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The Origins of the Golf Game Wolf

The origins of the golf betting game Wolf are as mysterious as the woodland creature itself … no one really knows. But one thing we do know is that Wolf is really fun, so we decided to fully automate the rules and gameplay into the 18Birdies app to make it easy and fun to track a game of Wolf with your group. Simply add players to a group round in the 18Birdies app to track your group’s results and show who wins along with a breakdown of your stats and performance.

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How to Play Wolf

A classic betting game played in a foursome, Wolf is all about strategy. Before play starts, players must determine a permanent driving order. No honors here. If Player A tees off on hole 1, they will tee off on holes 5, 9, and 13. Likewise, if Player B tees off on hole 2, they will tee off on holes 6, 10, 14. See the pattern here?

The Wolf always plays first then watches the other shots. After each drive, the Wolf must decide immediately if he or she wants to partner with that golfer to create a 2-vs-2 game or if the Wolf doesn’t like any of the drives, they can choose to play their own shot and compete against the other three, creating a 1-vs-3 game.

Feeling lucky? In this fun betting game, declaring yourself a Lone Wolf before anyone tees off gives you the chance to win triple creating a 1-vs-3 match from the start. Just make sure you don’t shank one into the trees because it can also cost you triple.

In all scenarios, each hole is either contested in a 2-vs-2 or 1-vs-3 match. The 18Birdies app will track all this for you, taking the complexities out of tracking each player’s results.

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How to Score Wolf

Download the 18Birdies App and we’ll score the match without working a single brain cell! Manually tracking on a paper scorecard is now a thing of the past, and departing who won or lost is now fully automated in 18Birdies.

In Wolf, players set a price value for each point, typically $1 per point, but feel free to raise the stakes. The winner of each hole is determined via better ball. For example, if Player A and B are partners in a 2-vs-2 match and Player A makes a 5 and Player B makes a 4, their team score for the hole is a 4.

The point break down is:

  • In a 2-vs-2 match, the winning side gets 1 point per player
  • In a 1-vs-3 match, the winning side gets 2 points per player (the Wolf wins double)
  • In a Lone Wolf 1-vs-3 match, the winning side gets 3 points (the Lone Wolf wins triple)

If the hole is tied it’s considered a wash and no points carry over. So, no lay ups in Wolf, go for broke, ahem, well you know what we mean.

At the end of the round, the points are totaled and the differences are paid out. If Player A ends up with 40 points and Player B has 30 points, Player A gets $10. You’ll see all of these results in the 18Birdies app when playing a game of Wolf, including a payout section indicating who owes who and how much each player is due to win or owe other players in the group.

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Leftovers in Wolf

Four players teeing off on set holes means two holes (Nos. 17 and 18) are leftover without a designated driver. So who should tee off first? Well, the answer is really up to you, but typically the final two holes are reserved for the golfer in last place to be the Wolf. It’s a generous way of giving them a chance to get some last-minute, much-needed points.

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Divorcing the Wolf

This isn’t a set rule in Wolf, but it’s a fun one to add. The divorce rule gives the player selected by the Wolf the option to divorce the team; meaning they would rather go it alone than partner with the Wolf. When a divorce is called, the hole is set as a 1-vs-3 match and double points are on the line.

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Betting Tips to Win Big in Wolf

Wolf is a game of self-confidence as much as it is a game of strategy. The biggest winners in Wolf are usually the ones who take the most risk and go it alone as often as possible. A good betting tip: if you’re the first to tee off on a par 3, go all Big Bad Wolf on your partners and declare yourself the Lone Wolf before teeing off. You’ve got just as good a chance to hit it close and make a birdie as your opponents because you’re all teeing off from the same spot. So why not go big?

Another golf betting tip for Wolf is to be aware of which player “strokes” on the hole when you are the Wolf. Because Wolf is played using full handicaps, partnering with a player who gets a stroke on a hole is an easy way to earn points. On the flip side, if you’re the Wolf and you hit a crappy tee shot (and the divorce rule isn’t in play), you can pick a player who has a lot of points to sabotage their chances of winning the hole and growing their lead.

Whichever strategies you choose to employ, just let loose and have some fun.

Make sure to download the 18Birdies app to track Wolf and any other golf betting game before your next round. It’s free to play and track Wolf and will make your lives much easier!

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