The Games Within The Game

Good morning Breakfast Ballers, especially all you reading this from the 4th tee somewhere, putting out the vibes. This week has been a bit of a doozy shadowboxing heat waves in the office, but as the ancient Greeks once said, “The newsletter never sleeps.” 

As the self-proclaimed mad scientists of the recreational golf world, it’s our duty to constantly tinker with ways to make the game better. During a casual 12 hour session of studying reruns of the 99’ Ryder Cup like they were the Zapruder film, something struck us like a lightning bolt to The Bishop in Caddyshack. What if there’s a layer of fun percolating below the surface of the game? Something hiding in plain sight? Not just the game, but THE GAMES...WITHIN THE GAME.

That’s right, we’re on some Inception level sh**.

This week we’re looking at side games, bets, and weapons of mass party-fication that you can use to turn any round you play this weekend to 11. You already know about greenies, sandies, Wolf and Bingo, Bango, Bongo. But have you ever heard of Switcharoo?

Whether you like it or not, we’re implanting these games straight into your subconscious. Welcome to GOLFCEPTION.


You've seen the movie at least 95 times, and successfully executed the legendary swing maybe twice. Now you can deploy it to gain advantage over your buddies.

How to play: Up to three times during a round you can call "Gilmore" forcing your opponent's next swing to be a walk up. No shot is off limits, including putts. It's a move that's guaranteed to raise some stakes, but we can't promise it'll bring Chubb's hand back.

The Claret Chug

Ok, so this isn't exactly a game, it's what they call in the biz, a best practice.

How to play: Witness a chip-in, finish your beer. 

Understood? We may not be British Open Champions, but we're damn sure going to celebrate like we are.

Tag Teaming

Wait a second, is that The Road Warriors' music? 

How to play: When you're finally feeling like Hawk and Animal, you and your playing partner need to level up. Try tag teaming by dividing an entire set of sticks between the two of you. One guy might play with a wedge, irons 7-4, and putter. While the other plays with woods, two wedges, and irons PW-8. The other team does the same thing, creating a, dare we say, New World Order. Once you're locked in, it's no tradesies.

The Rubber Band Effect

Have you ever played a sports video game, started running up the score, only to suddenly begin bricking every shot and turning the ball over as your foe claws his way back? There's a technical term for this phenomenon called The Rubber Band Effect. Designers programmed it into games to keep them from getting too one-sided.

How to play: Whenever a golfer gets down by more than 5 strokes against his opponent, the leading player is given a rubber band. Could be anything from removing shoes, a glove, or a specific club, to making 'em putt with a wedge. Dealer's choice. The Rubber Band Effect is in play as long as the deficit is over 5.

Hey Steve Stricker, we know you're reading this. Why don't you bust out the rubber bands in this year's Ryder Cup?


Also known as The Texas Wedge or The Extra Dirty Martini.

How to play: A single use option, each player is allowed to throw or toss a ball instead of hitting it with a club. You must announce to the group before trying this unlike you're buddy Tyler who uses 5-6 heaters a round when no one is looking.

Measuring Sticks

To all the dudes who can't putt, this may be your Infinity Gauntlet.

How to play: Without risk there is no upside of return. Measuring Sticks is a tradeoff where a player can elect to take a gimme from 10 ft. and in, but must hit the corresponding club to number of feet taken on the next tee box.

For example: Take an 9 foot gimme, hit an 9 iron on the next tee. 8 footer = 8 iron, 7 footer = 7 iron, etc.


The golfing equivalent to snagging the ghost power up while leading a race in Mario Kart and stealing lightning from the driver in 8th.

How to play: Switcharoos are earned after making birdie and can be used anytime later in the round. By declaring "Switcharoo" the birdie maker will exchange clubs with his opponent and they'll hit their next shots with those sticks. Best used on a tee box or green.

The Apology

You've probably been in a fantasy football league where the worst team owner had to retake the SATs or show up in a speedo to work. Sometimes golf can sting your ass too.

How to play: Lose a match by 10 strokes or more, and you're contractually obligated to write a public letter to your buddy explaining why you took the L, how great he played and apologize for being a hacker. The note can be shared on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or if you're Moneybags Mcgee, a good ol' fashioned billboard.

(Feel free to send us any letter our way and we will do the honor of posting it to our IG page to amplify your shame.)

Got a game that you and your buddies love? Send it our way and we'll give it a test spin. In the meantime, go buzz some pins and have a hell of a weekend.

Stay safe and swing hard.

James Itkoff