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What is Basketball Golf?

Basketball golf is a shooting-drill that trains shot accuracy. 9 spots around the hoop are chosen and each player shoots from each one. The winner is the one with the fewest shots needed to score from all 9 “holes”.

Basketball golf trains the player’s ability to score from various angles and under time pressure.

The shooting-drill is typically used for training junior basketball team players. The coach explains the drill and lays out the needed props to begin.

Is Basketball Golf and Knockout the same?

Basketball golf is a variation of the drill, Knockout, where players stand in line to score before the one behind them scores and “knocks them out”.

The main differences between basketball golf and Knockout are:

  • Basketball golf uses static chosen spots instead of the more chaotic nature of shooting spots, Knockout has.
  • Basketball golf is slower than Knockout in the sense that each player has a turn. In Knockout, turns overlap as part of the drill.
  • Basketball golf uses scorekeeping, where Knockout simply knocks out the player, who gets overtaken by the person behind them.

The two shooting drills are very similar in the outcomes they deliver to the participants. Let’s dive into the details of basketball golf.


How to Get Started with Basketball Golf?

It’s very quick to set up a basketball golf shooting drill.

All you need is:

  • A way to mark 9 spots. Stickers, cones, and towels work well.
  • Half a basketball court with a hoop to shoot at.
  • A basketball that is passed on from shooter to shooter.

The game-play is simple:

  1. Choose a “par” count for each player e.g. 18 (based on age and skill level).
  2. Let the player score from each of the 9 positioned “holes”.
  3. Count the shots needed in total and compare to the “par” of the person.

The goal is to hit par or go below it. As the participants get better and better, the par is lowered to create a harder game-play.

To vary the gameplay, you can add the following aspects:

  • Attribute each “hole” to a specific type of shot (hook shot, spin out, jump shot, bank shot, etc).
  • Let player 2 start when player 1 is 3 holes in. This adds the time pressure know from Knockout.
  • Send the players in “the rough” if they don’t catch the rebound before it hits the floor twice. “The rough” means moving one “hole” back.

There are endless possibilities to add extra intensity to the drill—based on the age and level of the players. As an example, the last variation of game-play above adds an aerobic element to the drill.

Basketball Golf Shooting-Drill (Simplified)

If you think it’s too much work to mark 9 holes, keep score and wait for each player to finish, there’s a simple variation of basketball golf, you can try instead:

  1. Start in front of the hoop.
  2. Shoot to score, and rebound if you don’t.
  3. You have to rebound before the ball hits the floor 2 times.
  4. Where you get the ball in hand is your new shooting position.
  5. You have 4 tries in total. If you don’t score, you get 5, which is the lowest score.
  6. If you don’t catch the ball before it hits the floor twice, you score 5.
  7. Run the drill for e.g. 3 holes/rounds and see who scores the lowest.
  8. The person with the lowest score is the winner of the shooting-drill.

This removes the need for marking 9 holes. It adds in an element of cardio, as the players will need to hurry to catch the ball before 2 floor bounces.

This drill is great as a warm-up before the basketball practice starts.

Is Basketball Golf and Disc Golf the same?

No. Disc golf is a complete game that uses a dedicated field with baskets, you need to hit. Basketball golf is a shooting-drill that uses one single hoop and different shooting positions as holes.

Basketball golf is typically used to warm up a team of basketball players before the actual practice begins. Thus, basketball golf is not a game but a drill.

Disc golf is a game that has players hit dedicated baskets with the disc. The sport is much closer to golf, as it is outside and just involves baskets instead of holes—and discs instead of golf balls.

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