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GolfPoker – the new game that is taking UK clubs by storm

 

One of the most important challenges facing golf clubs across the land, and indeed worldwide, is finding ways to attract new members, and ideally, those of younger generations. Yes, there is the question of cost, which certainly needs to be examined. But right now, golf clubs could offer to let under-30s play for free and it’s likely that only a handful would take up the offer.

Clubs need to find ways to make the sport appealing to younger players, but without dumbing down or devaluing it in a way that would alienate existing members. You only need to look at the impact of The Hundred on domestic cricket to see what a fine line it can sometimes be.

GolfPoker is a new idea that adds an extra dimension to a round of golf. It’s not mandatory, and it doesn’t affect the matchplay for those who don’t want to take part, so established members who like things just the way they are can relax. Let’s find out more.

GolfPoker basics

A GolfPoker set is comprised of 16 poker chips, eight green ones and eight red ones. The green chips represent “good” events, for example a hole-in-one, and the red ones bad events, such as three-putting a hole. Prior to the game, the players need to agree on both the events and the value associated with each one. Of course, you can play just for fun, too.

The chips are numbered, and each number corresponds to an on-course event. When the event occurs, the player takes the chip and holds onto it until such time as someone replicates the event. GolfPoker works best for foursomes.

Just as you would in a real poker game, you will constantly be asking yourself what are the odds of certain events coming about. For example, suppose Chip 4, a green chip, is for a birdie. This chip will probably change hands a few times during the round. If Chip 1 is for a hole-in-one, there is a high likelihood it will go unclaimed.

Final scores

When you reach the fabled 19th hole, it is time to see how everyone has done. For every red chip held, the player must pay out that amount to the other three players. For every green chip held, he or she receives that amount from the other players.

The fun thing about GolfPoker is its complete flexibility. You don’t have to play for money, or you can make the amounts nominal if you wish. You can also give whatever definitions you like to the chips – using the red ones as penalties for uttering certain obscenities while on the links is a popular variation, for example.

GolfPoker is not going to change the world. But it is fun little innovations like this that can make all the difference in helping attract new players to clubs and adding an extra fun factor that encourages them to keep coming back for more.

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