Asking to play Golf Pool in your neighbourhood poolroom is a little like asking to play Go Fish in a riverboat casino. However, Golf Pool has all the amenities of Golf Golf, and better yet: You don't have to don outrageous checks and plaids, chase balls or replace divots.

In Golf Pool each pocket becomes a golf hole. The first hole is one of the pockets at the head of the table, the second hole is the other pocket, and the rest of the holes are numbered moving clockwise around the table. To tee off the game, the first player's object ball--whichever ball he chooses; the 9-ball is, to many, like a lucky Titleist--is spotted on the foot spot and the cue ball is spotted on the center spot. He must make his ball contact the foot rail before returning up the table toward the first hole. Each pool stroke equals one golf stroke, and when a player holes out, the cue ball remains wherever it is on the table and the next player spots his object ball on the foot spot--he needn't contact the foot rail to begin his round--and plays from there.

There is a three-stroke penalty for any fouls--failing to contact the object ball, for instance, or jumping the ball off the table (and into the beer hazard or cigarette-ash trap). Three trips around the table is eighteen holes. Par--well, two strokes per hole isn't overly generous, but seems to be the standard measuring stick. If your regular course is particularly unforgiving (that is, if you're playing on a five-by-ten-foot relic) or exceptionally lenient (as with a three-by-six rec-room table), adjust accordingly.