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Poll: is golf more enjoyable when you are playing for money?

Poll Results: Is golf more enjoyable when you are playing for money?

  • 48% (12)
    Yes - It helps me stay focused and try a little harder
  • 16% (4)
    No - My game is the same whether there's money on the line or not
  • 36% (9)
    I don't play for money unless, maybe, it's a tournament
25 Total Votes  
post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am a new member of a country club this year. At my old club, I played in a Sat and Sun choose up. Two best ball, $20 per man, and payouts were net low front, back, and total. Plus there was a skins pot.

At my new club, they do this on Saturdays, but not on Sundays. I've found that I don't enjoy my Sunday rounds with my foursome nearly as much as the Saturday rounds. My playing partners are great, but I just can't seem to care and focus since there's no money to be won or lost.

Is anyone else like this?
post #2 of 18

I don't play for money at all.  Never have.  

post #3 of 18
post #4 of 18

Absolutely not.  I've played once for money this year (had to it was a mini-tournament and that was the rules), I made my cash back and then some.  It did nothing for me.  It also makes reasonable people act really stupid sometimes too. 


I don't really see the point of it.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

The difference for me is on and around the greens.  For some reason, I tend to chip and putt better when there's money on the line.  I haven't quite figured out how to get there on my Sunday casual rounds.  It's just too easy for me to just quit caring (this can happen even if I'm having a decent round going).


Also, if I have a blow-up hole or a stretch of bogies going, the betting makes it easier for me to forget about it and try to help my team on the ensuing holes.

post #6 of 18

I would vote "no," but not for the reason you list in the poll. What I enjoy about golf is the act of scoring well. The elation of everything just clicking and golf feeling effortless outweighs the money - whether it's $5 or $100 on the line.


On the flip side, when things are going poorly for me, having money riding on the outcome increases my frustration tenfold.


So in summary, I like money golf the same when I am playing well, but I like it a hell of a lot less when i am playing poorly.

post #7 of 18

I DO NOT, play for dough. . .golf is expensive enough already.  I'm not going to gamble on it.  I don't ever drink alcohol on course either.  Another thing a LOT of guys do while golfing.  Doesn't really make sense to me.

post #8 of 18

Always play for money. First nine, second nine, game, bits (closest to the pin on the shorts, birdies, sandy pars) and putts. Never enough that it's going to damage anyone but, come on, there's no purer joy than making a ridiculous putt on the 18th to get into a friend's pocket!



post #9 of 18

I definitely like playing for money - but there are conditions.  


I like doing it because it becomes a competition then - or at least reminds us that it is one.  I think that sometimes gets lost in golf.  Games and sports are competitions and I think that is good for us - keeps us sharp.  It seems less folks really try to play it like this - but it is kind of the point of playing.  The money just makes it matter.  I think it can help with learning to play under a little pressure as well.


Having said that, I don't play for much money. We usually do a match play $2 nassau with automatic presses once you get 2 down. I think the most I've ever lost/won is around $6. But we pay up - every time - before leaving the course.  Sometimes that means in beer at the clubhouse.


Also, I only do this with honest, score-keeping players.  No mulligans, foot wedges, not taking the distance penalty, etc.  If you get in it with a half-asser, you just end up watching him the whole time.

post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by LottaBalata View Post

I DO NOT, play for dough. . .golf is expensive enough already.  I'm not going to gamble on it.  I don't ever drink alcohol on course either.  Another thing a LOT of guys do while golfing.  Doesn't really make sense to me.

I'm not calling you out or anything, but since you've stated an opinion, I would like to hear more. What are your reasons for not "getting" why others drink alcohol on the course? I don't mean to derail the thread either, but my question is going to tie into my answer below.

I personally enjoy playing for money just a little more than just playing for the sake of the game. Though, I love golf for what it is with no gambling needed to enhance my experience. I personally thrive on and love competition, in a friendly and reasonable way. I've played for $10 a hole, I've played for $100 a side, I've played in small 2 man and impromptu scrambles where we threw in $10.00 a guy, etc.

I once had my 3 playing partners in a big money scramble drink way too much though and that was not fun. This event was $150.00 a man and the money that could be won was 3x that amount each. There were no typical scramble gimmicks such as mulligans, string, etc. We would have had a legitimate shot at winning but I was honestly the only shot that we were using for 14 holes and I am not about to beat 4 man teams as a single -- no way in hell. As a result though, we finished middle of the pack and got nothing back.

Though I do love to have beers while I golf (go figure by looking at my avatar and title, right? c2_beer.gif), I don't cross the line when money is on the table. I still have beers to calm nerves and keep to my routine, but I don't push it to the point of being irresponsible or wasting my time attempting to swing a club while loaded.

post #11 of 18

I don't play for money.  The guys I play with don't like giving up the strokes for handicap and playing straight up would just  result in me donating money to their golf slush fund.  I'm not against playing for money just doesn't work for my group of golf buddies. 

post #12 of 18

Me and my buddy bet on everything... our golf, bowling at the work outing, which engineer created the bug we were looking at, whether his people missed testing something.


But our bets are only $1... it's for bragging rights, not the money.  Over the decade we've worked together we've traded the same dollar bills back and forth.  I currently have 3 one dollar bills of his taped to my cabinet for everyone to see.


I'd never bet a friend enough where I'd even think about it while playing.  If the amount was more then the cost of a pitcher of beer I'd be uncomfortable.

post #13 of 18

I voted "When I play for money" but I'm not sure it's actually the money that "keeps me focused".


It's just that those are the only rounds I've ever played that were in direct competition with other people that I really wanted to beat. Winning the money is nice but winning the competition is just as nice.


All of the rounds I play with no money on the line are with friends and family (mostly family) and I really couldn't care less if I "win" those rounds or not. Those are the days I'm just out there to relax and have a good time and hope that the other people in my group really play well. Beating a family member just doesn't carry any weight for me. If I am better than they are it's only a given and if they are better than I am it means they didn't play well, which bothers me more than if I didn't play well.

post #14 of 18

Golf is one of the unique sports in that you don't need to have a competitor in order to play. Or, it has been said that the course is your competitor.


That being said, I always enjoy getting into competition against other players. That is IMO really the heart of the game. It heightens and sharpens everything. Every stroke becomes a little more important. Ever since I joined my local CC, I play for $ with my buds when I'm not playing with my family, and I have to concur with the OP, I don't focus as completely as I do when I'm playing competitively. It actually becomes addicting, especially winning.

post #15 of 18

I like playing for a small wager, whether it be a Nassau or skins or just a beer after the round.  I don't play for high enough stakes that it turns into a blood match.  I like to keep my friends, and when the money becomes too important, then friendliness goes away.  We limit it to an amount which is enough to be interesting, but still fairly painless (even on a bad day you won't lose $20), and everyone has a good time.  I play poker with some of the same friends using the same philosophy.  


That said, I can still have fun on the course just playing for bragging rights.  It's all good for me.

post #16 of 18

I don't need to play for money to maintain my focus.  Having a small wager, however, can be fun since it adds just a bit more tension to the game.  One of my golf buddies and I play $1/$1/$1 for front, back and total (match play).  It is not the size of the wager that makes it fun; we do it purely for bragging rights.  

post #17 of 18

I enjoy our $2/2/2 best ball nassau with a foursome and $5 pairwise Chicago when we have three, but then the most you can win or lose is about $10 and usually $5 or less exchanges hands at the end. It's just for bragging rights and I certainly want the stake small enough that I can root for all my friends to make great shots whether they are my opponents or my partner. It just adds a little spice and in my worst year I was down around $50 for the entire year. And in the nassau there's the strategy of when to press vis-a-vis who is getting strokes on which holes, so that adds an enjoyable element to the game as well.

post #18 of 18

I play 99.99% of my golf with no money on the line. I've played tournaments and really love the added experience it provides. I've played regular weekend games at the club but find the level of sandbagging and cliques to frustrating. 


If I had my way I would always play for money. Its fun. Plain and simple. I don't need it to have fun but competing is fun and golf is fun so 2 funs equal more fun. My regular golf friends either don't want to bet or bet and never really pay up (well not never but not often).


I don't even need money. Just running points would be fine for long term bragging rights or to get fired up and maybe pay up a given amount at a set number of points.


Focus? Maybe to a certain degree since my focus can wane during rounds especially when things are going bad.


Try Harder? I try to hard as it is. Playing for money helps me realize that and understand that I need to relax or I am going to be buying somebody a new boat.

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