Pub Golf: A Complete Guide to the Ultimate Pub Crawl Challenge

Pub Golf

Pub golf is an inventive social activity that merges the traditional game of golf with a pub crawl. This game takes participants on a journey through various pubs, where each establishment represents a ‘hole’ similar to the sport of golf. It’s designed to be played over nine or eighteen pubs, with each pub allocating a ‘par’ for a specific drink. The objective is simple: players aim to ‘sink’ their drinks in the fewest number of sips, mirroring the act of getting the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible in golf.

The rules of pub golf are adaptable and can be customised according to the preferences of the group, but the essential framework remains consistent. Competitors dress in golfing attire to add to the theme and are often required to complete a drink in accordance to the par assigned, attempting to do so in the fewest gulps. Points are tallied throughout the event, with the winner being the individual who boasts the lowest score at the end of the course.

This game’s charm lies in its combination of friendly competition and social interaction, making it popular among friends and colleagues looking to enjoy a novel night out. While the aim is to have fun, participants are encouraged to drink responsibly and abide by local laws and licensing restrictions. Pub golf brings a spirited twist to a night out, with the added excitement of a competitive edge.

What Is Pub Golf

A bunch of friends enjoying beers at the pub during their pub golf event

Pub Golf is a social drinking game that combines the structure of golf with a traditional pub crawl. In this game, each pub represents a hole, with a designated drink and ‘par’ signifying the number of sips to finish the beverage.

Historical Background

Originating in the UK, Pub Golf is an adaptation of the leisurely sport of golf, turned into a competitive drinking challenge. Its popularity soared amongst university students and social groups seeking a themed night out involving costumes, strategy, and a test of one’s drinking ability.

Basics of the Game

Players navigate a predetermined number of pubs, typically nine or eighteen, mirroring the front and back nine holes of a golf course. At each ‘hole’ or pub, a specific drink is assigned a par, usually between three to five, indicating the number of sips to complete the drink. Each participant takes their turn, attempting to meet or beat par with the fewest number of sips. The individual with the lowest total score at the end of the course is declared the winner.

  • Course Structure:
    • Front Nine: First 9 pubs
    • Back Nine: Subsequent 9 pubs (if playing 18 holes)
  • Scoring:
    • Par: Set number of sips to finish a drink
    • Under Par: Fewer sips than set par
    • Over Par: More sips than set par

Players must also adhere to the rules set at the beginning, including dress codes, drink choices, and penalties for deviating from the course rules. With a simple set of guidelines and a spirit of camaraderie, Pub Golf remains a favourite for group outings seeking a structured yet spirited night out.

Planning a Pub Golf Event

A man planning the pub golf event on the pin board

When organising a pub golf event, attention to detail in the selection of venues, course design, and clarity of rules is paramount. Success hinges on seamless integration of these elements.

Selecting Pubs

Organisers should choose a diverse range of establishments that cater to the group’s preferences and are adequately spaced to allow for a manageable ‘course’. A good mix might include traditional pubs, modern bars, and perhaps a themed establishment, each offering a balance of atmosphere and drink selection. Proximity matters; venues should be within walking distance to maintain the flow of the event.

Course Design

The essence of pub golf lies in its course design. Each pub represents a hole, with a predetermined ‘par’ that specifies the number of sips or drinks to finish a beverage, ranging typically from 3 to 5. Pubs are categorised as hazards or straightforward holes depending on the challenge they present, such as strength or complexity of the drink.

Hole NumberPub NameParDrink
1The Crown and Anchor4Pint of Lager
2The Red Lion3Cider
9/18The King’s Head5Cocktail

Pub Golf Scorecard and Rules

Clarity on rules and scoring is crucial; each pub or hole’s par correlates to a number of sips or a whole drink, and scoring is inverse to traditional golf. Fewer sips to finish a drink results in a lower score – an ideal outcome. Penalties for spilling or poor etiquette may be applied, and a ‘birdie’ for finishing a drink in fewer sips than par could also be included. Scoring should be diligently kept to maintain fair competition.

OutcomeScore Adjustments
Under ParDeduct 1 Point
Over ParAdd 1 Point
SpillageAdd 2 Points
Non-CompletionAdd 3 Points

By adhering to the structured approach outlined above, organisers can ensure a memorable and well-run pub golf event.

Pub Golf Outfits

Pub golf team playing pool golf with their Hawaiian shirts on

Choosing the right attire for Pub Golf adds to the fun and spirit of the game, setting the mood for an enjoyable social experience. Participants often opt for golf-themed costumes that range from traditional apparel to creative team outfits.

Traditional Outfits

Men often prefer classic golf attire, such as argyle jumpers, polos, and tailored trousers. Checked patterns and pastel colours are popular choices. Women might select polo shirts paired with skorts or golf dresses. Accessories like visors, golf gloves, and shoes with soft spikes complete the look. The aim is for ensembles that mimic those of professional golfers, enhancing the thematic element of the game.

Options for Teams

Teams may coordinate their costumes for a unified presentation. Here are some specific ideas:

  • Caddy Shack: They can mimic caddies by sporting overalls, a golf cap, and carrying an (empty) bag of golf clubs.
  • Golf Balls: Teams might wear all-white outfits with white balloons attached to mimic the appearance of golf balls.
  • Hole Flags: Utilising cardboard, they can craft miniature golf hole flags to wear as capes or to attach to their outfits.

Each team’s attire should be comfortable and safe for the various pub settings they’ll visit throughout the game.

Conduct and Safety

In the context of pub golf, ensuring responsible drinking and appropriate public behaviour are crucial to prevent harm and maintain the game’s fun and social nature.

Responsible Drinking

Players must drink within their own limits and acknowledge that the objective is to enjoy the event, not to consume alcohol excessively. It is recommended that:

  • Players set a personal par for alcohol consumption that should not be exceeded.
  • Non-alcoholic alternatives are included at certain ‘holes’ to provide a break from alcohol.
  • A clear end point is established to avoid prolonged drinking sessions.

Public Behaviour

The social aspect of pub golf necessitates respect for others and the environment. Pub golf participants should:

  • Remain within sight of their partners to ensure mutual safety and adherence to the rules.
  • Be mindful of the general public and maintain decorum, avoiding loud or disruptive behaviour.
  • Understand local laws regarding public intoxication and adhere strictly to them to avoid legal issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, readers can find answers to common inquiries about the drinking game known as pub golf, where each bar or pub represents a ‘hole’ on a golf course. The game involves tailored rules, scoring systems, and costumes, often with a fun, competitive spirit.

What are the official rules for playing pub golf?

The official rules of pub golf involve visiting a set number of pubs, usually either 9 or 18, each representing a ‘hole’. Every pub is assigned a ‘par’ which denotes the number of sips or drinks to finish a beverage. Players must complete the course in order with the objective of matching or coming under par.

How does one keep score in pub golf?

Scores in pub golf are tracked on a scorecard with each player marking the number of sips, drinks or gulps taken to finish the assigned drink at each hole. The goal is to meet or come under the ‘par’ for each hole, with the lowest overall score determining the winner.

What attire is typically worn during a game of pub golf?

Players usually wear attire reminiscent of traditional golfers. This often includes tartan trousers, polo shirts, argyle jumpers, and flat caps. Costumes enhance the game’s fun and thematic element, with players sometimes adding personalised touches to their outfits.

Which drinks are commonly associated with pub golf rounds?

Typical drinks for a round of pub golf include beers, ciders, and standard spirits with mixers. Each drink is chosen to align with the predetermined ‘par’ for the hole.

Challenges in pub golf can stem from sticking to the ‘par’ for each drink, maintaining a steady pace across multiple venues, and navigating the crowd or queues at each pub. Players might also face penalties for spilling a drink or failing to complete a drink within the stipulated time or sips.