How to Play the Poley Golf Game

Have you ever heard of a golf game or side bet named Poley? There are several such games that go by Poley, Polee or Pinnie. Polee and Pinnies often mean the same thing and involve golfers hitting approach shots inside the length of the flagstick. Poley, however, usually refers to a side game in which golfers are betting on their ability to sink putts that are longer than the length of the flagstick.

Poley is pretty simple in its basic form: If you make a putt that is longer than the length of the flagstick, you win the poley. That is, you win the predetermined value of the poley bet from each of the other members in your group. The Poley might be worth a set amount of money, or it might be worth points, depending on what the group wants.

Variations of Poley begin with the option to make poleys automatic, or require a golfer to invoke the poley bet. When poleys are automatic, then for every putt during the round that is outside the length of the flagstick, the poley bet is in play. If your group prefers to invoke poleys, that means that a golfer has to call a poley before attempting any putt from the qualifying length. Say, for example, you are facing a slightly uphill but dead-straight putt that is one inch longer than the length of the flagstick. You tell your partners, "Poley!" You just invoked the bet.

When poleys are automatic, then the pre-set amount of the bet automatically changes hands if a golf sinks such a putt. If poleys have to invoked, however, there's a twist. If the golfer makes his putt after calling "Poley," she wins the amount from the other golfers. But if she three-putts, she loses double the bet amount to each of the other golfers in the group.

A similar variation for automatic Poleys: A golfer who sinks a poley wins two points; if the golfer two-putts from poley distance it's a wash (nobody owes any points or money); if the golfer three-putts from poley distance, he owes two points to the other golfers.

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