Staying Motivated: New Side Bet

I posed the question in my last post if it’s possible for an amateur to stay motivated for every round and every shot regardless of situation.

I still don’t know the answer for sure, but when Jim from The Grateful Golfer blog made the comment that throwing some money on the line with his buddies helped motivate him and get him out of a funk, it got me thinking and spawned an idea for Beth and I to do since we play so much golf together.

We’re currently planning on taking an extended vacation this winter in which we’re saving for. So I proposed that instead of a typical side bet where money exchanges hands after the round over a drink, that money would be contributed to our “vacation jar”.


Here’s how it goes:

The loser of our 18 hole match (typical match play with strokes given) puts $5 into the jar.

If someone makes a birdie or a sandy par, the other person puts $1 in the jar.

An eagle is worth $2, and sandy birdies and eagles are doubled.

Birdies, eagles and sandies do not cancel each other out. For example, if we halve the match and we both made 2 birdies, we both contribute $2 to the vacation fund.

It’s a little extra incentive on the golf course and will get a bit more cash flow into our savings for the trip.

We’ve done this twice so far and I owe a lot more money than Beth does as the last couple rounds haven’t gone too great for me, but I plan to change that soon!

Will be interesting to see how much we can tally and will provide an update closer to the end of the season.

What are your favorite betting games? Does it motivate you? I’d like to know!

Happy golfing!


  4 comments for “Staying Motivated: New Side Bet

  1. July 29, 2014 at 4:56 pm


    What a great way to save for a vacation! This is definitely new!


  2. August 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I really like this approach. Playing as a single often I may create a bogey tax for myself to save up for a Fall 2015 golf trip to PEI. May take the sting out of the boubles I tend to cars (but I doubt it!).

    • August 20, 2014 at 8:27 am

      A bogey tax is an interesting idea! Best of luck saving for your trip, hopefully you can contribute more money for pars and birdies than bogeys! Appreciate the comment.


      • August 20, 2014 at 8:36 am

        I’ll revisit my tax system to ensure I ‘reward’ myself properly for birdies and pars! Thanks Josh.

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