10 Golf Outing Hole Games that Make Money

By:
Keith Moehring
June 27, 2022
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Every golf course has them, a small collection of holes where play screeches to a dead stop. Whether it be a short par five that everyone tries to reach in two, a long par 3 that takes a little extra time, or that one group who hits the drink cart too early and too often, hole backups are often unavoidable. 

So, how do you keep golfers occupied while they wait? Well a cooler full of beverages is a good start, but why not set up some fun games or contests near the hole that can entertain golfers, generate a little extra revenue, and soak up some of that beer you’ll inevitably have left over. 

Below are 9 ideas to consider your next golf outing. I’ve taken the liberty of rating each by alcohol consumption (🍺 ) and revenue (💵 ) potential. All ratings are out of five.

1. Marshmallow Chipping

Alcohol: 🍺 🍺 

Money: 💵  💵  💵  💵

Designate a target, and then place marshmallows 15 feet away. Each golfer (ideally four or more) pays a small fee ($5 to $10) to participate. The group then tries to hit their marshmallow as close to the target as possible. 

The closest wins some sort of prize, such as swag, Jello shots (green ones are preferable but purple aren’t bad), or even half the pot (you keep the rest). 

Consider offering this contest before the outing starts as well. 

2. Flip Cup

Alcohol: 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺 

Money: 💵  💵  💵  

Designate a group of individuals—good luck finding well-practiced, college-aged volunteers—to challenge each foursome that comes through to a rousing round of flip cup. Charge an fee to play. 

If the outing foursome wins, they get some sort of swag, double their entry fee back, or simply pride in knowing they are the true flip cup champions. Additional awards or end of outing acknowledgement can be given to those groups who achieve the Perfect Flip—each player only needs one try to successfully flip all cups.

Depending on how many groups you have in your outing, a back-up flip cup team or two may not be a bad idea, nor would a taxi cab service on speed dial.  

3. Golf Pong

Alcohol: 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺 

Money: -

Set up two sets of 6 large buckets in a pyramid formation about 10 feet apart. A team of two golfers compete against another team of two golfers team with the goal of chipping a ball into all 6 buckets. The first to chip into all 6 wins.

If one team chips their ball into a bucket, the opposing team needs to drink, unless they can make a rebuttal shot. 

Inspiration: Pinterest

4. Bozo’s Grand Prize Bucket Bonanza Golf Game

Alcohol: 🍺 

Money: 💵  💵  💵  💵

This game was inspired by Bozo’s Grand Prize Game. Arrange a series of big red buckets (like those in number 3) in a straight line. For an entry fee, golfers can attempt to make a chip in each bucket, in order. 

Within each bucket is a prize. Start small, maybe with a beer, and progressively get more valuable. The last bucket can give the golfer double their money back, or some other multiple depending on how generous you want to be. You may also consider a crisp $100 bill. 

It is important to have someone dressed like a super creepy clown pointing to each bucket in succession saying, “Bucket … Number 1”. 

5. Hole of Fortune

Alcohol: 🍺 🍺 🍺 

Money: 💵  💵  💵  💵  💵

Love this one from BidPal. BidPal helps nonprofits acquire new donors, communicate their messages, engage their donors, and–most importantly–retain those donors.

Set up a wheel-of-fortune style prize wheel near a hole, ideally a par 3. These wheels can be rented at party supply stores or online. 

Charge a dollar amount to spin the wheel. In half of the prize slots include some rewards, such as: 

  • Tee off from the closest tee box
  • Get an extra mulligan
  • Free jello shots for the group
  • Get double your money back
  • Automatic hole in one

But make it interesting by making the other half of the slots not so rewardy. For example:

  • Hit your next shot while blindfolded
  • Tee off from the rough
  • Chug a beer before hitting
  • Donate an additional X dollars. 

6. Fisher Price Practice Hole

Alcohol: -

Money: 💵  💵  💵  💵  

Purchase a Fisher Price Golf Club Set and set up a mini hole off to the side of another hole. Establish a tee box, and then 25 feet or so away draw a circle 2-3 feet in diameter. 

Charge golfers a small fee to try to get the little plastic golf ball into the white circle. If a golfer can get a birdie, they get double their money back. If they shoot an eagle, 3x their money back, and a hole in one gets 5 times their money back. Or some other multiple. 

7. Poison

Alcohol: -  

Money: 💵  💵  💵  💵

Position a volunteer—ideally one who excels at chipping—on a tee box and let him or her challenge all groups to a game of poison for a small fee. 

The game is simple, two players starts at the same tee box marker, and then hit their balls to the opposite marker using the same club (anything but a putter). As soon as a player’s ball hits the opposite marker, they turn around and try to hit the original marker. 

As soon as he or she hits both markers, their ball is “poison.” At that point, their job is to hit the other player’s ball before getting hit. 

Players alternate shots, unless someone hits one of the markers, which gives them a free shot. 

8. Wiffle Golf Ball Home Run Derby

Alcohol: -

Money: 💵  💵  💵  💵  

Using a Fisher Price golf club and wiffle golf ball, golfers pay a specific amount of money for an attempt at hitting the wiffle golf ball over a home run line. Ideally the line is placed a challenging, but not impossible, distance away. 

You may also consider adding a few different home run lines for juniors, ladies and seniors. If the golfer hits a home run, they get double their money back. 

9. Closest to the Stake

Alcohol: -

Money: 💵  💵  💵  💵  💵

This game involves all four golfers. Place a stake at the start of the fairway on a Par 4 or 5. After the group in front has teed off, each member of the foursome pays a certain amount to compete. Let the golfers determine what this amount is.

Each golfer then takes a turn at getting their ball closest to the stake. The winner gets 50% of the total pot, you collect the other half. 

Bonus Game

Putting Contest

Alcohol: -

Money: 💵  💵  💵  💵

On the practice green before the start of the event, set up a marker 40 to 50 feet away from a hole. Next, draw one circle around the hole 6 feet in diameter, and then a second circle 12 feet in diameter (You may want to ask the course owner for permission first). 

For a small entrance fee, golfers get a chance to put as close to the hole as possible. Those who can putt into the 12-foot circle get their money back. Anyone who makes it into the 6-foot circle gets double their money back. And if they make the putt, they get four times their money back.

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