By AJ Voelpel
There are a few things you should know before reading further…
I’m not an expert on the game I’m about to explain.
It’s not the easiest game to learn.
Pivot does not condone gambling on the course. Most of the time.
Listen, I’m not trying to scare anyone off here. But the golf world needs to know about the twisted reality of Wolf Hammer. I blame the boys from No Laying Up. They’re the ones who introduced me to it (looking right at you Soly and Tron) and presented it to the masses by featuring it on their website, YouTube channel and podcast.
“Wolf Hammer is the most dangerous game because you can play a great hole and get absolutely destroyed,” says Tron Carter said, who is part of the No Laying Up posse and frequent Wolf Hammerer.
Tron learned the game a couple years ago while attending (not playing) a Web.com Tour event in South Carolina. He was invited to play by the group of guys who invented it at Greenville Country Club. Needless to say, he was instantly hooked and began evangelizing.
The title combines two popular golf games, Wolf and Hammer. If you’ve played either, then you have a head start. If not, maybe start with Wolf and add Hammer in gradually, or hide your money.
Here’s How It Goes
Dots are the currency of the game. The first decision the group (assuming a foursome) has to make is how much each dot is going to be worth.
Once settled, Player 1 has the option of going Lone Wolf (their best ball vs. the best ball of the other three) or partnering with another player. Depending on if and when Player 1 announces they’re going Lone Wolf, it either quadruples, triples or doubles the value of each dot.
The hammers and junk are where the bread is buttered. For instance, Player 1 and 2 crush perfect drives down the fairway and are feeling good about their chances, they can announce “hammer,” which automatically adds another dot to the hole. The opposing team has the option to “take” the hammer (which adds yet another dot to the hole and gives them the power to re-hammer) or “drop” (which forfeits all hammers and takes to that point).
Then there’s the laundry list of junk (each worth a dot) that’s collected throughout a hole. Things like greenie, sandie, polie, creekie, wasabi, Saddam, Hogan, and a ton more. Memorizing and keeping tabs on the junk is probably the most difficult part of the entire game.
Oh, and one last very important detail: beginning on the 16th hole, the player who is down the most money becomes the wolf and determines a new value for each dot.
Got all that?
If you aren’t completely lost, or even (maybe especially) if you are, check out No Laying Up’s Wolf Hammer glossary.