The Ultimate Guide to Pub Golf: Rules, Scoring, and Tips

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As avid lovers of all things golf, we often celebrate the rich traditions and precise regulations that define the game. Yet, golf is not just a sport of skill and decorum—it’s also a source of fun and fellowship. This brings us to an entertaining twist on the classic game: pub golf. While vastly different from the golf we usually discuss, pub golf embodies the spirit of camaraderie and playful competition that makes golf so beloved.

On our website, which is dedicated to the nuances of golf rules, it might seem unusual to feature a game that replaces greens with pubs and strokes with sips. However, the essence of pub golf—mastering a course in the fewest ‘strokes’ possible—mirrors the fundamental challenge of golf. It’s a lighthearted homage to our favourite sport, adapted for evenings out with friends and themed celebrations.

By exploring the rules of pub golf, we’re not just indulging in a fun variant but also embracing the broader culture of golf that unites diverse enthusiasts. Whether you’re a serious golfer or a social player, understanding pub golf can add an extra layer of enjoyment to your golfing experiences, connecting the precision of the fairway with the spontaneity of a night on the town.

Overview of Pub Golf

Pub golf involves visiting a sequence of pubs (or bars), each designated as a “hole,” where each drink serves as your “shot.” The objective is to finish your drink in a pre-set number of sips, corresponding to “par” for each hole. Like in golf, the fewer strokes (sips) it takes to finish your drink, the better your score.

Setting Up the Game

  • Typically, a game consists of 9 or 18 holes. You can adjust the number based on your group size and desired game length.
  • Choose pubs that are close together to minimize travel time. Assign different drinks at each pub, varying the difficulty (and par) according to the strength and complexity of the drink.
  • Divide into teams for larger groups to add a competitive edge. Encourage participants to wear golf-themed attire or team uniforms for extra fun.

Rules of Pub Golf

Scoring System

Each drink must be finished in a set number of sips. Scoring under par (fewer sips than expected) earns points, while scoring over par increases your score. The player with the lowest score wins.


Introduce fun penalties for certain faults, such as spilling a drink, failing to finish, or arriving last at the next pub.

Safety Rules

Promote responsible drinking by setting realistic pars and ensuring everyone respects their limits. Consider including non-alcoholic options as some holes.

Examples of a Scorecard

HolePub NameDrinkParScore
1The OakLager32
2The KingCider44
3Red LionWhisky11
4The SwanAle33
5The GateVodka23
6The BellRum22
7The StarGin11
8The EndTequila11
9Final PubWine56

Advanced Tips for Pub Golf

  1. To accommodate different preferences and tolerances, allow players to choose between a range of drink options at each hole. Include non-alcoholic options to ensure inclusivity and responsible drinking.
  2. Assign a unique theme to each pub or drink to enhance the fun. For example, a tropical drink at a beach-themed bar or a dark stout at an Irish pub. This can add a layer of excitement and creativity to the game.
  3. Consider using a smartphone app to keep track of scores and rules. Several party game apps can be adapted for pub golf, allowing real-time scoring and making it easier to manage larger groups.
  4. Incorporate food at sure holes to ensure participants are not drinking on an empty stomach. This can be as simple as a snack or as elaborate as a complete meal halfway through the game.
  5. Beyond standard penalties for spills or unfinished drinks, consider creative penalties for fun interactions, like singing a song at the next bar if you score over par.
  6. Encourage competition by offering prizes for the winners, the best-dressed golfer, or the most spirited player. Prizes could range from gift certificates to a round of drinks or golf-themed items.
  7. If playing pub golf during hot weather, plan more indoor stops or choose more excellent evening hours. Minimize outdoor walking or select pubs with cosy, warm settings for colder seasons.
  8. Designate checkpoints where players can assess whether they want to continue drinking. Encourage players to switch to water or soft drinks if they feel they have reached their limit.
  9. Develop a unique hashtag for your pub golf event and encourage participants to use it when posting photos or updates online. This can help create memories and promote your event or brand organically.
  10. Organize a final gathering spot where everyone can share their experiences and enjoy downtime. This could be a quieter pub or someone’s home, providing a space to unwind and ensure everyone is safe and accounted for at night’s end.


Pub golf is a fantastic way to enjoy a night out with a competitive and fun twist. Adapt the rules and courses to fit your group’s preferences and local offerings. Always prioritize safety and responsible drinking. Ready to tee off?

Pub golf is a fun, social game that mimics the structure of golf, played across a series of pubs or bars. Each drink at a pub represents a ‘hole,’ and the number of sips it takes to finish the drink acts as your ‘strokes.’ The goal is to complete each drink in the fewest sips possible.

In pub golf, scoring is similar to traditional golf. Each pub represents a hole with a par (the ideal number of sips to finish a drink). Scoring under par (fewer sips than expected) is good, while scoring over par (more sips) can lead to penalties.

Common rules include setting a par for each drink, assigning penalties for spills or unfinished drinks, and often incorporating fun penalties like singing a song or wearing a funny hat for scoring over par. The game can be adapted with different themes or drinks at each pub.

When setting up a game, consider the number of holes (pubs), the drink selection, potential themes for each pub, and safety measures like food availability and checkpoints for assessing alcohol intake. Always prioritize responsible drinking.

Absolutely! Pub golf can be enjoyed with any type of drink, including non-alcoholic options. This makes the game inclusive and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of their drinking preferences.