The 'Mutt and Jeff' Golf Format

"Mutt and Jeff" is the name of a golf format or a side game within a group of golfers in which the focus is on longest holes and shortest holes. The format's name derives from a once-famous pair of comic strip characters.

In Mutt and Jeff, the scores that determine winners are only those made on par-3 holes and par-5 holes. That's right: Par-4 holes don't count in Mutt and Jeff. At the end of the round, you are only adding up your scores on the par-3s and par-5s.

Mutt and Jeff is a popular format for golf association playdays, 9-hole twilight tournaments and the like. It is also a popular side game among golfing buddies who enjoy a wager.

In either case (whether tournament format or betting game within a group), Mutt and Jeff can also be played as a honey pot or side game. So long as the golfers are using a scoring format the requires holing out on every hole, they can total up all holes for the main tournament result (or bet), then total up just the Mutt and Jeff holes for a secondary prize or wager.

Why Is It Called Mutt and Jeff?

The name comes from the comic strip Mutt and Jeff, which appeared in newspapers from the early 1900s into the 1980s and focused on the hijinks of two friends, one tall and the other short. (See Mutt and Jeff collectibles on Amazon)

The Mutt and Jeff characters were once extremely popular and well-known in the United States, and they also appeared in comic books, books and even animated movie shorts. The characters' names became a nickname for any two people who had a big difference in size, or for any two paired things that were two difference sizes. Such as par-3 holes (short) and par-5 holes (long). The Mutt and Jeff characters even played golf, as you can see in the comic book cover above.

The "Mutt and Jeff" name can also be applied to any two golf partners with a big gap between their driving distance — one hitting the ball far, the other hitting it short. Mutt and Jeff is sometimes heard as a synonym for a different game more commonly called Long and Short.

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