Gambling - Does It Improve Your Game ?

Got another topic that is similar  to my last one one on gambling while playing golf. I will tell you straight up I really do not enjoy playing golf and gambling no matter how little the stakes. I do gamble occasionally just to appease a couple of golfers who can't play the game unless something is on the line because I enjoy their company on the course. I get talked into their game with their line that you become a better player when money is on the line. They say that when the pressure is on you concentrate better and try harder so you won't lose the bet. I say that playing golf in it's self creates enough pressure just to try to beat old man par. I will admit I am probably even from the times I have won vs the times that I lose but I will also say that when I lose money because I played poorly it is adding insult to injury to have to fork over hard earned dollars in addition to feeling bad because of poor play that day. I also do not get that much joy as more relief that I do not have to fork over any hard earned money when I win. Personally I have found that my concentration on playing poorly or good has absolutely nothing to do with gambling other than I get a little nervous and shaky when I'm putting to keep from losing some money. I also have found that I experience this same nervous energy when I play with strangers when there is no betting. After a couple of holes I settle into my game and what happens happen. I also think the longer I play this game and the older I get that a lot of golfers who bet only do so because they think that is the only way to stay in the circle of players that they enjoy playing with. I would say that most golfers that really love to gamble are good players who want to take advantage of their skills over less talented players to feed their egos or players who think they are good but are really just average hackers. I feel the majority of players who gamble are like me who do it to just to be social to a certain few who really would not even play golf if it were not for the gambling. One more note and I will stop my rambling. On the rare occasion I do gamble I prefer games where a set amount of money is determined to be won or lost. I hate games where at the start the bet is only a couple of dollars but then as there are the "sandies, greenies, birdies, automatic presses, etc." that can add up to a considerable amount more than "playing for a couple of bucks."

Just a thought - when we play on the weekends, we usually play 2 best balls out of the foursome against the other foursome (no strokes unless handicap is much higher) so everyone gets involved and we play just for "bragging rights" at breakfast. 

Similar to what Cathi replied to, we play a 2 best ball of a 4some or sometimes a 5some for $15 per man.  $5 fron, back, and nassua.  Nothing too big, but to throw a twist in and count all birdies too!

I enjoy a little action.   I love playing $1 a person per hole skins or match play.  Even if we're playing for the first round at the 19th I think it makes me play better, focus more, and take it more seriously.  As long as I'm comfortable losing the money (I don't play to lose, but you never know) I would rather play for a couple of bucks.

A lot of action can bring the worst out of everyone. If I can lose more than I'll spend at the 19th hole I think the competitiveness turns into being a jerk-ness.

I don't really like gambling on the golf course because the point for me is to relax (and I play better that way).  

Playing dollar Nassau or front 9 for lunch is OK.  Playing Beer Nassau is almost like a $5+ bet these days.

Even 25c per stroke or per point adds up.  Considering basic points are  1 for par, 2 for birdie, 3 for eagle, 5 for albatross, 6 for hole in one.  Then we have the incentive points - holing out (birdies and eagles other than par 3s), sneakies (pars) , sandies.   Someone could score 11 points (5 for the albatross and 6 for the hole in one) for getting a hole in one on a short par 4 or 5 points for an eagle from a bunker (1 point for holing out, 1 point for the sandy and 3 points for the eagle). 

We don't because it usually ends up with hard feelings as some of us are better than others in our group and it is hard to balance things out to everyone's satisfaction. What we will do on occasion is put two or three teams together by drawing straws and kicking in a dollar each and play best ball. Team with lowest raw score wins.

I would have to say YES, it does get me into a more focused mode even if it's just for drinks after the round. Don't really gamble or bet money but, I will buy the drinks after the round if I loose the hole or round.

 

I don't believe in gambling for philosophical reasons.  That, plus I work too hard for my money, LOL!  Seriously though, I really don't believe in gambling myself, and not for any religious reasons, either.

As far as golf goes, some of my worst moments on a course have been behind a group of guys who were ostensibly gambling and here in the NYC area, it tends to be a cultural habit among some groups (won't name any, don't want to offend anyone).  I personally can't see how it would improve my game, I'd be thinking too much about the money.

Lou G

I don't really like gambling on the golf course because the point for me is to relax (and I play better that way).  

Playing dollar Nassau or front 9 for lunch is OK.  Playing Beer Nassau is almost like a $5+ bet these days.

Even 25c per stroke or per point adds up.  Considering basic points are  1 for par, 2 for birdie, 3 for eagle, 5 for albatross, 6 for hole in one.  Then we have the incentive points - holing out (birdies and eagles other than par 3s), sneakies (pars) , sandies.   Someone could score 11 points (5 for the albatross and 6 for the hole in one) for getting a hole in one on a short par 4 or 5 points for an eagle from a bunker (1 point for holing out, 1 point for the sandy and 3 points for the eagle). 

Harmless bets are fine (such as the loser buying lunch at the halfway house or a round at the 19th hole and this can be a skins game also).  

Pls refresh my memory of golfspeak...... what is "bingo bango bongo?" 

Cathi, Titleist Club Concierge

Just a thought - when we play on the weekends, we usually play 2 best balls out of the foursome against the other foursome (no strokes unless handicap is much higher) so everyone gets involved and we play just for "bragging rights" at breakfast. 

I like Cathi's method. My regular non gambling group play for the honors on the next tee box. When you are the first one to tee off for several holes it sends a message to the rest of the group they had better start playing better. When you are the last one to tee off you have some work to do. At the end of the round we head for the grill and there is no talk about the game just played other than maybe a remark on how well someone played today. No money is exchanged and scores are put into the machine for handicap purposes for when you play in organized events. Thats how I like to play.

Most of my life I ran cross country on a solitary basis.  My efforts and success were for me.  If I can't get an eagle on a par 5 and someone in the group does - I can live vicariously through them.  I can't see betting so that someone else's failure is my reward.  I like playing closest to the pin or longest drive - I can still compete on the hole on my own merits and still applaud their efforts. 

PDADoc

I don't believe in gambling for philosophical reasons.  That, plus I work too hard for my money, LOL!  Seriously though, I really don't believe in gambling myself, and not for any religious reasons, either.

As far as golf goes, some of my worst moments on a course have been behind a group of guys who were ostensibly gambling and here in the NYC area, it tends to be a cultural habit among some groups (won't name any, don't want to offend anyone).  I personally can't see how it would improve my game, I'd be thinking too much about the money.

That is exactly how I feel. Well put. I play occasionally with a golfer who gambles when he plays with a certain group. I asked him how much was the most he has lost playing with this group and he said around $60. At our club a half a cart with tax is around $20. That would be 3 rounds of golf for me blown on a stupid gambling game. I just don't see how that could be fun. I played awful today and will blame it on the heat (107 degree heat index). I cannot imagine paying somebody anything from $1 to $60 for poor play like I did today. It would really make me actually not play golf if I had to gamble every time I played. No way would gambling make me play better today with the heat and humidity that we are experiencing now.

PDADoc

I don't believe in gambling for philosophical reasons.  That, plus I work too hard for my money, LOL!  Seriously though, I really don't believe in gambling myself, and not for any religious reasons, either.

As far as golf goes, some of my worst moments on a course have been behind a group of guys who were ostensibly gambling and here in the NYC area, it tends to be a cultural habit among some groups (won't name any, don't want to offend anyone).  I personally can't see how it would improve my game, I'd be thinking too much about the money.

And these boneheads slow up play a bit.   They spend more time talking trash instead of playing golf.

 

There's a couple of fun betting games where you don't have to make birdies to win.

Bingo, Bango, Bongo is a points game.  Bingo is one point and is the first one on the green.  Bango is a point and is the closest to the hole after all players are on the green.  Bongo is the first player in the hole and is also one point.  Get all three and you get 6 points.  In high school I played with a kid who got a D1 scholarship, played on the buy.com tour, and was downright better than anyone we played with.  Bingo Bango Bongo worked well.

You can also play matches in 6 hole increments and mix up the teams.  Assuming you're in carts, play lowest score with:  Drivers vs Drivers, Driver and opposite passenger, and then cart vs cart.  Unless one person is far and away better (if there is make them tee up from the champion tees and everyone else plays from the white), it usually ends up fair,

Josh G

There's a couple of fun betting games where you don't have to make birdies to win.

Bingo, Bango, Bongo is a points game.  Bingo is one point and is the first one on the green.  Bango is a point and is the closest to the hole after all players are on the green.  Bongo is the first player in the hole and is also one point.  Get all three and you get 6 points.  In high school I played with a kid who got a D1 scholarship, played on the buy.com tour, and was downright better than anyone we played with.  Bingo Bango Bongo worked well.

You can also play matches in 6 hole increments and mix up the teams.  Assuming you're in carts, play lowest score with:  Drivers vs Drivers, Driver and opposite passenger, and then cart vs cart.  Unless one person is far and away better (if there is make them tee up from the champion tees and everyone else plays from the white), it usually ends up fair,

My stepmother (who is 78 and shoots in the mid 90s) said she used to play it. 

I also have this standing joke with one of my golf friends - we call each other "Howie" because of my experience in the caddyshack (it seemed at least one person in any given foursome at the country club was named Howard).   Ironic thing is one of my coworkers (who is actually named Howard) joined us as a walk on a few months ago.   Howard was even calling Wayne "Howie".  I told Howard at work the following week about why Wayne and I called each other that name.