Explaining the Polee Golf Game/Side Bet

Polee is the name of a side bet within a group of golfers. But the exact meaning of the Polee bet differs depending on who is playing. We'll go over the four most-common ways golfers play the Polee bet. (And note that the spelling Poley can refer to a different game.)

1. Some groups use Polee (pronounced "pole-eee") to mean a bet that pays off only once during the round: It goes to the first golfer in the group to place his or her approach shot within the length of the flagstick. If the Polee bet is worth $5, then the golfer who grabs the Polee first wins that $5.

2. The second version is a variation on the first. After the first golfer grabs the Polee, other golfers try to take it away by being the first to get their approach shot within the distance of the flagstick on each ensuing hole. In this version, you want to be the last golfer in the group holding the Polee, because that's who wins the money.

In both 1 and 2, golfers usually agree to a minimum distance for an approach shot into the green to be eligible to win the Polee. Some groups set a minimum of a 100-yard approach, others say 150 yards. It's up to your group.

The next two variations of Polee are sometimes also called Pinnie:

3. Polee can also refer to a continuing bet throughout the round. Any time a member of the group puts an approach shot within the length of the flagstick, they win a Polee. In this variation, a stipulation is usually that the approach must be from 150 yards or more out. You can make each Polee worth a dollar amount, or give it a points value and include it as part of a points game.

4. And another continuing bet throughout the round: In this version, a Polee is won by anyone who sinks a putt from outside the length of the flagstick. Each Polee is worth one point, and the golfer with the most points at the end of the round wins the bet. This version is often spelled Poley, see our Poley definition for more details.

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