Explaining the 'Stealies' Golf Bet

"Stealies" is the name of a golf wagering game that a group of golfers can play in conjunction with a closest-to-the-pin (KP) bet. It gives the losers of the closest-to-the-pin bet a chance to steal the pot.

First, to play stealies, your group must be playing a KP bet. That means that on each of the par-3 holes on the course, there is a wager up for grabs to the golfer in your group whose tee shot is closest to the pin.

So imagine golfers A, B, C and D each hit their tee shots on the first par-3, and B's ball is closes to the hole. B wins closest-to-the-pin on that hole, and whatever the agreed-upon amount of the bet is.

Here's where stealies come into play. Although A, C and D lost this first KP bet, they each have the chance to steal the wager away from B by making birdie on the hole.

So, continuing with our example, B has won the KP bet, but then C holes out a chip shot for bridie. There you go: C just stole the pot from B. And that's Stealies.

So: If you birdie a par-3 without being closest to the pin, you steal the bet on that hole. (You can putt your birdie in the hole, chip it in, hole out from a bunker, whatever.)

But wait! Don't claim your winnings so fast: The KP winner can steal the pot back by then making his own birdie!

What happens if there is more than one birdie on a closest-to-the-pin hole? The Stealies bet goes to the last player to hole out on the hole.

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