Summer weather is almost here which means spectacular green foliage on the North Shore after the long winter and soggy spring. We’re all ready to dry out a bit, especially if you’re not up for getting out on the lakes and doing some paddling. How about a good walk around (a ride for most of us) around Superior National at Lutsen – Golf Course instead? This 27-hole course dog legs around and through the Poplar River Valley, against the backdrop of the Sawtooth Mountains and Lake Superior vistas in the distance.
While you’re here we thought we’d share some games to play out on the course with your friends, and how to play them.
3 Games to Play on the Course with Your Friends
Recommended for 3 or more players
Skins is a game in golf where players compete for a prize, typically money on every hole. The prize at stake for that hole is called the ‘skin’. The prize should be agreed upon before teeing off. The stakes typically increase on each hole or after a group of holes. For example (Holes 1-6 assigned $1, 7-12 given a $2 value, and 13-18 can be allotted a $3 value)
If a player wins the hole outright, then he wins the skin. If nobody wins the hole outright, the value of the skin gets added to the skin for the next hole. All players can compete for these holdover skins, regardless of their score on the previous hole.
If a skin isn’t won on the 18th green, the game goes into sudden death. Here, the game changes. A player still wins the skins if they win that skin but suppose Player 1 and Player 2 birdie the hole and Player 3 makes par, Player 3 is out. Player 1 and Player 2 then should continue until one wins the skin. It’s recommended you settle the playoff with a quick putting contest on the practice green to determine a winner, so as not to interfere with the pace of play and the groups behind.
Bingo, Bango, Bongo!
Recommended for 2 or more players
In Bingo, Bango, Bongo three points are up for grabs on each hole. The points correspond to the successful completion of a different activity. The first to complete the activity wins the point, and at the end of the round, points are added up with prizes divided based on point totals. Groups will generally play $1 per point.
To score Bingo, the first golfer in the group who lands on the green wins the point. The Bango point is earned by the player whose golf ball lands closest to the cup. Finally, the Bongo point is given to the player whose ball lands in the cup first.
Bingo, Bango, Bongo is an excellent game for groups of golfers with different skill levels since there is not an emphasis on an individuals score for a hole (you don’t have to perform well to succeed in the game), making it more a game of following proper golf etiquette to ensure fair scoring opportunities for the parties involved.
Recommended for 2 to 4 players
One of the most popular games you’ll encounter, Nassau is easy to keep track of but also allows you to make it as complex as you and your friends would like. The Nassau wager is built out of 3 smaller wages: The Front 9, The Back 9, and the overall 18 Holes. Feel free to play as individuals or in a team with match play scoring, where the lowest hole score on the hole wins that hole.
Before beginning the rounds, the players should decide on the amount of each Nassau. For example, $3/$3/$3 indicates $3 for the front, $3 for the back, and $3 for the overall 18.
Players will then tee off and compete for the first Nassau on the Front 9 using matchplay scoring. If there is a tie after the Front 9, no one wins the Front 9 Nassau. Otherwise, the player or team which is up after the first 9, wins the Nassau. The player or teams will then continue to the back 9 and compete for the back 9 Nassau. The scores from the Front 9 do not carry over. The overall Nassau is won by the player or team which one the greatest number of holes for the entire round of 18.