For maximum enjoyment, games should be simple to understand, require no extra equipment, and start with a low initial bet (to allow for presses, etc.).
Skins - Probably the easiest of all games. Lowest score on the hole wins a skin worth whatever stake was agreed upon. Ties can carry over or not. The rule of validation that was used on TV is a pretty crappy one. I don't recommend it.
Wolf - Another easy one. One player is selected as The Wolf for the first hole. All players hit their drives and the Wolf selects his partner for the hole. Lowest individual score on the hole wins a point for his team. The Wolf may opt to go PIG if he believes that he can beat all of the other players on the hole. If he succeeds, he receives three points. If he fails, the other team receives two points per member. Each player takes a turn being the Wolf on successive holes (based on an established rotation).
Vegas - This game is played in teams. The low score between partners is put first. For example, on a par four one player makes a 4 and his partner makes a 5, the team score is 45. If the other teams scores 56, the first team receives eleven points. If one team makes birdie, the other team must reverse it's score. If the above example were on a par five. Team One's score is still 45, but Team Two's score becomes 65 and therefore Teams One receives 20 points. If both teams birdie, both scores are reversed to figure the points. It's up to you to decide the value placed on each point. Just remember that there are a lot of points at stake.
Nassau - The Nassau is three bets in one: low score on the front nine, low score on the back nine and low score over the full 18. The $2 Nassau is perhaps the most common bet among golf buddies.The Nassau is three bets in one: low score on the front nine, low score on the back nine and low score over the full 18. The $2 Nassau is perhaps the most common bet among golf buddies.
Criers and Whiners - Criers and Whiners is known by many different names, but the gist is the same: it's a game of mulligans for those players who are always crying and whining about that handful of shots they screwed up. "If only I could have hit that one again ..." The number of do-overs golfers get in Criers and Whiners is based on their handicap index.
Gruesomes - Gruesomes is betting game that pits 2-person teams against each other. Both team members tee off, then the other teams gets to choose which of the drives your side has to play. Obviously, they'll choose the worst - or most gruesome - of the two drives.
Aces and Dueces - Aces and Dueces, or Acey Ducey, is a bet in which there is a winner, two modest losers, and one big loser on each hole. It's a game for groups of four, obviously. The low scorer on each hole wins a certain amount from each of the other three players; while the high scorer on each holes owes each of the other three.
Arnies - Arnies are side bets whose value should be determined prior to the round. They are won automatically by any golfer who makes a par without having managed to get his ball into the fairway. Named in honor of Arnold Palmer, who made quite a few "Arnies" in his time..
Barkies - Barkies, sometimes called Woodies or Seves (as in Seve Ballesteros), are paid automatically to any player who makes par on a hole on which he hit a tree. The value of a Barkie is determined before the round.
Bingo Bango Bongo - Bingo Bango Bongo awards points throughout the round for three different accomplishments. At the end of the round, points are totaled and the differences are paid out.
Round Robin - Round Robin, also known as Hollywood or Sixes, is a betting game for groups of four that involves two members of the foursome teaming up against the other two. The catch is that partners rotate every six holes.
Sandies -Sandies have a set value throughout the round. A golfer automatically wins the bet (depending on the rules being played) either by making par on a hole in which he was in a sand trap; or by getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker.