How can it get any better than combining a favorite card game with a golf betting game!  There are two ways to make this happen.  One is to use your scores to build a poker hand, and the other is to earn actual playing cards in competition.  Both result in competitors trying to get the best poker hand a win the agreed upon pot.


In this method you build the best five-card poker hand with the lowest scores.  And it’s best to play two hands, the front nine and the back nine.

Let’s assume your front nine scores are 4-4-3-5-6-5-3-5, your best poker hand would be a Full House / 5’s over 3’s.  Note: you could say 5’s over 4’s, but since lower scores are worth more, 5’ over 3’s is your best full-house hand.

Perhaps you created a straight.  Again, lower is better so a straight that begins with a 2 beats a straight that begins with a 3.

You may want to consider a tie breaking protocol. If the two best hands are identical you could break the tie in several ways:

1.      The lowest total of the un-used four-hole scores.

2.      Who had their winning hand earliest in the round.

3.    The lowest score on the most difficult hole.

This betting game does present some unique challenges.  Would you miss a putt on purpose to get a score to complete a hand?  (That might depend on how big the pot is!) Would you take more risks in your play knowing you will throw out 4 holes on each side for the Poker Game?

Gross or Net scores?  At first, it might seem like it wouldn’t matter, but when you think about it, lower scores create winning hands.  So, if you have a wide range of handicaps in your group (more than 3 or 4), you will have a fairer game using net scores.



First, everyone puts a predetermined ante in the pot and is awarded one poker card to start.  One player will hold the shuffled deck of cards and deal one card off the top to any player earning a new card.

From here, decide if you are playing gross or net and for what accomplishments competitors will be awarded additional cards.  Here are some common choices:

♥ Birdies  ♣ Sandie  ♠ One-putt  ♦ Chip-in  ♥ Eagles(2 cards)  ♣ Fairway hit  ♠ Green in Regulation ♦ etc..

Accumulate as many cards as possible and the best 5 Card Hand built wins the pot.

Hand Rankings: The standard poker hand rankings will be used to determine the winner. The rankings from highest to lowest are as follows: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, High Card.

You will also need a procedure for two identical hands.  Split the pot? Next lowest card? Low net?  You pick.


  • Assess a penalty to be added to the pot for three-puts and/or double bogies.  Say you all ante $5 or $10, you could have a $1 contribution to the pot for these penalties.
  • Forfeit a card randomly taken from you by a competitor for hitting OB or in the water.
  • Award an ace card for having the best net score on the front, back, and total.
  • Assign specific cards to be awarded for accomplishments.  E.g. Ace for an Eagle, King for a Birdie, Queen for a Par, etc…



There are a number of Poker Chip sets available to purchase.  These are used to award players poker chips for either poor results, like OB, or water, or 3 putt.  Or for accomplishments like hitting the fairway, birdies and sandies.

Once you possess one you may end up passing it to another player when they have the same outcome.

Place a dollar or point value -/+ on each chip and whoever has the chip at the conclusion of the last hole either takes from the pot or pays into the pot.

See it for sale at AMAZON