The Low Putts Golf Game and Side Wager

The golf game named Low Putts is exactly as its name suggests: The golfer with the lowest number of putts needed over the full round is the winner. If you required 31 putts to play 18 holes, while your playing partners took 32, 33 and 34 putts, respectively, you win the Low Putts bet.

But Low Putts (sometimes called Total Putts) can be bet a couple different ways. And it can also be played a couple different ways, including in a tournament setting.

In a Low Putts tournament, you throw out all your other strokes and only count putts. And the golfer or team with the fewest putts is the Low Putts winner. When teams are playing Low Putts in a tournament setting, it's the cumulative team score — the total number of putts taken by all members of the team — that counts. Which can really boost the pressure on golfers, especially late in the round, who are trying to sink putts for the sake of the team score.

Low Putts can also serve as a honey pot for golf tournaments.

This game, however, is most commonly played within a group of golfers, whether two, three or four golfers. You and three of your buddies head to the golf course. You play 18 holes. You might have all kinds of bets running concurrently, or you might just be playing basic stroke play. Either way, you can add on a Low Putts bet.

Before the round, agree on the value of the bet (each member of your group puts in an equal amount), and after the round count putts. The golfer with the Low Putts wins the pot.

Low Putts between two golfers is just a straight-up wager on which of you will need the fewest putts during the round. With three or four golfers, there is another option for betting on Low Putts — start by assigning a value to each putt. Let's say each putt is worth one dollar. At the end of the round, the losers owe the winner the difference between their number of putts. If the winner took 29 putts and you took 32, you owe $3, for example.

Another way to play the game is to break it into three, separate bets: low putts on the front nine, low putts on the back nine, and overall low putts.

You can think of Low Putts as the opposite of No Putts, a game in which only the strokes that are not putts are counted.

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