How To: Bar Golf (And Other Ridiculous Ways to Spend Your Time)

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Let me start by just saying: I am not too old for bar crawls.  I mean, if I get to be the age where I'm too old to day drink with my friends at more than one bar in a day, that's it, pull the plug on me.  So I tend to fill my summers with a lot themed day drinking events with my friends, and one of our favorites is always bar golf.


What is bar golf?

It's just a bar crawl with a theme, really.  Like regular golf, you go to 9 'holes' (bars) for a drink at each bar.  There's no actual golfing involved, just cocktails and rules that share the same terms and scoring as regular golf.

Okay, how do you play?

Players are divided into teams.  As low as two will work and we've found teams of 3 or 4 to be the most fun.  9 bars are chosen and given a par score, just like in golf.  Holes in golf are a par 3 or 4, usually, which is how many shots it should take you to get the ball in the hole.  So just assign a 3 or 4 at random, it doesn't matter much.  4 drinks are selected at each of the 9 bars, of varying degrees of difficulty to drink.  The toughest one, like a shot of tequila, would be scored as an eagle and be worth par -2.  The easiest, like water or a light beer, would be par +1.  Each person selects a drink at each bar and tallies their score accordingly.  You can see what a score card looks like here.  Say the first bar is labeled a par 3 and you drank the toughest drink, the eagle, then your score for that bar would 3 - 2, which is 1.  Keep writing down your score at each of the 9 bars and then add it to your teammates to get a team score.  The team with the lowest score wins, just like in regular golf.  What they win, besides bragging rights and pride in a job well done, is up to you.  We make up random prizes every year, like bottles of wine and pool floaties.

Are there any other rules?

Yes, that's what makes it even more fun.  We don't include all of these rules every time we play, but we generally choose at least 5 'relief strokes' and 5 'penalty strokes.'

Relief Stroke Ideas (-1)
Dress Code.  Proper golfing attire is awarded a relief stroke.  We really should start giving two though to the best outfits because some of our crew gets crazy and they look great.  And ridiculous.
The Autograph.  5 signatures on your underwear, while you're wearing them, is worth subtracting one point.  Our guy friends take this one ridiculously seriously.
Tiger Sorenstam. Subtract a point if you switch clothes with a member of the opposite sex for one bar.  Tara is always great at this one and the results are always hilarious for the guy since she's (and therefore her clothes are) so tiny.
Lexi Thompson and Arnold Palmer.  One stroke reduction each to the youngest female and oldest male in attendance.  Sexist, yes, but we usually do both of these anyway since it's easy.
Personal Chugging Contests.  If you can challenge someone to a chugging contest, get them to agree, and win, you get a 1 stroke reduction.
Best Team Name.  Pretty self explanatory.

Penalty Stoke Ideas (+1)
Loitering.  Always a good idea to have this one.  We abide by a schedule and if you're late to the next bar, it's a penalty stroke.  Otherwise you could skip bars, drink too slow, and otherwise find ways to make it easier.
The Albatross.  The 'don't be a hero' rule we almost always play by - you can't drink an eagle at two bars in a row, they have to be at least alternated.  This makes it much more competitive and strategic, particularly when picking teammates.
Impatience.  Add a point for being rude and impatient when waiting on your drink, because the bartenders are busy.  We've never had to enforce this because we aren't friends with anyone who would be a dick to a busy bartender (or doorman, or waiter), but I've seen it happen on large bar crawls so we keep it on the list just in case.
Water Hazard.  Mark 2 or 3 bars to be 'water hazard' bars, where you're not allowed to use the bathroom.  Hold it until the next bar or add a point.

We have our friends who want to hang out but not drink as much act as referees and make the final decisions on things like who has the best team name.

Other Truly Ridiculous But Awesome Ways to Spend Your Time

Tour de Franzia Drinking games with boxed wine.  And tricycle races.

Beer Olympics.  Beer drinking games with a theme, usually played when then summer Olympics are on, because festive.

Edward 40 Hands It's what it sounds like.  You duct tape 40s to your hands and you can't remove them until they're empty.  Good luck trying to pee.

Power Hour.  A classic for a reason.  It's simple, you just take a shot of beer every 60 seconds for 1 hour.  The make apps to help with this now, and you can upload a playlist.  Every time a song changes, you drink the shot.

And that's bar golf, plus a few other ridiculous things we've done that you could try this summer when you need something fun to do.


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