The Golfers Game Book: A Manual of Golf Games and Side Bets
by Bridget Logan
Teachers’ Comments: There are more games and side bets here than you could possibly use in a lifetime.
The Golfer’s Game Book is a compendium of 238 different golf games, alternate scoring formats, practice exercises and side bets, all compiled into a neat little spiral bound book. Each game has its own little entry describing how to play, and offering variants where appropriate.
Some of the games listed are common. Regular alternate scoring formats are described, such as best ball, alternate shot and match play. So are typical betting formats, such as the Nassau and Calcutta. The Golfers Game Book also described a few less common—but still familiar—ones like the Callaway System for handicapping a match.
But there are also a couple of hundred games that I have never encountered. For example, there’s a golf wordsearch, which is played on a practice green. Low Ball – High Ball is offered as a game played by teams of two, in which low and high balls are counted. Best At Something (aka Garbage, Trash, Goodies, Junk) is a side bet in which players add or subtract points for various categories during a round, such as drives in the fairway and lost balls.
Finding an appropriate game, bet or practice exercise is made easy by a reference chart / table of contents at the beginning of the book. The chart makes it easy to find solo games, games for your and your partner, your threesome, foursome, or larger groups. It also identifies practice games and side bets.
If I have one criticism of the book, it’s that the typesetting and layout are amateurishly done. I rather suspect the entire thing was done in Microsoft Word. But that’s not a deal breaker—just an observation from an old print designer and typesetter.
This is a book that at least one member of every regular foursome should acquire. The amazing variety of games should ensure that your Saturday morning get-togethers never grow stale.