How to play the golf game ‘Chicago’

Image of Chicago skylineMAYBE FRANK SINATRA invented the golf game named after one of the towns he loved to sing about. Or maybe it was a ’70s band famous for its horn players. In any case, you’ll sing the creator’s praises once you try the golf game Chicago with your favorite foursome.

To start, everyone adds her course handicap to the number minus-39. So if you’re a 10, 10 plus minus-39 equals minus-29.

From there, the game is like Stableford in that players win points for bogey or better: 1 for bogey, 2 for par, 4 for birdie and 8 for eagle. (If anyone scores an albatross, just give her all your darned money and tell her to buy a lottery ticket for the group.) Worse than bogey, no harm done.

The object of the golf game Chicago: to get your number into positive territory.

In most golf games, the handicap system equalizes players from the beginning. But the fun thing about Chicago is that the high handicappers start out with the lead – your 36 handicap becomes a minus-3! – and the low handicappers have to play catch-up.

The golf game Chicago works as a tournament game, too, but is most fun in a foursome, where players can see exactly what they’re up against and attack accordingly.


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