We hate to make a sweeping generalisation, but it feels safe to say that the majority of club golfers stick to the standard four-ball (best-ball) matchplay format when playing for money. Two vs two, shots divvied up, perhaps some side action. You know the drill.

We’re not saying there is anything wrong with that, mind you. It’s a great way to keep the whole group involved, and it’s easy to keep track of for whoever is keeping score. Every now and then, though, you’ve gotta spice it up when gambling on the course. One of the best “let’s change it up today” golf games is Wolf.

If you’re reading this, you have probably heard of Wolf before but have never played it and would like to learn more. Below, we’ll explain the format, the number of players required to play and the different variations of Wolf that can turn your standard Saturday game into something a bit more fun and complex.


Chrissy explains the game of Wolf #golf #golfgames #golftiktok #golftok #betting #gambling #golfbetting

♬ original sound – ChrissyDoes

Number of players required: Wolf can be played with just three players, but the game works best with your standard foursome.

Best for: Groups looking to break from the norm. Golfers who don’t like to rely on others. Golfers that do like to rely on others. People who enjoy strategy. Gamblers.

How to play: Your first order of business when playing Wolf is to pick a playing order on the first tee that will rotate throughout the round. There are no “honours” in Wolf. Each hole, one of the players in the foursome will be the “Wolf”, and then you rotate down the line as the round continues. So on the first hole, if the order is Player A, Player B, Player C and Player D, Player A is the Wolf for that hole, and Player B would automatically be the Wolf on the second. Player C would be the Wolf on the third, Player D the Wolf on the fourth, and then the order would come back around to Player A being the Wolf on fifth hole. Usually, the teeing order is in reverse handicap order, so Player A above would have the highest handicap and Player D the lowest, but that’s up to you.

As the Wolf, you can choose to go it alone (like a lone Wolf, get it?) before or after you hit your tee shot, or you can choose a playing partner for that specific hole. You can do this before anyone hits their tee shots, or wait to see Player B’s tee shot. If it’s good, you’ll probably choose Player B to partner up with (also taking into account who receives handicap strokes on the hole), which then sets up a one-hole match of Players A and B against Players C and D. If you do not choose Player B after their tee shot, once Player C hits their tee shot, Player B is no longer an option. You’d then have to choose Player C after their tee shot. If you do not choose Player C, your only two options left once Player D hits are choosing Player D as your partner, or going at it alone. Again, as a reminder, you can choose to go it alone at any point on the tee when you are the Wolf.

Now, how do you accumulate points and keep score? That’s sort of up to you, particularly if you want to put a dollar amount on it or a point amount on each hole. This should be decided and agreed upon on the first tee. Generally, choosing to be the lone Wolf and winning the hole comes with a larger point total because it’s more difficult to win a hole in a 3 vs 1 best-ball match. For example, if you choose to go it alone and win, you’d be awarded 2 points. If you choose to go it alone and lose, the other three players would be awarded 1 point to your 0. If you choose a partner and play a 2 vs 2 best-ball match, the winning side would also receive 1 point while the losing side receives 0. The player with the most points after 18 holes would win the game of Wolf.

Variations: There are a number of variations on Wolf, many of them involving side action throughout the round. This is, again, up to the group. You can make side bets on who will win the hole, how many points each player might accumulate, etc. One thing a player can also do is deny partnering with the Wolf, thus making that player the lone Wolf on the hole. Something the Wolf can also do is blindly bet on themselves before a tee shot is even struck on a hole, which doubles the bet or point total, depending on what you agree on. In a three-man version of the game, the player who hits the second-best tee shot of the group is automatically the Wolf.