How to Play the 'Hog' Golf Game

"Hog" is the name of a golf betting game in which one golfer in a group of four, on each hole, has the option to play against the other three, or to partner up with one of the other three. Is it very similar to other games known as Wolf and Defender, although Hog is typically a points-based game rather than having money directly riding on the outcome of each hole. (Sometimes the Hog and Wolf names are used interchangeably, however.)

First step in Hog: establish the player rotation. One golfer is the designated Hog on each hole, and the identity of that golfer rotates throughout the round. If Golfer A is the Hog on Hole 1, then it's B on Hole 2, C on Hole 3, D on Hole 4, back to A on Hole 5, B on Hole 6, and so on.

In Hog, all members of the group tee off, then the "Hog" has two options:

  • "Hog" the hole by playing solo against the other three players;
  • or pick one of the other three players as a partner for the hole, making it 2-vs.-2.
The Hog's goal is to win the hole, of course, his ball against the low ball of the other three; or for the Hog and his or her partner to win the hole, their low ball (lowest score recorded by either golfer) against the low ball of the other two.

If the Hog has the option of partnering up (2-vs.-2), why would he ever choose to play solo (one-vs.-three)? Because playing solo presents the opportunity to win more points. These are the points that are at stake on each hole:

  • If the "Hog" plays 1-vs.-3 and wins the hole, he get 3 points; if he loses the hole, the other three golfers get 1 point each.
  • If the "Hog" chooses a partner and wins, both players get 1 point; if they lose, the other two players get 1 point each.
If there are ties on holes, you can simply throw that hole out (nobody earns points), or you can carry over the point values and add them to the next hole. It's up to your group.

The winner at the end of the game is the golfer with the most points. You can make the bet worth a set amount — the winner gets X amount from each of the non-winners. Or you can assign a monetary value to each point, add up the points at the end and pay out the differences.

With a four-golfer rotation, two holes will be left over. You can either end the Hog game after Hole 16, or skip the first two holes and only start it on Hole 3.

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