How to Play the Bag Raid Golf Game

Bag Raid is the name of a game for two golfers who are playing match play, and it forces those golfers to get creative as clubs are removed from their bags. In short, in Bag Raid the golfer who loses a hole gets to remove one golf club from her opponent's bag.

To break Bag Raid (which is also known by the name Pick Up Sticks) down to the fine details:

  • Player A and Player B tee off and play match play.
  • Every time Golfer A loses a hole, he selects one golf club from Golfer B's bag, and B is no longer allowed to use that club in the match.
  • Every time Golfer B loses a hole, he selects a club in Golfer A's bag and that club is out of commission for the rest of the match.
To reiterate: The loser of a hole gets to remove a club from the winner's bag. The theory behind Bag Raid is that this helps level the playing field over the course of the round, keeping the match tighter.

Most golfers who play Bag Raid stipulate that the putter is exempt from removal. Otherwise, the putter is probably the first club that would go. However, it's really up to you. If you and a buddy want to play Bag Raid with the putters eligible for removal, that's up to you. Most golfers don't, however. Another way to address the putter, a sort of middle ground, is to make it eligible for removal but stipulate that it can't be the first (or second or third, up to you) club removed.

Clearly, knowing your opponent's strengths really helps in Bag Raid. If your opponent is a terrible driver, then you don't want to automatically put the ixnay on the driver. If your opponent's favorite club is the 8-iron, then the 8-iron simply must go. Generally, Bag Raid players tend to go after woods and short irons first, but it depends on the players' strengths and weaknesses.

Key point in playing Bag Raid: Always make sure you start the round with the maximum 14 clubs in your bag. Even if you normally only play with, say, 11 or 12 clubs, top up to 14.

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