Fall 2018

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NCGA.ORG | FALL 2018 33 next closest putts for three, the next closest two and the closest ball putts for one point. In order to earn points, putts made must be for bogey or better. Chip-ins earn five points. If one player is out of a hole, the points then go 4-3-2. At any point on the green, before a player takes their first putt, another player can challenge by declaring a "Three/Two." The putter must accept the bet. If he/she two putts, they earn three points; if he/she three-putts, the challenger earns two points. No matter how much you've chopped it, this game keeps you invested in the hole. Another way to add excitement to every knee-knocker is the Card Game, which combines golf and poker and can be played among multiple groups. Every three putt over the course of the round adds a previ- ously determined amount to the pot. As you might imagine, there are no gimmes. Someone can do the math post-round, but at one club, all the competitors in a Saturday morning game keep "live scoring" of the growing pot using a text string via Whats App, the free popular messaging applica- tion. Trash talking ensues. To win the booty, you'll need the best poker hand drawn from a minimum of five cards. The number of cards at your disposal to produce your best five-card hand depends on your putting prowess. Each one- putt earns an extra card. For instance, if you one-putt nine greens, your hand consists of 14 cards. Each one-putt green improves your odds of winning the game. But if it wasn't your day with the flatstick, you still have a chance to pull a winning five-card poker hand and minimize the damage to your wallet. (For best results, make sure to use multiple decks depending on the num- ber of participants.) This last game may be my favorite. Tami Lingelbach is a two-time cancer survivor; her husband, Calvin, for years a legendary high school basketball coach in Florida, has joined Tami's co-workers on several golf- weekend getaways. A few years ago, Calvin gave each of the group's four foursomes a sleeve of pink golf balls. (We call this game Playing for Pink.) One player in the group plays one of the pink balls, rotating it hole by hole. (Two players play five holes with the pink ball, and two play four holes.) Scoring is determined by taking the aggre- gate of the two best balls of the group PLUS the score of the pink ball, which always counts. The low aggregate over18 holes wins. Each player in a foursome pays a fine if all three pink balls aren't returned in the sleeve. For instance, if the predetermined penalty is $5 and two balls aren't returned, each player in the group would owe $10. Calvin laughs in recalling one player who topped a pink ball, then madly raced off trying to prevent it from reaching a nearby stream. The best part? At the end of the round, money isn't exchanged between players. All bets that are paid become a con- tribution to Tami's Relay for Life team. Even the high-rollers at Bushwood would give a hearty thumbs-up to that.

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