How to Play the Arnies Bet in Golf

The Arnies golf game is named after Arnold Palmer
"Arnies" is the name of a side bet in golf that golfers can play within a group. The bet pays off to a golfer who makes par on a hole without ever being in the fairway.

Miss the fairway on your drive, miss the fairway on your approach, yet still make par on the hole? You just won an Arnie.

The game is named after Arnold Palmer (but you already knew that). Palmer was famous for his aggressive, slashing game off the tee and into the hole: Arnie was not the king of hitting fairways. But he was exceptionally good at getting out of trouble when he missed the fairway.

So was Seve Ballesteros, and that's why this game is also often called the Seve bet or Seve's.

Arnies can also be called the Arnies bet, Arnies game, or "playing Arnies." As in, "We're playing Arnies today, right?"

Any group playing Arnies needs to agree on how much the bet is worth. Tally up the Arnies won at the end of the round and pay out or get paid off. Note that Arnies are in effect only on par-4 and par-5 holes. (Don't be the guy who hits a terrible tee ball on a par-3, falls way short of the green, and then tries to claim that he just won an Arnie.)

The Arnies bet is often included in those catch-all games that go by various names such as Trash, Junk, Dots or Garbage.

Photo credit: Arnold Palmer from the Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, UCLA Library. Copyright Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library. CC 4.0 License

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