There are actually a couple of different meanings when it comes to “greenie in golf”. The basic golf term refers to the GIR also known as Green In Regulation. To get a “greenie”, you must get your ball on the green in par MINUS two strokes.
The term greenie refers to getting your golf ball on the green in a set amount of strokes. Most greenies and side bets happen on Par 3 holes where you must get your ball on the green within the first shot. This allows the golfer 2 more shots to get their ball in the hole in 3 or less shots.
Now there are also other meanings or rather USES including some really fun side betting in golf. Most golfers know about greenies, sandies, barkies and sharkies. Each of these golf side bet games has a specific set of rules but they tend to play about the same.
I will break each golfing side betting game further down the article so keep on keepin on (-;
The best way to do some fun side bets with your golfing buddies is to include all of the side bets together into one big game. When doing this though, make sure that you have a trusted JUNK MAN.
Table of Contents
What Is A Junk Man In Golf?
The junk man is the person in your group who is going to track all of the bets. This person does not have to play and actually can be a benefit especially with larger groups of players. It can get difficult to track everyones “dots” ( points for side bets for various golf side games like greenies, barkies and sandies ).
Side betting in golf has been referred to as:
There are many other nicknames for side betting including the term “marker” or “spot” but the majority of golfers tend to use dots or junk overall. I tend to call most things “points” though, whether we are talking about baseball, basketball or golf.
Being the junkman in golf is not easy btw. I have tried it while playing and it was too much stuff to keep track of. Most times people use their smartphone these days to track everything compared to the old school pad and pen.
What Is A Sandie In Golf?
If you are lucky enough to land yourself in a sandtrap and still make par then you have earned a “Sandie”. You would get a “dot” whether you are playing for points or side betting.
To get a sandie in golf, a golfer needs to be able to make par after landing in a sandtrap. On a par 3 for example, a golfer would need to land in a sand trap and still sink the putt in 3 or less strokes overall.
There are a couple courses actually that work perfect for playing sandies. Other areas which are very windy however should be avoided LOL. Who need that sort of sandblasting happening when the wind picks up.
There are a few golf courses that have multiple sand traps. I can see the side bets really adding up. Not that we are condoning gambling but gentlemans’ bets are totally different (-;
I can see getting a sandie far easier than getting a sharkie for example. That is where your ball actually lands in a water hazard and you still make par. Talk about some crazy luck though. I thought getting through a sand trap unscathed was hard enough.
What Is A Barkie In Golf?
I bet the most side bets in golf could really benefit if you add “barkies” into the mix. With barkies, all you really have to do is play “not your best” and treat the golf course more like a pinball machine.
A barkie in golf is when a player hits a tree or large branch with their golf ball BUT still is able to make par. Most barkies happen on par 3 or par 4 holes but have been recorded on par 4 holes as well.
I have gotten plenty of barkies in golf. I am not saying that I was MEANING to get them though LOL. Sometimes it just happens SO… Why not find a way to turn those mistakes into points or side bet profits?
This is one of the easier golf side games to get behind. Most people can hit a tree especially when they are trying their best to avoid them. It reminds me of when we were kids learning how to ride a bike. We always tended to ride straight towards poles, mailboxes or walls.
We, as humans tend to go towards disaster the harder we try and avoid it. Too funny though watching a ball smack a tree crazy hard and fly in the completely different direction HAHA.
What Is A Sharkie In Golf?
Now here is a side game that is not for the faint of heart for sure LOL. The odds of getting a sharkie is crazy rare to say the least. When someone gets one, it is usually solely out of luck and nothing more.
A sharkie in golf is one of the rarest side bet points to get. A golfer will have to make par or better AFTER their golf ball has landing in or skipped off a water hazard.
I have never seen anyone get a sharkie in real life. If you have seen it in person or have a video link of it happening then feel free to let us know or toss us a link. Who doesn’t love seeing those once in a lifetime types of golf shots.
I would just include this as a “what if” when it comes to playing golf with the buds though. The odds are crazy but I guess when you are near water, pull out the phone to grab video as a just in case.
Is Side Betting In Golf Legal?
This can really depend on a ton of different things obviously. If you live in Vegas and gambling is just a norm where you live, no one is going to bat an eye when a group of golfers are drinking and betting on their rounds of golf.
If you live in a more conservative area, there could be issues with betting money. There are of course loopholes in anything especially when it comes to having fun playing golf (-;
You can get creative with the bets and have zero money exchange hands. Mow your buddies lawn, wash his motorcycle in a bikini, you know weird or funny stuff never hurt anyone HAHA.
Like most things, look into your local and state laws but unless you are running some crazy huge side betting business… You and your buddies betting 20s is odds are going to be just fine lol.
Which Side Game In Golf Is Best For Beginners?
There are new games including drinking shots or paying for the next round of beers. You really can make up a game based around anything. You can bet cash, you can bet items, you can bet your pink slip to your car ( you are crazy sir! ) but make sure that you understand what you are doing before shaking hands or starting the round.
I think that most new golfers will have a blast playing barkies or greenies. These two side games are easiest to get ( even for newbies ) points for compared to sandies or sharkies for example.
Another way to play is to just keep all side game options in play and IF someone happens to get one then they can get a dot for that hole. This actually creates a far more random game because no one is specifically trying to hit a tree or purposefully trying to land in a sand trap.
Golf can get boring at times just like most things in life. Why not take a little time out of the normal game play and having a blast with your friends doing some side bets with fun golf side games.
Do Professional Golfers Play Side Games In Golf?
There are many pros who love side bets especially amongst other pros in their field. Who hasn’t seen Tiger and others having a blast during distance driving competitions back in his prime. I mean, he is still amazing BUT man back in the day before his accidents and issues he was totally unstoppable.
I would love to see seasoned golf pros and the latest 2022 up and comers play a couple side games. Imagine all of them playing “horse” and the amount of awesome trick shots that would come out of it.
I haven’t see any in official side games but for sure have seen them in long drive comps and putting competitions. The pros seem to get younger each and every year so I can see some fresh youthful upgrades coming to this amazing game in 2022.