vs. two. In this case, the hole is worth 1x, or (in simpler terms) the agreed-upon amount.

In wolf, each one-hole match can end in either a win, loss or tie. There are no carryovers.

5) The Lone Wolf

It is as cool and as rogue as it sounds. This rule twist can be called by a wolf before anyone (including the wolf) has teed off on the hole.

In this case, the wolf declares before the tee shots that they will play the hole three vs. one. The result? The hole is played for 3x the wagered sum.

Why you should try it

This is not a game for the faint of heart. It’s also not a game for the risk-averse. But if you possess a willingness to go big, you could find your calling in wolf. You can thank us when your buddies’ bank accounts are whimpering after the round.

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