How to Play the Gruesomes Golf Game

When a golf game is named "Gruesomes," you have to figure that it involves making the golfers play some of their lesser shots, rather than their best shots. And Gruesomes does just that: The partners on a 2-person side both hit drives, then their opponents choose which drive they have to use.

The Gruesomes format is also known as Yellowsomes, although Gruesomes is the more common name. The "Gruesomes" name is a play on "Greensomes." In the Greensomes format, two golfers per side tee off, and they select their best drive. Then they play alternate shot from there. In Gruesomes, the two partners tee off, the golfers on the opposing team select the worst of those two drives, then the partners play alternate shot from there.

Let's break it down a little more. Team 1 (made up of Golfers A and B) is playing Gruesomes against Team 2 (made up of Golfers C and D). Team 1 plays first on the first hole, so Golfers A and B each hit drives. Golfers C and D of Team 2 then get to compare the drives hit by A and B, decide which one puts Team 1 in the worst position, and say, "OK, Team 1, you have to play that drive."

And, of course, Team 1 gets to do the same to Team 2 after Golfers C and D play their drives.

In all cases, after the worst drives are chosen, both sides proceed in an alternate shot format. The golfer who hit the worst drive (the one the opponents are making you play) is the one who also plays the second stroke.

In his book Chi Chi's Golf Games You Gotta Play (affiliate link), Chi Chi Rodriguez suggests some strategy for playing Gruesomes:

"It's important for both players (on a side) to make a smart choice off the tee. Hit with the driver if you're feeling confident and can back it up; if not, a 3-wood or good, solid 3-iron stinger off the box is a wise decision. If you're in a particularly good twosome, then both players can fire away, figuring even the second-best shot will be in a decent-enough position to reach the green."
Because the Gruesomes format involves the use of a "worst" shot, you should also plan on it taking a little more time to play than a standard alternate shot game.

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