Top Golf Games for 8 Players: Formats, Tips, and Fun Ideas to Enhance Your Round

Colin McCarthy

golf games for 8 players

Golfing with a group of eight can be an exhilarating experience, but it also demands some creativity to keep everyone engaged.

Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a weekend warrior, knowing the right games can transform your round into an unforgettable adventure.

From classic formats like Nassau bets to more unique twists, there’s a game suited for every skill level and competitive spirit.

Imagine splitting into two foursomes and adding a layer of excitement with a Skins game, where each hole becomes a mini-battle for the lowest score.

Or perhaps try a points-based system where each player’s performance on a hole earns them points, keeping everyone in the game till the last putt.

These games not only add a competitive edge but also foster camaraderie and fun among your group.

Here’s an overview of some popular golf games that can be played with 8 players:

Scramble Formats

Scramble games are perfect for 8 players, often played in two teams of four. Each player hits a tee shot, and the team selects the best one. Then, all team members hit from that spot.

This continues until the ball is in the hole. The team with the lowest score wins. This format emphasizes team strategy and minimizes individual performance pressure.

For a more competitive twist, consider a Best Ball format. In this game, each player in the team plays their own ball, and the lowest score on each hole is taken as the team’s score.

The team with the overall lowest score at the end wins. This format allows players to contribute based on their strengths, making it both engaging and fair for all skill levels.

Match Play Variants

Match play provides a competitive format where players or teams compete on a hole-by-hole basis. One popular variant for 8 players involves breaking into four teams of two.

Each team competes against the other in a round-robin format. Points accumulate for each hole won, setting a dynamic pace. This variant keeps all participants actively engaged throughout the round.

Another engaging option for 8 players is the scramble format, where each team member hits a shot and then the best shot is selected. All players hit their next shot from this position, promoting teamwork and strategy.

Mixed Team Competitions

Mixed-team competitions blend various formats to keep the game diverse. For instance, you can combine scramble and best-ball elements.

Teams of four compete, and on each hole, the best individual score combined with the best ball score determines the team score. This hybrid approach ensures everyone contributes and keeps the game exciting.

Moreover, rotating partners each round adds a social element, allowing players to interact and collaborate with different teammates. This format not only enhances strategy but also fosters camaraderie among participants.

Key Golf Formats Suitable for 8 Players

Here are some key golf formats suitable for 8 players:

Two-Man Team Games

Two-man team games engage players in pairs, promoting teamwork and combined strategy. Popular formats include:

Best Ball

Each player in the duo plays their ball throughout the round. The team uses the lower score of the two on each hole. This format encourages consistent play and is forgiving of individual errors.

Alternate Shot

Also known as Foursomes, this format involves teammates taking turns hitting the same ball. Player A tees off on odd-numbered holes, Player B on even-numbered ones. This format demands precise coordination and communication.

Scotch Foursomes

Both players hit tee shots. They then choose the better one and alternate shots until the hole is completed. This variation balances individual and team play.

Four-Man Team Games

Four-man team games mix individual play with team effort.

These formats often lead to exhilarating rounds:


All players tee off. The best shot is selected, and all players hit from that spot. This continues until the hole is finished. Scramble emphasizes collective strategy and minimizes weaker shots.


Similar to a scramble, but after selecting the best tee shot, each player plays their own ball from that position to finish the hole. The team’s score is the best individual score per hole.

Two Best Ball

Each foursome submits two best individual scores per hole as the team score. This format combines individual performance with team success.

Multi-Format Challenges

Multi-format challenges incorporate various styles of play in a single round, keeping the game dynamic:

Ryder Cup Style

Divide players into two teams of four. Implement different formats for six or nine-hole segments, such as Fourball, Foursomes, and Singles matches. This approach ensures variety and sustained interest.


Split the game into three matches: front nine, back nine, and overall 18 holes. Teams compete within each segment, allowing for multiple ways to earn victory points.

Skins Game

Each hole is a separate contest. The player or team with the lowest score wins the “skin” for that hole. Skins are carried over if no outright winner emerges, often leading to intense competition on later holes.

Fun and Competitive Golf Games

Here are some fun and competitive golf games that can add excitement to your round:

Split Sixes

Split Sixes fosters camaraderie while maintaining competitive energy. Divide your group into four pairs battling in a six-point match on each hole.

Points distribute based on team scores, ensuring every shot counts. This format keeps the energy high and laughter constant as teams vie for the most points.

Another engaging option is Fourball, where two teams of four compete against each other. Each player plays their own ball, and the best score of each team’s four players on each hole is counted.

This not only emphasizes individual skill but also strategic teamwork, creating exciting dynamics and fostering a spirited atmosphere on the course.

Best Ball and Alternate Shot

Two-Man Team Games like Best Ball and Alternate Shot prove optimal for groups of eight. In Best Ball, each player plays their own ball, and the team’s score for each hole is the lowest individual score.

This game allows everyone to contribute their best shots. Alternate Shot involves pairing up with a partner, where teammates take turns hitting the same ball.

One player tees off on even holes, and the other on odd holes. Alternate Shot tests synchronization and teamwork.

Side Bet Games

For added excitement, incorporate Side Bet Games, such as Nassau, Skins, or Stableford variations. Nassau bets split your matches into three parts: the front nine, back nine, and full 18-hole score, allowing multiple chances to win.

Skins Game assigns a point value to each hole, with the player with the fewest strokes winning the skin. In Stableford, golfers earn points based on scores on each hole relative to par, aiming for the highest point total.

Side Bet Games enhance the competitive spirit without over-complicating the round, making them perfect for eight players.

Organizing a Successful 8-Player Golf Game

Organizing a successful 8-player golf game requires careful planning and consideration.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:

Planning and Setup

Select a course accommodating eight players. Arrange for tee times close together. Ensure everyone understands the format. Consider balancing teams based on skill levels to enhance competition.

Create a schedule to keep the game moving, including break times. Incorporate fun side games like closest to the pin or long drive challenges to add excitement.

Use a scoring system that everyone finds fair and straightforward. End with a group debrief to share experiences.

Scoring Techniques

Choose scoring methods suited to your game format. For a Scramble, use the lowest cumulative score. In Split Sixes, award six points per hole distributed among the players.

Record scores accurately. Use digital scorecards for efficiency, if available. In Nassau, divide the game into three separate matches for front nine, back nine, and overall.

For a Best Ball format, take the best score from each team per hole. Always ensure fairness and clarity in scoring.

Enhancing the Gameplay Experience

Add side bet games like Nassau or Skins for excitement. Encourage friendly banter to keep morale high. Use a mix of traditional and unique game formats to maintain interest.

Provide refreshments and small prizes to boost engagement. Implement a quick post-game wrap-up to celebrate the highlights and achievements of the day.

Organize the players into smaller teams or pairs for more dynamic competition. Keep scorecards clear and accessible for easy tracking. Ensure everyone understands the rules before starting.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you accurately keep score in a group golf game?

Use digital scorecards or apps designed for golf scoring to ensure accuracy. Regularly update scores during the game to keep everyone informed and engaged.

What are some popular side bet games in golf?

Popular side bet games include Nassau and Skins. Nassau involves betting on the front nine, back nine, and overall game, while Skins awards a point for the best score on each hole.

How can you foster camaraderie during a golf game?

Encourage friendly banter, provide refreshments, and offer prizes to create a fun and inclusive atmosphere. Celebrating highlights and achievements during post-game wrap-ups also helps build camaraderie.

What is a Scramble format in golf?

In a Scramble, all players hit from the same spot and choose the best shot. Then, all players hit again from that spot. This continues until the hole is completed, promoting teamwork and strategy.

What is Match Play in golf?

Match Play is a format where players compete to win individual holes rather than accumulating strokes over the entire round. The player or team with the most holes won at the end wins the match.

What is the Split Sixes format in golf?

In Split Sixes, each hole is worth six points divided among players based on their scores: 4-2-0 for the best, second, and third-place scores respectively. This format adds excitement through varying point distribution.


Golf games for eight players can transform your outing into an unforgettable experience. By choosing the right formats and planning meticulously, you ensure everyone has a great time.

Incorporate side bets and maintain accurate scoring to keep the competition lively. Don’t forget the importance of camaraderie; a little banter and some refreshments go a long way.

Finally, wrap up with a quick post-game celebration to honor the day’s highlights. With these tips, your golf game will be a hit every time.

Organizing team-based games like Scramble or Best Ball can foster teamwork, while individual competitions such as Stroke Play ensure personal achievements are recognized.

Don’t shy away from using technology, like golf apps, to streamline score tracking and enhance engagement.

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Colin McCarthy

Golf is about mastering your misses and learning from them. I seek answers on the how and why of the golf swing, gaining experience even when answers elude me. With over 11,000 hours of teaching and a hunger for learning, I welcome any questions. My goal is to introduce golf to as many as possible, simplifying the game for all to enjoy. Passionate, eager, and ambitious, I'm here to teach, listen, and learn. LinkedIn

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