The GM staff are not averse to playing various golfing bits on their competitive outings, with bit specialists often walking away with more than the winner…

Many golfers like to add a little bit of financial interest to their games beyond the mere score by way of certain golfing bits – those little ‘extras’ that keep things interesting for those out with the washing in terms of the main contest. Here are some favourites of the Golf Monthly crew…

Birdie

The simplest and most straightforward. Beat par by one on any hole (gross not net) to earn yourself a birdie bit. Probably favours better players so see also “special bits” below.

Eagle

Beat par by two and earn yourself two eagle bits. Many an argument has raged over the years as to whether it should be worth more than that given their rarity relative to birdies, usually by someone who’s just had his first eagle of the year!

The eagle - so rare it should perhaps be worth much more than two birdies

The eagle – so rare it should perhaps be worth much more than two birdies

Sandy par

Making par or better having visited a bunker at any stage on a hole. Sometimes called a “gritter” and sometimes confined to only greenside up and downs.

Ferret

The ferret is awarded to anyone who holes out for par or better from off the green. This could be a chip, pitch or bunker shot, but sometimes it’s as simple as a 10-foot putt from the fringe.

Longest drive

Ostensibly favours big hitters, but you must be on the fairway, and as we all know, many of the longest hitters are more often to be found in the jungle.

Most long drive contests don't enjoy the benefits of an airport runway

Most long drive contests don’t enjoy the benefits of an airport runway

Oozlum

The exact spelling of this term is uncertain, but the “oozlum” is awarded to nearest the pin on a par 3. If more than two putts taken, it either reverses or rolls over depending on “local” rules.

Woody

Making par or better having hit the woodwork at least once on any hole

Snake

A little harsh this one, especially for anyone not averse to the odd three-putt when the pressure mounts towards the end. Every three-putt adds one to the snake count, and the last man to three-putt pays out the cumulative total to everybody else. Can really mount up on certain courses!

Almost as bad to be left holding the snake on the golf course as in the wider world

Almost as bad to be left holding the snake on the golf course as in the wider world

Special bits

Special dispensation in the form of double bits sometimes granted to those of a certain handicap or above in view of their reduced bit prospects. Arguments often rage as to where the handicap cut-off point should be, but somewhere in the early teens usually.

Double sandy ferret eagle

Mythical beast worth at least five bits – bunker off the tee on a par 5, then holing out from a greenside bunker for eagle. No-one at GM has even come close!