2021’s golfing calendar is drawing to a close, but there is still some action to get excited about before Christmas.
Lucas Herbert won’t want to see the back of this year as he recently picked up his first US PGA Tour win. The Australian jumped to 43rd in the world rankings following his one-shot victory in the Bermuda Championship, but crucially it’s earned the 25-year-old his first shot at the 86th Masters in Augusta next April. It was clear that there’s nothing like that first win, no matter what you’re playing.
Just ask Dan Lazrus, who won his maiden World Series of Poker bracelet in live tournament play recently. His only other win had come online, but the Long Island resident stepped away from online play, to experience something different and he’s certainly reaped the reward. Lazrus and Herbert certainly have parallels; Herbert also swapped things up, moving from the European Tour to the PGA Tour and tasting victory on both continents.
So how about trying a different game to spice up your time on the course and maybe get that winning feeling? Do you love poker as well as golf, or is it a game that you’ve thought about playing? There’s a way to combine both to put a fun twist on your round by playing poker golf.
It’s so simple to get things started too. All you will need to get started is an understanding of some basic poker terms and the hand ranking charts. Then you’re good to go to the first tee, after deciding on if you’re placing a wager on the outcome too, of course!
How do you play?
In the card game, players look to build the best hand, whereas in golf’s version, you use your scores on the course to build the hand. Your ‘hand’ on the course is created with one hand coming from the scores from the front nine, then a second hand coming from the back nine. Like the golf game you’re used to playing, the lower the score, the better in poker golf. So, let’s look at that in a little more detail.
5-4-4-5-6-5-4-4-3, you’re pretty happy with that front nine scorecard, and in poker golf that wouldn’t be a bad way to start the first ‘hand’ too. So, how it works is that you can build a full house there. You’ve played nine holes but a poker hand is built with five cards, so you’ll discard the other four ‘cards’ once you’ve built the hopefully winning hand. You’ve got fives over fours. Lower scores are better here, so if you had made it fours over threes, that would be the better score.
While the hand rankings follow that of the card game, there are some slight changes to suit golf. Because obviously, you’re not restricted to four of a kind, you might have a particularly good game and get five birdies from your nine holes, so you’d have five of a kind. As we said, there were some slight changes. So, let’s share that hand ranking for you.
- Five of a kind
- Four of a kind
- Full House (three of one, four of another)
- Three of a kind
- Two pairs
Bear in mind that the lower the score the better, as we mentioned above. So, if two players offer up hands of three of a kind. Then the one who offers up three 3’s wins over someone with three 4’s. You find the winner after the front nine, ante up again for the back nine, and away you go.
The beauty of poker golf is that it just adds a different twist to your round. It doesn’t get in the way of your usual game; the object of your regular game is to get the lowest score to beat your opponents, and that doesn’t change here. Poker golf provides an opportunity to win in an alternative way, and there’s no better feeling than winning on the course. It’s something that never gets old.