The Shazam Betting Game: Putts Under Pressure

Is one of your fellow-competitors facing a very long putt on the green, a putt you doubt they'll get down in two? Shazam them! "Shazam" is the name of a golf betting game played on putting greens in which one golfer (or more) bets against another golfer's ability to avoid 3-putting.

Let's say Carlos and Annika are playing a round of golf. When they reach the green, Annika looks at the putt Carlos is facing and thinks, "hmm, I bet he 3-putts this." So she calls out "Shazam!" Now, Annika is literally betting Carlos 3-putts, and if he does then he owes Annika the agreed-upon amount of the bet.

There are several possible outcomes of the Shazam bet, based on whether or not the challenged putter actually does 3-putt:

  • If the golfer who was Shazammed does 3-putt, he loses the pre-set bet amount.
  • If that golfer 4-putts, he loses double the bet.
  • If he 1-putts, he wins double the bet — anyone who Shazammed him now owes him money.
  • If he 2-putts, no money changes hands.
The Shazam bet can only be invoked once a golfer is on the green, from that point and at any time before the golfer putts. (But Shazam is not Noonan — don't yell it out as the golfer is taking back the putter. Issue the challenge early and at least before the golfer begins taking a stance over the putt.)

More than one golfer can Shazam you for the same putt. If you are playing in a quartet, all three of your fellow-competitors can Shazam you. Groups should take that into account when setting the value of the bet.

If a golfer is not Shazammed but runs a putt well past the hole, the comebacker can still be Shazammed.

Then there is the self-Shazam! Yes, a golfer can Shazam herself. In that case, the golfer is betting that she can get into the hole in two strokes or less. A putter who self-Shazams and then 3-putts loses the bet to all others in the group; or wins the best with a one-putt. But there is a catch: self-Shazams can only be called on putts that are longer than the flagstick. (Otherwise, everyone facing a two-foot-long putt would yell out "Shazam!" and win money from all the others.)

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