Everyone reading this will know the game of golf to some extent. It’s a leisurely game taking 3 – 5 hours over 9 or 18 holes to finish a course on a nice sunny morning. What you might not know, is that this game (which is usually played on a huge field) can also be replicated on the significantly smaller dartboard!
Golf darts is a fun and easy game to pick up and play. It’s suitable for all skill levels, has a very simple scoring system and best of all, it replicates a game that most people enjoy. In this article, we’ll show you how to play golf on a dartboard and share any rules, tips, and strategies to ensure you get a hole in one… or is it a dart in one?
Number of Players
2 – 8 players
Golf darts is a fun game for any number of players. However, if you are playing with a large group you may want to consider before playing whether you will be competing in the 9 or the 18 round match. All players will be split up into two teams.
Golf Darts Rules and Scoring
Every round of golf darts will be focused on a different number. For the first round, players will be aiming to hit the ones. On the second round, they will be aiming for the twos and the rounds will keep going at the list of numbers.
For each turn, the player will get three darts to throw. They don’t have to throw all 3 because the final dart thrown will be the one that counts towards their score.
If a player throws a dart that misses the target, it will be worth 5 strokes. The larger and smaller singles sections of the dartboard will be worth 4 strokes. Landing on a triple is worth 3 strokes and a double is a hole in one.
We recommend keeping track of every player’s score for each round by writing down their names across the top of a board and then creating a column on the left side with the number of rounds you will be playing.
How to Play Golf Darts
- Decide whether you will be playing a 9 round match or an 18 round match and the chronological order that you will be playing in. A good way to decide is by having each player throw a dart and the closest to the bullseye will go first.
- For the first round, each player will be aiming to hit the 1s on the dartboard. Each player will be given 3 darts that they can choose to throw. If they land on a one on their first attempt, they do not have to throw the other darts. Many players choose not to in this situation because the last dart thrown is what counts towards their score in each round.
- Other players in the match will take their turn throwing darts at the 1. Make sure every players’ results are recorded.
- Players will follow in this sequence until they finish either 9 or 18 rounds.
- The player with the lowest score at the end of the match is the winner.
Golf Darts Example Game
Let’s take a look at an example of how to play golf darts so you have a better idea of how this game really works. It’s very straightforward and once you become familiar with the rules and scoring, you’ll be able to teach your friends.
- There are two players in this round. Player one has stepped up to the board and has 3 darts in their hand. They throw their first dart, aiming at the one. The first dart hits the 2, so they try again. The second dart they throw lands on a triple 1. They decided not to throw the third dart and earn a score of 3 strokes.
- The second player takes their turn. The first dart they throw lands on the larger section of the 1, closer to the bullseye. Player 2 feels like they can do better than that so they throw their second dart, but it lands in the single 20. They go for a third try and land their third dart in a single 20 as well. They always have to take the score of the final dart, which is 5 strokes (for a miss).
- For the next round, they will be focused on landing their darts on the 2s.
- Player one throws their first dart and lands in the smaller single section. They don’t want to risk a bad throw, so they accept the 4 points and step down.
- Player 2 steps up. They throw their first dart and also hit the smaller single section. They decide to try again and throw their second dart, landing on double for 2. This gives them a hole in one.
- The game will continue to go in this order until they have completed either 9 or 18 rounds.
- Once both players have completed the dart throwing, they will tally up their points. The player with the lowest score remaining will win the game.
For a good visual representation, take a look at the image below to show how a game is scored for each round.
If you are playing in teams with multiple people, in each round a different player will play. Let’s say you have 3 players on each team. If player A on team 1 throws for number 1, player B will throw for number 2, and player C will throw for number 3. The game will continue to go in this order.
Golf Darts Tips & Strategies
Golf darts is supposed to be a fun game for a few players or a large group. While there are competitive aspects of the game, the fact that only one dart counts each round means that you have some opportunities to be more adventurous with your play style.
Firstly, you should always throw your first dart for the double. Not only will this give you the lowest possible score for that number – should you hit it – but it will also give you a good marker for the second dart should you miss.
Now, the second dart will depend on your experience or level of accuracy. You can either follow the first dart to go for the double again, using the first dart as a marker, or you can play it more conservatively and try to get a single or double.
A good player should always go for the double with the second dart as well, using the first as a marker as even a missed double should mean that they can hit a single with the last dart. This will occasionally backfire but chances are, on the full 18 rounds you’ll hit more doubles than missed numbers with this approach.
This makes it a great option when playing the probabilities.
Other than this key strategy, the other thing to be aware of is your own abilities and not gamble too frequently. If you have a good marker with your second dart, you can use it for a double or treble to risk getting a better score but be honest with yourself as to whether or not you’ll hit it.
In my opinion, you should accept a decent score for each throw, if you hit a single with your second dart, most players are better off just accepting this. It’s only if you’re a good player that you shouldn’t settle for a single on any throw.
Golf darts is certainly one of the lesser-known dart games and you would rarely consider it to be a practice game. It follows a similar method of play to Shanghai darts (which is a good practice game) but is less intense and arguably more fun.
While larger groups could take a while to finish a game, it’s certainly one of the quicker games when it comes to large groups and it’s also relatively easy to keep score. Therefore, golf darts it’s a great game geared towards beginners and large groups.