Wiffle golf is a recreational sport that is played using standard Wiffleball bats and balls. It is played on much smaller courses than normal golf. In Wiffle golf, players take turns hitting Wiffle balls into objects such as trees, buckets, sheds, or birdfeeders which are used for holes. Like normal golf, the object is to complete the course using as few strokes as possible. Generally, the biggest difference between typical golf and Wiffle golf is that Wiffle golf is played in three dimensions, instead of on a level playing surface. Holes are replaced with objects, and are generally above ground, and swings may be made either on the ground or in the air. Holes also tend to be made out of somewhat large objects. Because nearly anything can be made into a Wiffle Golf hole, Wiffle Golf is a game that can be played almost anywhere.
Hitting the ball can be done in many different ways. The most popular driving method involves throwing the ball up into the air and swinging at it as it falls. A player may have one or both hands on the bat for this swing.
As players get closer to holes, other types of swings tend to be more popular. One of the more popular chip shots involves the player holding the ball in front of his/herself in one hand and striking it with the top of the bat using the other hand, gripping the bat near where the ball will be struck. This tends to give a much more accurate shot.
Another popular shot involves leaving the ball on the ground and striking it by pushing the bat towards it along the ground. This shot is generally used when the ball is on level ground and is very close to the hole.
Another shot which has become popular recently involves leaving the ball on the ground, holding the bat upright behind the ball and kicking the bat into the ball using the player's foot. The shot has proved surprisingly accurate and achieves the best distance of any shot which leaves the ball on the ground.
The typical golf swing in which a player holds the bat much like a golf club and strikes the ball lying on the ground was popular for some time. The shot, however is difficult to pull off due to the sizes of the bat and ball, and is therefore difficult to control unless the ball is tapped lightly. In addition, the shot is susceptible to changes in terrain (IE terrain with holes, bumps, uneven terrain). Therefore the golf shot has since become outdated and underutilized, in favor of other shots such as the kick shot. The shot seems to remain popular as a form of bragging rights for the players that can use it well and make putts with this "Skill Shot."
Because Wiffle Golf is played casually around the country (it is especially popular on college campuses), there is no one set of rules that govern every game of Wiffle Golf. However, some of the most common rules appear below:
Once a ball is picked up, it cannot be placed back on the ground.
If balls are hit into particularly difficult areas such as dense gardens or into a bush, the ball may be played within arms reach of where it landed. Balls must be played directly above where they lay in fairways.
Animal interference may occur during a round of wiffle golf. In the occasion of any wild/domesticated animal coming in contact with a wiffle ball, the player must continue play from the final resting location of the ball. This is commonly referred to as "The Cat is in Play Rule."
In cases where all players must make shots over a water hazard, a variant on a mulligan is typically allowed. In this case, if a player's ball lands in the water hazard, one point is added to their score and the ball is placed on the shore closest to the green. In cases where all players fail to make a shot over the hazard, players may agree to restart the hole without penalty. All players must agree to such an action. Normal mulligans which may be used in casual golf are not legal, however.
If there is no contact between the Wiffle bat and the ball, the stroke does not count.
Whenever the ball lands in water, a stroke penalty of one point is added to that player's score and the ball is placed on the shore where it went into the hazard, unless the mulligan rule applies.
Players may occasionally wish to bend around large objects or to take a step away from large objects which will interfere with a normal swing, even on fairways (though on fairways, one foot must always remain where the ball landed). However, it is now illegal to take a step away from the final resting spot of the ball if this will allow a player to hold the ball in place very close to the hole. If the ball comes to rest adjacent to the hole, players are still allowed to pick up the ball, and allowing them to step and lean towards the object proved to be detrimental to the spirit of the game, as people chose to lean in for an easy shot instead of putting with the ball. This was particularly a problem with tall and lanky players, as stepping and leaning was only intended as a mechanism to allow players to swing from areas near interfering objects such as bushes and trees.
Objects may be placed on "holes" in order to make shots more difficult. For example, a shovel may be placed up against a birdbath. Generally these are used to make larger holes more difficult to hit. These objects are called boroxen, which is plural for a borax. If a player strikes a borax when the shot would have normally hit the "hole", that player has been "boraxed."