How to Play the 'Putt for Dough' Golf Game

Putt for Dough is the name of a golf game in which points are awarded for made putts on each hole. But not just any putts — one-putts. And the value of those one-putts is determined by distance. You can play Putt for Dough as a side bet, for money, or just play it for fun and bragging rights.

Here's how Putt for Dough works. We'll use a group of four golfers in this example. In a group of four, one-putts will be worth 4 points, 3 points, 2 points and 1 point. Once all balls are on the green, it break down like this:

  • The member of the quartet who is farthest from the hole and then one-putts gets four points;
  • The next player up (third-farthest from the hole) gets three points for a one-putt;
  • The second-closest to the hole gets two points for a one-putt;
  • And the foursome member with the shortest putt gets one point for a one-putt.
Any putts beyond the first attempt don't matter in Putt for Dough, except that anyone who winds up three-putting loses one point.

(If playing in a group of three, then the points values are 3, 2 and 1 on each hole; in a twosome, 2 points and 1 point on each hole.)

A common variation in Putt for Dough is to award a 5-point bonus to any golfer who holes out from off the green with any club other than the putter. Another bonus some groups include: Any golfer who earns all of the available point levels (Golfer A in a foursome, for example, makes a 4-pointer, a 3-point, a 2-point and a 1-pointer over the course of the round) gets a 10-point bonus. That option is best left to groups with four excellent putters; lousy putters probably won't make enough one-putts to justify a 10-point bonus option.

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