How to Play the Favorite Holes Golf Game

Favorite Holes is the name of a side bet for a group of golfers playing a golf course they all are familiar with. The game gives everyone in the group a chance to win a pot based on their scores on their favorite holes only.

Here's how Favorite Holes (sometimes called Best Holes) works:

Pick your favorite holes on the golf course and win the bet
Before the round, the golfers in your group agree on the amount each will put into the Favorite Holes pot. A group of four agrees to put in $3 each? That's a $12 Favorite Holes pot.

Next, before the round begins, each golfer in your group circles three holes on the scorecard. Those will be his or her favorite holes on the golf course — the three holes where you believe you'll score best.

About now you might be thinking, "Then I'll just circle three par-3 holes." Nice try.

Important point: In the Favorite Holes game, the scoring that matters is relative to par, not total strokes. Otherwise, everyone playing would circle three par-3 holes. So circle the three holes you think will result in your lowest score in relation to par.

Your group then tees off and plays the round. When it's over, gather in the 19th hole and add up your three Favorite Holes. Compare your score (in relation to par, remember) on your three holes to those of your buddies.

Lowest score in relation to par wins (2-over beats 4-over, in other words; 2-under beat even par, and so on), and gets the money in the Favorite Holes pot.

(Note that Favorite Holes is sometimes also used as an alternate name for another format known as Joker Stableford.)

Photo credit: "Player Golf Course, Geneva National Golf Club, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin" by Dan Perry is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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