Get five (or four) players together and determine a money amount per skin. We usually go for a dime because we are all pretty cheap. Next thing to do is to flip discs (or some better method) to determine the player order. The order established will remain unchanged. You tee off after the same person for every hole. The honors rotate – player #1 tees off first on the 1st hole, then players 2 through 5 tee off in order. On the 2nd hole, player #2 tees off first, then players 3, 4, 5, and 1 all tee off (in that order), etc. On the 6th hole, player #1 has honors again. At the start of play, you must contract for a number of holes that is a multiple of five (or four if you are playing four player Wolf).
The game: After the first player tees off, there are two options, calling “Wolf” or calling “Shopping” – which means they are looking for a partner on this hole. After the second player’s tee shot comes to rest, the first player (the “Wolf”) has the option of calling “Partner” (choosing that player as his doubles partner for this hole), or to continue shopping. The Wolf must announce that player as his partner before the next player drives (the next player should wait for him to decide). Once the Wolf has chosen a partner the two of them are playing best shot against the other players in the group for this hole (on the next hole, the next player teeing off get to be Wolf). The Wolf’s team gets to choose the best out of their two drives, and each of them putts from that lie. The other team gets to choose the best of their three drives and each player on that team putts from that lie. Two players against three players, although the advantage accrues to the Wolf because the Wolf gets to pick one of the drives. If the Wolf passes on everybody’s drive, he automatically gets paired up with the last player to tee.
Skins carry. The game is over at the end of the contract (any skins outstanding just disappear). If both teams score the same on a hole, there are no skins awarded. Lone Wolf rule: after the Wolf tees, he has the option of calling “Wolf” instead of “Shopping.” That means he is using his drive and does not want a partner. He plays the hole as a singles player against the other players who are all on one team. In this Lone Wolf situation THE SKINS DOUBLE. If a player goes Lone Wolf and there are two skins on the line, he could win four skins. If he loses the hole, the other players all get credit for four skins each. If the hole ends in a tie, only the original two skins carry over.
Some players like to partner up with the best putter regardless of their drive. This can deprive the other team and bolster the Wolf’s chances. The best strategy, of course, is for the Wolf to drive it under the basket on a tough hole, go Lone Wolf and try to snack up on the doubled skins. Teeing out of order messes things up – don’t do it.
One screwy game design issue arises if the Wolf fails to partner up on a good drive from the 2nd or 3rd player. The next player may actually have an incentive to blow his tee shot to take advantage of this error in judgement by the Wolf.
There are some variations that folks try – but this is essentially the game of Wolf.
Variation with the Wolf going last