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snake golf game

How to play the snake 3 putt golf game | A Fun Golf Snake Game

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How to play the snake golf game? AKA the 3 putt golf game 

The golf game snake is a wonderful way to get out and enjoy nature while still playing a competitive sport. It can be difficult to find the time for this though, especially if you work full-time or have a busy home life, which most of us do. The best part about this game can be played with any golfer and does not take a lot of time to learn because it is mostly only based on the players putting ability. Out of the many golf games that can be played, the snake golf game is our favorite. In this blog post, we’ll talk about how the game of snake works and why it may be worth trying out with your friends, no matter their skill level.

The snake golf game is not overly complicated to play once you get everyone on board. The most important thing when playing this game is to be focused on golf etiquette for beginners. Golf etiquette is important in this game because the player furthest out from the hole always goes first, no matter if the putt or shot is a “gimmie” stoke. If you are looking for something new and exciting to play a side-betting game, you need to try this game out!

This game will also help you on your lag putts! Find out more about what is a lag putt here. 

fairways of canton snake golf game
"The Boys" in the middle of a Snake golf game at the Fairways of Canton in Canton, GA

Individual Snake Golf or Team Snake Golf Game?

The best part about the snake golf game is that it is strictly an individual game, and you are not stuck with a player throughout the match. It is directly only your ability to putt the golf ball into the hole in the fewest strokes possible. You are not relying on any other teammate.

Because the game in individual, it can swing back and forth to anyone throughout the round. You will not really know the winner or have an idea who will win the game until the very last hole is played. You need to be focused on this game the entire round because it can change very quickly, and the last hole is the only one that matters in this game.

How to play the Snake Golf Game?

You do not want to be the SNAKE in golf! The snake is considered the last person to 3 putt (or higher) on any given hole. (Hence why it is called the 3 putt golf game) The last person to 3-putt (or higher) on the last played hole becomes the snake. The snake will stay crowned with that title until the next time a person 3 putts. If 2 or more people three-putt on the same hole, it is the last person to sink it into the hole that becomes the snake.

The game is relatively easy to keep up with scoring and doesn’t require calculating any golf handicaps. We recommend you play this game in conjunction with another individual golf game:

  1. High/Low golf game
  2. DOTS
  3. Wolf golf game
  4. Bingo/Bango/Bongo

This player repeats itself on every hole. This continues throughout the round until the final putt has been sunk. At that point, the person who is titled the snake, has lost the game and will be subject to any payouts established before the round. If you establish payouts, this can be done in separate ways as explained further below.

Rules of the Snake golf game

The rules of this game are amazingly simple. Before the first tee shot is made, the group needs to come to a consensus that they will not slow down the pace of play on the golf course. This game can typically slow down the pace of play by making sure each person goes in order and not playing ready golf. You need to be open to this and be able to keep up the pace of play, especially during a busy peak time on any golf course.

Snake putting game – Dont be the golf snake

For the snake golf game, a 3 putt is considered 3 OR MORE putts. 4 or 5 putts happen from time to time, and they are also considered to make you the golf snake. This keeps someone from missing a putt on purpose to avoid getting around becoming the snake. For the purpose of this article, anytime that 3 putt is mentioned, it means 3 putt or higher. There should be no “gimmies.”

snake golf game - snakeproof
Snake Golf Game being played. This does not count as a putt***

What is a 3-putt in the golf snake game?

Once the 3 putt is defined, we also need to define what is considered a putt for the game. If your ball is resting on the green at the time of the stoke, it is considered a “putt,” no matter what club you strike the ball with. The same scenario goes for a ball that is located off the green that you use your putter to make the stroke with. You can use your putter off the green and this IS NOT considered a putt for the Snake game. We call the ball “Snake Proof” when it is located right off the fringe because you get a free stoke that does not go toward the snake putting strokes. Make sure to use your best chipping drills for this shot. 

Alternate Rules for 3 putt golf snake game

With any game, there are many different variations that can be changed to make the game fairer. You can also alter the rules slightly to give any certain type of golfer a more advantageous outcome.

  • For beginner putters who will most likely 3 putt on a hole anyway, you can adjust the rules so that they will need to 4 putt to become the snake.
  • You can play the snake game twice for each 9 holes. If there are two different snakes, they split the losing consequences. If the same person is the snake, he or she must double the losing consequences.
  • Favorite: To speed the game up, you can adjust the rules so that there can be multiple snakes on any given hole. This makes the game a little more fun and you do not have to take all the time measuring and waiting on each putt. This also allows for the players to give out “gimmies” putts.

Betting Tips for the golf game snake

There are a few different fun betting ways that you can play this game with your fellow golfers:

  • Count each 3 putt (or higher). Each 3 putt adds $1 to the pot. At the end of the 18 holes, the snake (or snakes) is required to split the payout of the pot to the remaining golfers. Depending on how everyone is putting that day, this one can add up pretty fast and can be more money than expected.
  • One fixed amount. This one is the easiest to play. Each player agrees on a certain fixed amount that the snake or snakes will payout upon completion of the round. If each player agrees on $5, the snake will pay each person $5. This keeps the game from getting out of hand.
  • For golfers with deeper pockets, you can do both above and it makes for a much better payout.

Long Bombs Golf Final Summary

Snake golf game is a fun game to play with golfers who are mediocre to good at putting. We recommend playing in conjunction with another individual side game such as a shamble golf format or the high low golf game to keep the golf round interesting. The main goal of this 3 putt golf game is to not 3 putt. It seems like such a simple game, but I have personally been the player to not 3 putt all around, and on the 18th hole, I ended up being the snake.

This game definitely makes for a fun round. It is pretty relaxed until you get close to the final holes, and then the game turns much more intense. If the course has a hard 18th hole green, it makes the game even more fun!


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