What Is Pub Golf? [And How Do You Win At It?]

Now I love golf as much as the next person. But sometimes it’s raining, the greens are a little slow and I’m playing absolutely awful. So instead of that, I love to play a little pub golf drinking game.

It’s basically golf and drinking combined. What’s not to like?!

So instead of dressing up and walking around 18 holes of golf, you dress up and walk around 18 pubs (the pub golf course) and have a load of drinks!

Here we’ll look at what goes into a game of pub golf, with the different scoring involved, how to look the part, and most importantly how to win.

Let’s get into it and learn what pub golf is all about, how does pub golf work and find out how to survive pub golf.

What Is Pub Golf?

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

Pub Golf Explained

How To Play Pub Golf?

Pub golf is a really fun drinking game that can be played with a load of your mates.

Sometimes referred to as bar golf, it’s loosely based on the sport of golf but only through a couple of similarities.

Essentially, it’s a super fun pub crawl loosely linked to the sport of golf.

Usually played across nine or eighteen holes of pub golf meaning you’ll have a great time and get pretty drunk!

Let’s find out how to play, set up the pub golf scorecard and what are some of the rules.

Get The Golf Look

To start with, you have to dress up like a golfer. Getting the right pub golf outfits is hugely important.

The more excessive you go with the golfing gear outfit the better.

Bright-coloured tartan, knee-high socks, visor hat and anything else outrageous you can think of a golfer wearing.

Yes, you may feel a bit silly in your pub golf outfits at first. It is just a pub crawl after all.

However, once you get into it you’ll be loving your sweet new pink golfing gear and green chequered shirt and bright yellow visor.

There’s plenty of appropriate pub golfing attire you can choose from.

Here’s a few of our favourite pub golf ideas for your pub golf outfit:

Course & Pub Golf Scorecard

Now you’ve got your pub golf outfit sorted, next up is the pub golf course and scorecard.

Pub golf scorecards are a pre-determined set out of the drinks that need to be consumed and where they will be consumed.

Pub Golf Scorecard

Usually, you can choose either nine or eighteen holes to play on your pub golf course. One hole means one drink, and you should try and do each hole at a separate pub so you’re playing 9/18 different pubs.

Each hole has a par number and helps you plan out the scorecard. Choosing a pub golf course that has a good selection of pubs is better as it will make the event more fun.

If you’re not feeling a big night, perhaps the nine-hole course is best.


Drinks for pub golf are obviously one of the most important parts of the event.

Deciding on which to choose is totally up to the organiser and can vary throughout the course and scorecard.

Some good options for drinks include pints of beer, shots of spirit or glasses of wine.

It very much depends on what kind of pub golf course you want to play.

Some players might not be able to drink some drinks or may struggle to handle the level of alcohol, so you need to think about this beforehand.


For a pub golf scorecard, each drink (hole) has a par as with normal golf. This par number is the number of sips that the drink should be drunk in.

Every hole has an assigned drink that must be drunk whilst at the bar or pub. The pub golf drinks chosen are totally up to the person setting the course.

For example, a shot or short would be a par 1 as this should be drunk in one. A pint of beer would be a par 3, so would need to be drunk in 3 attempts to achieve par.

Therefore if you drink the assigned drink in under the par you will be under par and vice versa.

Usually, the group of competitors is paired off into groups of 2. In your pairs, you mark the other person’s scorecard with the correct hole number and make sure that they’re not cheating or making up scores.

Mark down each player’s score for each drink and then tot it up at the end.

The person with the lowest score wins, so your aim is always to drink the drinks with the lowest score.


The great thing about pub golf is you can add as many or as few of your own rules as you like.

Of course, the more bar golf rules you add, the more fun it will be but it could get a little confusing if too many.

Just like with any drinking game, setting the rules early is a good idea.

The basic rules of pub golf are simple, drink the drinks in the shortest amount of sips and then work out your total score through the 9 or 18 holes.

However, there are in fact a few extra pub golf rules you can throw in there.

Just like actual golf, we call these penalty strokes. Here’s a few pub golf rule ideas:

  • 1 stroke added on for a spilt drink
  • 2 strokes added on for missing a hole (pub) or falling over
  • 5 strokes added on for being caught cheating
  • 10 strokes added on for throwing up during the game

I also like to throw water hazards into the mix. This is where you set a certain hole as the water hazard. This means no player is allowed to go to the toilet before that hole.

If any is in breach of the rule, it’s a 5-stroke penalty (don’t make it too far into the round though for obvious reasons…). Give a water hazard a go!

Why not also add bunker hazards to your game? These are holes that are designated as shot holes, which means the par number is 1. Down the shot in one and move on to the next hole.


As with any game, it’s extra fun and always good to keep things interesting all the way to the end.

For some players, it will be fairly clear early on that they won’t be winning.

So why not throw in a forfeit for the loser? Having pub golf punishments is a great way of keeping it interesting throughout.

Add something funny for the losing player and it’ll mean everyone is still playing for something even down to the wire.

But remember it is still supposed to be a fun game, so make sure to keep it light.

Assign A Caddy

It’s always best if you can choose someone as the ‘caddy’.

Ideally, this person should stay relatively sober throughout the night to make sure everyone is keeping safe, but also to act as a referee for the event.

They’re responsible for keeping everyone in check, whilst making sure any cheaters are caught and penalties issued.

Set A Time Limit

If you’re playing 18 different pubs, then it might be worth setting a time limit per hole.

This will allow you to move around the course in good time and not get held up by any slow play.

How To Win Pub Golf?

So it’s fairly simple, to win at pub golf you need to drink your drinks in the fewest total sips and have the lowest final score.

This might seem obvious, but when you’re a few holes deep it can begin to get a little less obvious…

Here’s a few pub golf tips to help you win:

Check The Scorecard Beforehand

The best thing to do is check out the pub golf scorecard beforehand and assess which you can do in easily in 1 and which are a little less easy.

Pace Yourself

There’s nothing worse than going too big too early. You’ve got to ease yourself into and find your rhythm.

Even if you think you can down the first 6 holes in 1, consider if it’s the right move for when you’re coming down the final stretch.

Don’t Cheat

No one likes a cheat, especially when the pub golf championship is on the line. People will catch you out and you’ll end up with some hefty penalties which will only damage the scorecard.

That’s why you need to always keep an eye out for the person drinking.

Play a sensible game and you won’t need to cheat.

Final Thoughts

So there we have it, a full guide to what pub golf is. The fabulous game of pub golf. Playing pub golf is the ideal sport for those who don’t want to do sport and just want to have a fun pub crawl. Perfect!

But seriously, a pub golf outing is an amazing way of getting out and about with your mates, dressing up funny and having a fair few drinks all in the name of fun.

For most, it’s best to stick with just nine holes, but for some, give 18 pubs a try and see how you get on.

Add additional rules or just keep it simple, it’s totally up to you. Luckily, the basic rules are super simple to play, but you can also add some funny pub golf rules if you wish.

Get your funky outfits at the ready, practice your pint downing and get ready for a really awesome game of pub golf! And remember the more extra the outfits, the extra fun you’ll have.


How many holes are in a pub golf?

Pub golf usually consists of either 18 or 9 holes, however, it can be played over as many or as few holes as the organiser wishes to play.

How to prepare for pub golf?

To prepare for pub golf, make sure you have a good pub golf attire sorted

Do you play pub golf in pairs?

Usually, it’s best for all players to pair up with a partner before they start playing. This means you can keep an eye on your playing partner and mark down their score after every hole. It also means you can issue penalties for any cheating.

Is pub golf a sport?

It might not have its own governing body, but to many, pub golf is a sport. A drinking sport that combines the rules of golf with the fun of a night out. There will be winners and losers when you play a pub golf game, just make sure you’re able to finish the course.

What is bar golf?

Bar golf is a fun drinking game that is based on the sport golf and sees players drink different types of drinks across a selection of different bars or pubs.

What do you need for pub golf?

For a round of pubgolf, participants will need a great-looking golf outfit, a predetermined pub golf course with either 18 or 9 holes and a scorecard with the drinks and pars included.

Do you have to dress up for pub golf?

Yes, to have the most fun in a game of pub golf it’s a good idea to dress up and look your best for the event. There’s plenty of great golf outfits available and the more bright and funny the better.

What are pub golf penalties?

There’s plenty of pub golf penalties which can be used to keep the game interesting. A few examples of these can include:

  • 1 stroke added on for a spilt drink
  • 2 strokes added on for missing a hole (pub) or falling over
  • 5 strokes added on for being caught cheating
  • 10 strokes added on for throwing up during the game

What are pub golf forfeits?

Pub golf forfeits are a good way of keeping pub golf competitive and entertaining up until the final hole. These forfeits for the loser can include having to wear a stupid outfit for the rest of the night, singing a song in the pub or simply drinking a drink.

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