The Whack and Hack Golf Format Explained

"Whack and Hack" is the name of a golf tournament format that combines a four-player team's best ball and worst ball on each hole — unless the best ball is a birdie or better. In that case, the team gets a very nice bonus.

Combining the low ball and high ball of a four-person team is its own format that is usually called ... Low Ball/High Ball. It's the twist that comes along with making a birdie that distinguishes Whack and Hack.

So: Start with four-person teams. Everyone plays their own ball throughout (you're just playing regular golf, in other words), all four team members recording scores on each hole.

At the completion of a hole, take your team's lowest score (whack) and combine it with your team's highest score (hack), and that's your team score for the hole.

Example: On the first hole, Golfer A makes 5, Golfer B a 4, Golfer C a 6 and Golfer D a 5. The team score is 10, because the low ball was a four and the high ball was a six.

The Whack and Hack Birdie Twist

Ah, but there's that birdie twist in Whack and Hack. Let's say your team is playing a par-5 hole. Golfer A makes 5, Golfer B a 6, Golfer C a 4 and Golfer D a 7. Golfer C's four is a birdie.

In Whack and Hack, when a team's low ball is a birdie, then the team gets to use its two low balls on that hole, rather than its low ball and high ball. So in this case, the team score is 9 (Golfer C's birdie four plus Golfer A's five).

It is this twist that separates Whack and Hack from a standard Low Ball/High Ball tournament. (Although note that sometimes a tournament organizer will use Whack and Hack as a straight synonym for Low Ball/High Ball and there is no birdie twist. As always, clarify any confusion about the rules before beginning any type of tournament.)

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