The Best Golf Drinking Games to Play on the Course: Score High on Fun 

Did you know that roughly 25.6 million Americans played golf in 2022? Undoubtedly, golfing is among the most popular outdoor games in the United States and beyond. 

While it’s mostly known for its ruthless competitive streak, you can break the ice and spice things up by playing fun golf-drinking games with your opponents.  With their creative rules, these options can be just as challenging and fun as a regular game of golf.

This guide dives into the golf drinking game and what you need to start. Let’s dive in! 

What Are Some of The Best Golf Drinking Games?

Discover these unique and fun golf drinking games that are perfect for the next time you and your friends hit the golf course.

Beer Bogey

This is an entertaining and often humorous golf drinking game that has existed for quite some time. The premise is based on taking a drink for every stroke over par on a hole.

The goal in Beer Bogey should be to score high on fun rather than low in strokes and penalty points. Similarly, alcohol plays a central role in the game. However, consuming it responsibly is mandatory to avoid unwanted hazards and risks.

Beer Handicap

The basic premise of Beer Handicap is that everyone in the group takes their scores as usual, and at the end of the round, they’ll add up how many beers each person has consumed and subtract that number from their total score.

The rules can vary depending on what your group decides. Here’s one example: each player must finish their beer before taking any strokes, and others can help if they want to.

If someone isn’t making quick progress toward tipping back their entire brewski, another player could take a couple of swings so that nobody is left behind and all shots are counted accurately.

Additionally, agreeing to a limit per hole would be wise; perhaps two big gulps (which should amount to just over 6 ounces) for those hoping to stay hydrated while playing 18 holes.

Birdie Game

This is a popular and thrilling drinking game among golfers and is easy to pick up. Players in the group must take a shot for each birdie they get per round of golf.

The game aims not only to lower their score on the hole but also to try to get a birdie – or even an eagle – so that others must drink with them. 

However, if players fail to land a birdie or higher on any given hole, they end up being “punished” by having to take shots themselves, leading them back into the pack! 

All players involved in this game must understand its rules before beginning to guarantee clarity and prevent arguments from ensuing.

As such, it’s best for everyone playing the Birdie Game to agree upon who takes what type of shot (spirits or beer) beforehand so there can be uniformity during play.

Closest To The Pin

This is a fun and simple drinking game to add to your round of golf. It requires players to land their ball closest to the pin or hole. Depending on how far their shot was from the pin, different drinks can be assigned for each player (the further away they are, the more potent drink would be poured).

This game can involve both even and odd numbers of players. The winner will receive a privilege at their next tee shot, or all other opponents will have to take a sip, depending on their prior decision.

Beers and wine complement this game best, as well as adding in some friendly wagers! It’s entertaining for everyone involved, explaining why it’s one of the most popular golf-drinking games.

Hold Your Beer

This traditional golf drinking game variant adds an element of competition and fun. Players must drink as they play, and everyone in the group must have one hand occupied by holding a beer at all times.

This forces players to manage their concentration and alcohol levels while playing competitively for low scores. 

The player with the lowest score at the end of 9 or 18 holes will still pay for drinks, except this time, it’s not just one round. However, many rounds are needed so everybody can show off their hold-your-beer stance throughout the match!

In addition, if any golfer hits their ball into a water hazard, they need to finish their draft before proceeding back to safety or making another shot from where they last hit it.

Loser Pays

Loser Pays is a fun, interactive golf drinking game suitable for groups of any size. To enjoy it, players select an odd-numbered hole (from 3 to 9) to decide on the cut. Therefore, whoever loses at the chosen hole must pay for drinks or acknowledge their defeat by performing other forfeits.

Scoring occurs as usual throughout the allotted nine holes. However, deciding on a winner at Hole Nine is based not necessarily on who scored lowest but on who failed to reach their predetermined target set during Hole Three.

Odds and Evens

This is a popular wine-drinking game, often featured on lists of fun golf drinking games to play with friends. It’s an excellent option for those who may not want to use scores or strokes as the main factor for making everyone in their group take a drink.

This game randomly chooses between even and odd holes and has players either drink beer or take a shot accordingly. The rules are simple – players decide whether the next hole will be an odd or even number before teeing off.

If they call correctly, no one has to do anything. But if they get it wrong, every golfer takes a sip from their beer can (or whatever beverage) or shots, depending on what was determined earlier.


Mulligan is an exciting golf drinking game originating in Canada.  It was first played as an unofficial rule among close friends and family members to allow players another chance to hit a shot when they make an error.

In this game, any golfer who wants an additional try or wishes to lower their score can take one ‘mulligan’ per nine holes while playing with others. This means they must take a shot before hitting the next ball.

Though there’s no “official” set of rules for playing mulligan, most groups decide on specific regulations regarding how many shots each player must consume per hole or if mistakes aren’t necessarily forgiven after taking one sip of the drink.

Playing this golf-drinking game provides countless benefits, from relieving tension and adding excitement to every shot, endowing light-hearted wagers between players (without involving too much money), and developing more excellent camaraderie among other golfers. 

These incentives make it amusing and beneficial for anyone wanting something more from their round than what traditional 18 holes offer.

Water Hazard

A water hazard can be tricky for any golfer, as it is in playing or drinking games based on golf. But the penalty and its use as an impediment can also make for some competitive interaction.

A water hazard is an area of standing or flowing water blocking the path of a shot from the tee to the green. When playing regular golf, if a stroke includes contact with any part of the water, they must take another “penalty stroke” before attempting their next shot.

In drinking games involving golf, these hazards often introduce extra drinking penalties due to contact with these features (i.e., when you land in one, you must finish your drink).

Tips and Strategies for Winning the Golf Drinking Game

Knowing a few tips and strategies can help players improve their golf skills while playing the gold drinking game. These include: 

  • Practice your shots before starting to improve your chances of hitting accurate shots during the game.
  • Know which clubs work best for each situation to help you create an effective playing strategy. 
  • Pace yourself when playing the golf drinking game. Getting too drunk too early or getting frustrated over mistakes makes it difficult for you to perform well while playing.
  • Choose appropriate drinks according to your tolerance level. Understand each drink’s ABV to decide if it’s suitable for consumption while enjoying the game. 
  • Drinking responsibly so you can all have fun without compromising anybody’s safety or comfort.

Alternatives to the Golf Drinking Game

If traditional golf drinking games are not your style, several more relaxed alternatives exist, such as “Century 21” and “Roulette.” 

For a different twist on the game, try out these great alternatives for a fun day at the course with friends.

Crazy Golf Drinking Game 

This game is played by allocating a starting number for each team. All players in the group take turns to drink and increase the count with their designated starting number.

If any other player in the same team drinks, they have to continue drinking until the total count matches the original allocated number for that team.

Watching Golf Drinking Game

This game requires you to pick a player or team you expect to win, then consume one drink per birdie made, two drinks per eagle, three per birdie-in-one, and four if they win.  This game rule is also used during golf tournaments on TV if you are not playing golf yourself.

Pin Ball Drinking Game

Start by creating a course layout with at least ten holes on a flat surface comprising lidded cups scattered at varying distances like a regular golf course. 

Then each hole will have its own rule for either drinking or swinging, depending on where your ball stops. The player who sinks their ball into all ten pockets wins the game.

Skins Game

In this game, participants wager predetermined monetary values (real or imaginary) before playing the round of golf. At the end of each hole, whoever has set the “skin” (or lowest score) gets awarded that skin value from everyone else in play during that hole. 

More than one person can win skins within a single hole but are usually forced to split up total skin values amongst them.

FAQs on the Golf Drinking Game

How many players can participate in the Golf Drinking Game? 

The number of players can vary depending on your game version. Typically, it is designed for two or more players.

Can you explain the typical card values in the Golf Drinking Game? 

Absolutely, the value of cards in the Golf Drinking Game typically follows this structure: Aces are worth one point, numbered cards are worth their face value, and Kings are zero. Remember, the aim is to have the lowest score at the end of the game!

What are some variations to the traditional Golf Drinking Game? 

Certainly, one common variation is to include ‘Water Hazards’ and ‘Sand Traps.’ For example, drawing a two could be a ‘Water Hazard’, causing you to take two sips while drawing a ten might be a ‘Sand Trap,’ causing you to miss a turn.

How can the Golf Drinking Game be adapted for large groups? 

In the case of larger groups, you can create teams and have a tournament-style play. This allows more people to join in the fun and raises the game’s stakes.

Are there any strategies to win the Golf Drinking Game? 

While the Golf Drinking Game is primarily based on luck, some strategies can be employed. For instance, memorizing the position of specific cards can help, as well as making tactical decisions about when to switch cards with the middle pile or other players.

Final Take on The Golf Drinking Game

And there we have it, folks, the charm of the Golf Drinking Game! It marries the precision of golf with the giddy thrill of a drinking game and provides a unique platform for camaraderie and unforgettable memories. The most crucial aspect to remember is the fine line between fun and excess. 

As you enjoy this brilliant combination of golf and a good old-fashioned drinking game, ensure that you do so responsibly. With good spirits (metaphorical and literal), respect for each other’s limits, and a bucket full of laughter, the Golf Drinking Game is your ace in the hole for a memorable gathering!

Dan Smullen Beer is my life profile

Hi, I'm Dan, founder of BeerIsMyLife. I've been an avid homebrewer for over ten years, and beer is my true passion. I've traveled all over the world, visiting breweries, tasting beer, as well as making my own batches. I set up this blog to share that experience with you.