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Introduction

“Wolf” is a classic game that you play while playing golf. It is also known as “Ship, Captain and Crew”, “Pig”, and “Captain”. There are numerous variations to the game however, the core rules are the same. Wolf was mentioned in the book “Chi Chi’s Golf Games You Gotta Play” by Chi Chi Rodriguez, John Anderson and Peter Jacobsen.

How to Play

Wolf is played with a foursome where new teams are created on every hole. Teams are usually 2 vs. 2 however, if a player decides to go “Lone” then it’s a 1 vs. 3 situation. The players play their own ball (Stroke Play) throughout the game.

Order is important

An order is established prior to starting the round by flipping a tee or randomly creating a tee order. The players rotate through the order changing tee positions on every hole. The wolf position can be either first or last. I’ve always played the game with the wolf teeing off last. So, here’s an example of how the players rotate with the wolf in last position. The wolf must pay attention to the tee box and watch each player’s tee shot.

Hole 1:     (1) Rod -> (2) Ed -> (3) Mike-> (4) Wayne (Wolf)
Hole 2:     (1) Wayne -> (2) Rod -> (3) Ed-> (4) Mike (Wolf)
Hole 3:     (1) Mike -> (2) Wayne -> (3) Rod-> (4) Ed (Wolf)
Hole 4:     (1) Ed-> (2) Mike-> (3) Wayne-> (4) Rod (Wolf)

The order repeats on the 5th hole. Here’s an example of the rotation with the wolf in first position. The wolf tees off then gets to watch players after him.

Hole 1:     (1) Rod (Wolf) -> (2) Ed -> (3) Mike-> (4) Wayne
Hole 2:     (1) Ed (Wolf) -> (2) Mike -> (3) Wayne -> (4) Rod
Hole 3:     (1) Mike(Wolf) -> (2) Wayne -> (3) Rod-> (4) Ed
Hole 4:     (1) Wayne (Wolf)-> (2) Rod-> (3) Ed-> (4) Mike

Again, the order repeats on the 5th hole.

The Wolf Picks a Partner…or Not!

Wolf in Last Position

The player that has honors (1st on the tee) hits his tee shot. The wolf must decide whether to pick that player or wait for the 2nd player to tee off. If the wolf passes on the 1st player then he cannot pick that player after the 2nd player tees off. This continues until the wolf is on the tee. If the wolf decides NOT to pick a partner and tees off then he is going “Lone Wolf”. This means he is playing alone against the other 3 players.

Wolf in First Position

The wolf is 1st on the tee and hits his shot. The the next player tees off. The wolf must decide whether to take the 2nd player or wait for the 3rd player to tee off. This continues until the 4th player tees off. Then the wolf must decide whether he wants to pick the 4th player or go “Lone Wolf”.

How to Score the Game?

There are many variations on points per hole. Some play where each hole is worth 1 point and if the wolf goes “Lone” then the points are doubled. That is the simplest way of scoring. Here is another variation in scoring:

  • If the Wolf and their partner win the hole, they each receive 2 points
  • If the non-Wolf partners win the hole, they each receive 3 points
  • If the Lone Wolf beats all the other players, he receives 4 points
  • If another player beats the Lone Wolf on a hole, all players – except the Lone Wolf – receive 1 point

On holes were there is a tie (i.e. players from different teams shoot the same low score) then no points are awarded. There are NO carry over points. The scoring continues throughout the match.

How and what do you Win?

At the end of the match you round up your foursome and total up the points per person. The person with the most points wins. What you win is entirely up to you. Here are a few ways to pay the winner.

Each point has a value

This is a typical way to award the winner. Each point is worth a pre-determined value (e.g. $1 per point). The player subtracts his total from the winning player’s total and the difference is paid to the winning player. Here is an example where Ed is the winner.

  • Ed : 20 pts. (winner)
  • Mike : 19 pts.
    • (20 – 19 = 1 pts. x $1 = $1 is paid to Ed)
  • Rod : 15 pts.
    • (20 – 15 = 5 pts. x $1 = $5 is paid to Ed)
  • Wayne : 10 pts.
    • (20 – 10 = 10 pts. x $1 = $10 is paid to Ed)

So, Ed banks $17 for the game and the rest of the players look forward to another round with lighter pockets.

A pot

Another way to award the winner is establish a pre-determined pot (e.g. $10 per player). The the player with the most points takes the pot (e.g. $40).

The Loser Really Loses!

Each point has a value. Again, each point is worth a pre-determined value (e.g. $1 per point). This each loser pays the difference to the players above him. Here’s an example.

  • Ed : 20 pts. (winner)
  • Mike : 19 pts.
    • (20 – 19 = 1 pts. x $1 = $1 paid to Ed)
  • Rod : 15 pts.
    • (20 – 15 = 5 pts. x $1 = $5 paid to Ed)
    • (19 – 15 = 4 pts. x $1 = $4 paid to Mike)
  • Wayne : 10 pts.
    • (20 – 10 = 10 pts. x $1 = $10 is paid to Ed)
    • (19 – 10 = 9 pts. x $1 = $9 paid to Mike)
    • (15 – 10 = 5 pts. x $1 = $5 paid to Rod)

So, Ed wins $16, Mike wins $13, Rod wins $5 and Wayne needs to make more money.

And Many More…

These are just a few ways to score and pay the winner. There are many other variations to the game and I’m sure you can think of a few on your own. Wolf on!