Gator Golf

I love review games. Occasionally in high school I got to plan review games for my classes and it was awesome (I know, I know I am wicked lame) Anyhow, I think I first heard of using Gator Golf for a review game from the book Rookie Teaching for Dummies but I can never leave well enough alone so here is my twist on it.


Divide the kids up into four teams -do this any way you see fit. Give each team a portable whiteboard to write down their final answers, along with scrap paper and golf pencils (obviously) to make notes if necessary. You will also need to get the Hasbro game Gator Golf. I also went to Home Depot and got some putting green carpet, and some tees and a putting glove at a golf store, you could probably make due without these but I love little details. Dividing class into groups and giving each group a whiteboard is a strategy I use again and again for many review games and it works pretty well.

The Game

The game is played in multiple rounds

Round 1:

This round relies most heavily on the keynote presentation (see link below). In round 1 there are 16 multiple choice questions (the questions I included are all about trigonometry). When a question is revealed each team answers it on their whiteboard and then "locks in" the answer by flipping their board upside down. Once three of the four teams are locked in I cajole the last team into finishing as well. At this point the answers are revealed. The team in «control» reveals their answer first followed by the rest of the teams. If the team in control answers correctly they score a tee, if not, the next clockwise team has a chance to steal, etc. After each question is finished control passes to the next clockwise team around the room, the team in control is indicated by the location of the alligator in the slide deck.

Golf Round:

After the 16 questions are up I tally the tees that each team earned to determine each team's golf position. Sort of like in Hole In One on The Price Is Right (another post for another day) The team with the highest score gets to putt closest to the gator (but not too close). I usually wait until after the scores have been tallied to reveal the gator which always goes over very well. Prior to this just the green is on the floor and so the kids' curiosity is piqued. Everyone gets one putt, they score one point for hitting the gator at all, and three if the gator devours and spits out their ball. It is really important to allow the kids to have some fun golfing while also not getting so bogged down in the golfing part that no additional math gets done. If you move swiftly you should be able to get through the golfing business in no more than 7 minutes or so. If your class is enormous, you might want to have only half of each team golf during round one.

Yash lines up for a put.

Yash lines up for a put.

Round 2:

Each team gets a few minutes to peruse the longer form questions from the round two document (included in the zip file) then I have the teams in reverse order of score select a question (or two based on time) that they want control of. After this selection each team gets a few minutes to work together on their questions and write up solutions on the classrooms whiteboards (not the mini ones) for everyone else to see. If teams have extra time they can try to solve the questions their team did not select in hopes of stealing another teams questions. Once time is up I score each question, one putt per correct answer and we golf once more. This golfing round goes much more quickly since there are a maximum of 10 puts, probably much less.

Final Round:

If there is time, I will have teams wager part of their score on one final putt. To determine the grand champion.

I actually didn't give any of the teams any prizes for winning the golf game this year, just the glory of being champions. Candy would work fine but is not really necessary, I would certainly advise against giving any sort of bonus points as a prize.

Other Thoughts:

I hadn't played this game in a few years, since the first gator met his demise, but I saw a new release of Gator Golf recently and picked up a copy. The game takes a bit of work to set up but always goes over very very well. I love tweaking rules and things so am always changing the games around to try to make them better. This time for example I had red tees and white tees mixed in my golf hat and when teams scored a point during round 1 they drew their tee out of the hat, red tees counted double. 

Whatever you do with the rules be sure to tell the kids what they are ahead of time and stick to them, kids go crazy when you change the rules in the middle of a game. Also during round one don't hesitate to stop the game and "go over" the tricky problems. This is a review game after all.

I wish I could stage shots like this.

I wish I could stage shots like this.

Files: This file includes the Keynote slideshow I used for round one. Lately when I am making a slideshow for a game I create a Pages document with all the questions to begin with so I have included that document as well. I also included a copy of the Round 2 questions. These are both in PDF form also. The questions for this game are all about Trigonometry covering through trig equations but the game can easily be adapted for most other topics. 

*If I link to something for sale on Amazon it will most likely be an Amazon Affiliate link. Maybe someday these will pay for the blog (but as of this writing I have a click through rate of 0, which is not surprising because this blog is brand new, but anyway)