The Scruffies Game: How to Play the Scruffy Golf Bet

The "scruffy" is a golf bet played within any group of golfers. It involves one of those golfers betting the others that he or she can make par from a less-than-ideal location following the tee shots.

In Scruffies, which the game is also called, a golfer whose tee shot misses the fairway (on par-4s and par-5s) or the green (on par-3s holes) can call a scruffy. That puts the bet in place.

And what is that bet? The golfer who calls the scruffy is betting he will make par from that missed-fairway or missed-green lie. (The golfer calling the scruffy has to do so immediately after his drive — no walking up to check out the lie first.)

The bet is worth whatever amount your group agrees on before the round starts. If the golfer calling the scruffy does make par, he wins that amount from the others in the group. If he fails to make par, he owes that amount to them.

The bet in Scruffies is usually automatic (meaning when a player calls a scruffy, the bet is on). But one variation is to give the other players in the group the option of accepting or declining — our doubling, if they think the scruffy-caller can't make par — the bet.

Another variation is to make the bet worth double to any caller of a scruffy who then birdies (rather than just parring) the hole.

Groups playing Scruffies typically specify natural pars (gross pars, in other words) to win the bet. If your group is full of high handicappers, you might decide to set bogey as the winning target in order to get more action.

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