Golf is a simple yet fun game to pull out with the kids or guests when you want to chat about the weather, families, work, religion, politics, or life in general. I call it a great background game where the focus is on each other and relationships, not necessarily the game itself. It doesn’t require much mental thought but still has some fun cheering and groaning moments.
You have a 9-card grid with two face up at the start of the round. Each turn, draw and replace a card in your grid. Red cards (e.g., birdie, hole-in-one, etc.) give automatic negative points and reduce your overall score which, you may or may not know, is a good thing in golf! Black cards give positive points, but if you have a column or row of three matching black cards, you score negative the single value on the cards. The hazard cards (ugh!) give an automatic +10 points. The mulligan cards are the best and act as a wild card. Each round ends when a player displays the ninth card in his/her grid.
Unless you happen to be good enough to play for money, just like golf the sport, Golf the game is mellow and chill. There’s not a lot of pressure. For some, this could mean boring or dull, but I don’t think so. While I wouldn’t pull it out every day or every week, I like the game. I think there is absolutely a place for some low-pressure games out there. How would it be if every movie you watched kept you at the edge of your seat from start to finish? Or if every book or work of art were edgy, heavy, or intense? It’d be too much. There is a very proper place for softness and calmness in the world, especially with all that goes on out there these days.
Now when my kids play Golf, the excitement level ramps up! They get so excited when they get a red card or especially a set. Naturally, as a parent, your kid jumping around and cheering increases the excitement of the game for you as well. One of my favorite moments was when our four-year-old got beat to the punch by her older brother, flipped over her last two cards, and found both aligning to a set! She screamed and may have been a little smug when her brother had to take the score penalty for going out but not having the lowest score. =-)
Golf doesn’t have a ton of strategy and is very luck-based. I do find myself often getting burned when I play too risky trying to go for high-value sets. Just like in life, risks can be a great thing when they can lead to beneficial outcomes and when you don’t engage in too much sustained risk over time. I often fall into this trap with board games. =-)
Scoring & Wrap-up
Overall, I give Golf a 6.5 out of 10 for the following reasons:
- Its clever nuances and twists to basic mechanics (like the mulligan card and the scoring for the player who finishes the round)
- Its simplicity and light-weight gameplay
- Humorous artwork on the cards (the high black cards especially!)
- Can become a bit mechanical when played frequently over a short amount of time
Take a look at some of the other awesome Grandpa Beck games! You’ll be able to tell which are my favorites. =-)
See other fun card games by Grandpa Beck’s Games!
Disclaimer: I received this game for free in exchange for my review, but believe me, I post authentic reviews every time and will be brazenly blunt if needs be.