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Wolf is a golf betting game which is played in teams. However, unlike other formats where the teams stay the same, these teams can change on every hole.
Essentially, one player is designated to be the Wolf before each hole. The Wolf then decides whether to hunt alone against his three opponents, or in partnership with one of them. From there, the hole is won by the better ball score.
Before the round commences, a batting order is established as to who will be teeing off from 1 to 4. So, player 1 tees off on the first hole, then player 2 on the second and so on and so on. This means that the four players get a guaranteed four goes as the Wolf, with the player in last position usually afforded the right to be the Wolf for the final two holes.
So where does the Wolf factor actually come into it? Well, whoever tees off first on the hole is in fact the Wolf.
The Wolf will then decide before or after the tee shots whether he will play alone - as Lone Wolf - or play with one of the others. He can make this decision at various set times. When he does, it will determine the stake.
If he decides to play it alone before he has played his tee shot, then the bets on that hole are quadrupled. If the Wolf makes the decision after he has played his drive, but before any other players have played theirs, then the bets are tripled. If he decides to go it alone after seeing all the other drives, then the bets are doubled.
If the Wolf decides to hunt in a pack, then he is only allowed to choose a partner after that person has played their drive and before the next drive is taken.
Thus, on the 1st tee, the Wolf can choose to partner with player 2 only up until the time that player 3 takes their drive. Similarly, the Wolf can only choose player 3’s drive up until the point that player 4 tees off.
The format Wolf is one of the betting games favoured by World Golf Hall Of Famer, Chi Chi Rodriguez. It can be a great way to make your golfing weekends with your mates more entertaining.
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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