How do you play “golf” on a pool table?

“Golf” is pool game or drill where the goal is to pocket a single OB in each pocket with the fewest number of “strokes.” The CB is placed on the head spot to begin, and the OB is placed (or re-spotted) on the center spot before each “hole.” Three rounds to each of the six pockets in order (counterclockwise, starting with the right side pocket) comprise a full “18-hole” game. An obstacle ball can be placed on the foot spot as a “hazard” in addition to the pockets. Scratching imposes a 3-stroke penalty, and hitting the ball on the foot spot incurs a 1-stroke penalty.

Another version of golf pool involves breaking a different pattern of balls for each “hole” which different par scores for each run-out. Here’s an article and score sheet from Bob Jewett showing each ball layout.

Other golf pool variations can be found on the golf pool Wikipedia page.

from Lucasi53 (in AZB post):

We played a “friendly” game for hours in Springfield, MO during the 90’s at $3/50 ($3 for game/.50 per foul). Differing from others, some of our basic rules:
1 – players would draw pea from pea bottle to determine order of play.
2 – #1 hole was lower right (creating bank shot to begin).
3 – ball is spotted on foot spot (#6 spot on snooker). if spot is covered, drop down to #5 spot.
4 – each player must hit their ball first.
5 – during each shot, a ball must contact a rail. the CB can touch a rail before or after contact (allowing for kick safety).
6 – fouls are committed by not hitting your ball first, no rail, scratch, making your ball in wrong pocket, knocking another ball into any pocket, or knocking ball off table. as a result, your ball is removed from table and re-spotted on foot spot at next turn. balls knocked off table are re-spotted at each player’s turn.
7 – if you pocket another player’s ball into his designated pocket, he is credited for the pocket.
8 – player’s are not allowed to “push”. each player must “attempt” to hit their ball (major issue if player is in trouble). unlike rules listed in other posts, balls are not removed if incoming player is snookered.

Other comments:
A – by starting at lower right, the #6 hole is side pocket. Most instances, side pocket is harder to make + easier to defend than corner pockets.
B – by not allowing “push”, players must work together to hold leader.
C – winner collects from each player (some houses play where each player receives “hickey money” for holding their following player).
D – as an extra penalty if your man wins (or if you happen to pocket the other player’s ball), you must also pay table time for all (some houses have this player paying double money).
E – players should be fairly equal in ability (a weak player provides a huge advantage for next shooter).
F – if you scratch and the incoming player’s ball is located in the “D” (on a snooker table), you must decide whether he is allowed to shoot or has to bank at his ball (we allowed to shoot thinking he should not be penalized for the other player’s mistake).
G – many ways to adjust as playing off #7 spot or using larger billiard balls.

In addition:
a – all players start the game by shooting from the “D”. all players will shoot from the “D: following a scratch CB.
b – each player must contact their ball first. other balls moved after legal contact will remain in new position – even if CB scratches.
c – if legal contact is not made and other balls are moved, each player has the option to replace to original position or leave as is. in case of dispute, decisions are made in order of next succession of shooters.
d – each player must attempt to shoot at their ball if – at all – possible (it may not be probable or very low percentage, regardless the player must make the attempt). in cases where the ball is physically impossible, the shooter’s ball is removed and he is charged with a hickey (most often happens near #1 and #2 holes where a player’s ball can get buried behind others) (the reason for not shooting is other balls will only be moved illegally).

Money values can be whatever you want ($2/.25, $3/.50, $5/$1, $10/$2, $50/$10, and more). Just depends on what you are trying to achieve. Old timers and friends are usually just wanting to have some fun and bragging rights, so they keep it at the lower end. Much like politics, your best friends and partners will vary game to game.

GOLF is a great and creative game. I like to think it is a revolving game of 1pocket.

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