How to Play 'The Train' Golf Game

The Train is the name of a golf game in which golfers earn points for scores that are par or better. But they lose all their points if they make too many bogeys — or any double bogey.

The Train can be played by any group of golfers, or even used as a tournament format. It can also be a side game played simultaneous to any other format that requires each golfer to hole out and record an individual score.

In The Train, golfers earn points in these ways:

  • A par is worth 1 point.
  • A birdie is worth 2 points.
  • An eagle is worth 5 points.
So it's similar to Stableford so far. But The Train differs from Stableford in how it punishes bad scores. In The Train, a golfer loses all his or her accumulated points by making bogeys on two consecutive holes — or by making a double bogey or worse on any hole. (A single bogey does not result in any deduction.)

If you do make consecutive bogeys or one double bogey, you lose all your points and start over at zero. So the key to The Train is to keep that par-or-better train rollin'.

Obviously, most of use are not scratch golfers, and don't make many pars, much less birdies or eagles. So unless your group is made up of scratch or close to scratch golfers, you'll probably want to use handicaps and base earning points on your net scores.

To bet The Train, members of your group can pay into a pot before the round starts, then pay out at the end based on percentages of points earned. For example, if your group accumulates, between all four golfers, 50 points, and you earned 25 of those points, you get half the pot. You can also make the Train pot winner-take-all. Or you can make each point worth a set amount (a nickel, dime, quarter, buck, whatever) and pay out the differences at the end.

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