How to play wolf in golf

How to Play Wolf in Golf: My Favorite Game Rules & Variations

Erik Schjolberg

By Coach Erik Schjolberg – Feb 8, 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • Wolf golf game caters to 3 or 4 players
  • The player with the most points wins
  • There are three variations

The Wolf Golf Game offers casual golfers an exciting format to enjoy a round with their closest buddies. Instead of fixating on your score, add an extra layer of entertainment to your golf round by playing this easy-to-understand golf game.

By the end of this guide, you will know how to play wolf golf, how the points system works, and its variations.

What is the Wolf Golf Game?

The wolf golf betting game is typically played by four players. Although players may partner up with the wolf or non-wolf players on each hole, points are awarded individually. The golfer with the most points in 18 holes wins.

Wolf Golf Rules: How Do You Play?

How Many Players Can Play Wolf?

Although I recommend using four players to golf Wolf, you can survive with three. When three golfers compete, every player in the group has a chance to be wolf six times throughout the round.

How To Determine The Tee Shot Order

Before you strike your first tee shot, the group must determine the order of play. The player the tee points to, or the individual who draws the lengthiest tee is deemed the wolf for the first hole. Since the wolf always tees off last, the remaining three players can decide who goes first, second, or third.

The order must rotate on every hole to give each player a chance of being the wolf on a minimum of four occasions during an 18-hole round. For example, the wolf on the first hole will also be the wolf on the 5, 9, 13, and

Lone Wolf Decides

What does lone wolf mean in this game? After each player hits their tee shot, the wolf can decide who they want to partner with to form a winning team for the hole. Players will naturally select a partner who has hit a drive into a favorable position and can carry the team.

However, when the player of the moment is unconvinced by their playing partners, you can operate as a lone wolf. In this instance, you take on the remaining 3 players in your foursome. If you win the hole, it earns you 4 points.

Conversely, the three opponents stand to only gain one point against the wolf, and there are no team rewards. The individual with the lowest net score compared to the wolf is awarded a point. If two of the wolves’ three opponents card the same low score, they both earn a point.

The next hole waits for four men walking on the golf course

The Lowest Net or Ball Score Wins The Hole

Points are awarded to the lowest better ball score for the winning team and the lowest score for a lone wolf. Your handicap comes into play in this scenario to level out the playing fields. If three scratch golfers take on the wolf with an 18-handicap, the latter can win a hole with a higher score.

For example, on a par 4, stroke 4 hole, a 5 by the 18-handicap ties a 4 of the scratch golfers. This allows players of all skill levels to play as the wolf and compete on equal grounds.

Lone Wolf Golf Game Scoring

The points system is relatively elementary for the game and is easy to understand and run with. When the wolf picks a partner to play the hole, the individuals are awarded 2 points each, should they return a lower better-ball net score. Conversely, if the non-wolf team wins the golf hole, they are accredited with three points each.

However, the most points offered are to a lone wolf who opts to play alone and take on the remaining three golfers in the group. If the wolf wins the hole, they gain 4 points to their overall total, which can swing the momentum.

If the lone wolf loses to any opposing team member, the said individual is given one point. No group points are awarded when a player opts for the lone wolf status.

Points Per Hole For A Win
Wolf Team2
Non-Wolf Partners3
Lone Wolf4
Individual Beating The Lone Wolf1

Variations of Wolf Golf Game Rules

Blind Wolf

The first variation of wolf golf rules is called Blind Wolf. The assigned individual for that hole decides to play as a lone wolf before watching any tee shots. The lone wolf stands to earn triple points for their courage should they beat the rest of their group.

Final Two Holes

Personally, I do not stand for participation prizes. However, this variation allows players to end a bad round on a better note. The group designates the player coming last after 16 holes as the wolf for the closing two holes.

There is no scenario where the wolf wins double or triple points, but it does give them a chance to pull back a couple before closing out the round. The newly assigned wolf can partner with a player and go after 2 points on each hole. Alternatively, they can play both the closing holes as the lone wolf to try to bag a maximum of 8 points.


The Pig variation of the wolf game turns proceedings upside down. A player chosen by the wolf to join forces can reject the proposal and opt to play the hole as the solo wolf. All bets double in this scenario as the wolf can earn 8 points and their competitors 6.

Waiting patiently for the man to tee off


Can You Play Wolf With 3 Golfers?

Yes, you can play wolf golf with 3 players. The difference is that each player becomes a wolf on 6 occasions during the round. However, the lack of a fourth player means the wolf generally needs to play solo against the remaining two players in the group.

Three men with golf bags playing golf

Can You Play the Wolf Golf Game with 5 Players?

Yes, you can easily play the wolf golf game with 5 players, assuming the course allows it. The difference here is that you will play as wolf every five holes, rotating on holes 1-15. It is a lot harder to score points though as you’ll be up against four other players instead of three. If you have more than five players, consider playing another game like Bad Cards for Good Golfers.

Guys having a good time with friends on the golf course

Do You Play Wolf Golf With Handicaps?

Yes, you play wolf golf with handicaps, as points are awarded to players based on the lowest net score. For example, if a scratch and an 18 handicapper both par a stroke 7 par 4, the 18 handicapper wins the hole with a lower net score.

Playing wolf with handicaps helps level the playing field and allows each golfer the possibility to enjoy the game.

Final Thoughts – Golf Wolf Rules!

The Wolf Golf Game is an easy-to-understand betting game that is fun for golfers of all skill levels to enjoy. When a member in your group hits an accurate drive 300 yards down the fairway, partner with them to leverage their position.

Conversely, when your group slices their shots into the woods, switch to lone wolf golf and maximize your point’s potential.

Instead of frustrating yourself and consistently looking at your scorecard, relax and enjoy your round of Wolf Golf. The next time you hit the links, refer to my 6 steps for playing the game and get your buddies into it. Or, you can check out my list of other fun golf games to play on the course

About the Author

Erik Schjolberg

By Coach Erik Schjolberg – Last Updated Feb 8, 2024



Coach Erik actively coaches several PGA Tour Professionals. He’s the head golf instructor and writer here at Swing Yard, was voted the “#1 Golf Coach in Scottsdale, Arizona”, and has been coaching for over 20+ years. Erik also owns and operates his own online golf school, EJS Golf Academy. His other credentials include: Active PGA Coaches Membership, Titleist TPI Level 1 and 2, Trackman Certified Level 1, Dr. Kwon’s Biomechanics Level I and II, Scott Cowx Certified Level I Advanced, BodiTrack and V1 Sports Pressure Mat Certified, Titleist Club Fitting and Ball Fitting Certified, PGA Hope, and Sportsbox AI. Check out Erik’s full bio and certifications for more info.