While planning your next game, one of your buddies suggested spicing things up by playing a wolf game. Which got you wondering, “what is a wolf game in golf?”
Wolf is a point-based golf betting game typically played with three or four players, where each player takes turns being the wolf on each hole. The wolf can play the hole alone or with a partner, with the primary objective being to finish each hole with the lowest score.
In the rest of this article, we’ll get into further detail on the game of wolf, how it’s played, and give tips on how to win big against your friends.
How do you play wolf?
To further understand the wolf game, we’ll use an example of four friends (Jake, Mike, Peter, and Tony) to explain how the game is played and its rules.
Order of wolf players
The first thing the four friends do is to come up with a batting order. Typically, this is done by flipping the tee, and whoever the sharp end points to will be the first to tee. This is redone until the last player is decided.
Unlike other games where the order of play changes in every round based on a player’s score, the batting order in wolf remains the same. However, players alternate being the wolf in every round.
In our example, the order of play is set to Peter, Jake, Tony, and Mike. For this game,
- Peter will be the wolf for holes 1, 5, 9, and 13.
- Jake will be the wolf for holes 2, 6, 10, and 14.
- Tony will be the wolf for holes 3, 7, 11, and 15.
- Mike will be the wolf for holes 4, 8, 12, and 16.
Typically, the 17th hole and 18th hole are reserved for the player with the least score to allow them an opportunity to win the game.
Playing the game (holes 1-4)
For the 1st hole, Peter (the wolf) tees off first and hits an average drive. Jake goes second and hits a relatively good drive. Peter has the choice of picking Jake as his partner for the round but can only do so before Tony tees off. Peter decides to wait and see what Tony and Mike have.
Tony is next and hits the ball into the rough. Peter doesn’t choose him.
Peter now has two choices. He can choose Mike as his partner (2-Vs-2 Game) or play solo against his three friends. (1-Vs-3 Game)
Mike hits an incredible drive, which prompts Peter to choose him. So, the first hole is Peter and Mike vs. Jake and Tony. The team with the lowest score (better ball score) wins the hole.
Jake is now the wolf on the second hole and is the first to begin. The teams formed on the first hole are disbanded. Jake can now form a new team or decide to go solo. He hits a perfect drive and immediately declares lone wolf. It’s now Jake against Mike, Tony, and Peter.
Tony is now the wolf on the third hole and tees off into the rough (It’s just not his day). Mike goes second and hits an excellent drive. Tony decides to choose Mike as his partner, but Mike declines the offer. For such a scenario, the game switches, and it’s now Mike against Tony, Peter, and Jake.
Mike is now wolf on the fourth hole. Even before he can tee off, he declares blind lone wolf. This puts him against his three friends, and if he wins, he gets triple the number of points.
Scoring in wolf: Go lone wolf, blind wolf, or partner up.
A wolf’s decision to partner up or go solo impacts how many points they score or how much money they win or lose.
If a wolf chooses to partner up (like Peter did), the wolf and his partner get a single point each if they win the round. If it’s a betting game, they will win an equivalent of their bet.
If the wolf hits a good drive and chooses to go at it alone without seeing the other player’s drive (Jake), the wolf stands a chance of winning or losing triple the points/ amount bet.
If the wolf decides to wait until every player tees off and decides he is going to play golf alone, they stand to win or lose double the points/ amount bet. If the wolf decides to go at it alone, even before anyone tees off (like what Mike did), he stands to lose or win quadruple the points/ amount bet.
What does it mean to divorce the wolf?
Divorcing a wolf is what Mike, in our example, did when Tony chose him as his partner. Divorcing the wolf means a player can refuse to partner with the wolf. In such a case, the game shift from wolf vs. other players to the divorced player vs. the wolf and other partners.
Double the points or money bet is on the line for such a case.
Tips to win big in wolf
Wolf is mainly a game of strategy. Every wolf must always be aware of their options and the risks they are taking. Here are some tips to win big against your friends.
Do your research before playing
Before going for the game, research who you’ll be playing with. Take time to learn your friends’ strengths and weaknesses on the course. This makes it easy to choose a partner or to go solo.
Another aspect of doing research is ensuring you know the course well since it helps you plan your shots better.
Team up with a high handicapper
This is where research comes in. If your game has a handicap provision, consider teaming up with a high handicapper. Teaming up with a high handicapper helps increase the chances of having a better ball score since they are given at least one stroke per hole.
Know when to go lone wolf, blind wolf, and partner up
Partnering up in wolf is both advantageous and disadvantageous. If you lose, you only lose a single point. However, if you win, you win a single point or an equivalent of the money you’d bet.
On the other hand, going alone puts you at the risk of winning or losing double, triple, or quadrupling the points or amount of money you bet.
On holes where you’re confident, you can decide to go blind wolf or even divorce the wolf. If feeling unconfident, choose to partner up.
Have fun with the wolf game
All you need to know about the wolf game in golf is explained here and will help you win big against your friends whenever you play.
Check out our additional instructions for other variations of golf from AEC Info: