Inject some Ryder Cup flare into your next round with this golf game

April 3, 2020
Pinehurst Clock

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On the occasions in which us lonely golfers will break the mold and play a match, it’s typically one vs. one. The rarity of team golf is what makes the Ryder Cup one of golf’s great spectacles. It’s also what makes this week’s golf gambling game, the modified Pinehurst (yes, named after THAT Pinehurst), the perfect choice for your next round. Here’s how to play.

The Idea

The modified Pinehurst is a spinoff of traditional alternate shot golf seen most often at the Ryder Cup. To win the game, you must work with your teammate to reach the lowest score on each hole while rotating shots. This game can be played in either a match or stroke play format.

The Rules

  1. Pick teams and tee off: Split your foursome into pairs. This game works best with four players of equal ability, but if your group is spread across the handicap spectrum, try to pair the lowest and highest handicap player together. Once you’ve picked teams, everyone in the foursome tees off.
  2. Pick the best drive: Each pairing then picks the best drive for their respective team. This is an important decision, because once it’s been made, there’s no going back!
  3. Alternate shot commences: Once you’ve picked which drive your team would like to play, the game gains familiarity. On the second shot, the player whose drive wasn’t chosen plays the ball. From there, each team plays alternate shot until the ball is in the hole.
  4. Scoring: In a modified Pinehurst, stroke play and match play are acceptable forms of scoring. In stroke play and match play, scores are only counted on the ball designated by each team off the tee box.

What happens to the other tee ball?

The easiest answer, if you’re playing a modified Pinehurst, is to forget about it. The unused tee shot is competitively irrelevant to the round and typically only leads to you and your buddies drawing the ire of the course marshal. If both teams still wish to play the unused tee shot, it can be used as a side-bet carat.

Why You Should Try It

The modified Pinehurst is an awesome game for foursomes who need to scratch the itch for team golf. If it’s been too long since you’ve played alongside a buddy (or if you’re craving the competitive edge of a team game), it’s time to get in your finest Ryder Cup gear and get rolling.

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