Rules of Play


The original Doshboardgolf (TM) is a board game based on a mathematical model coupled with a novel board and course concept to create an experience the rivals the real thing. The winning player will be the one who manages the conditions in the most favorable way. Players will feel the joy of an excellent shot and the defeat of a poor decision. Doshboardgolf is all the strategy of golf on your table!


The object of Doshboardgolf is to move from Tee to Target while avoiding the board edge, water and trees. Basic golf jargon and rules apply. The winning player completes the nine-hole course in the fewest turns.
Read the rules then start playing with beginner rules. More experienced playing groups continue reading to use advanced and then the professional rules.



The board is comprised of Doshboard cells of various types. The otherwise hexagonal Doshboard cells have slight outward arcs on three sides and inward arcs on the other three. The Doshboard cell arcs are important when counting flight Outcomes. Each Doshboard “cell” has a center “dot” and is shaped in a way to make it all work.


Each of four players (yellow, red, blue, green) has two tokens. One token shows the previous board position (“lie”) and another token is used to count forward to the next lie before removing the previous token from the board. In this way, all players can see the accuracy of a move (“shot”).

Dice & Pawns

The dice and the orange pawns are shared by all players and are used to plan and execute each shot.


There are four sets of eight colored cards that match the colored tokens. Players use the same eight cards throughout the game; with amateur rules, the players share the same eight cards. Pro’s use colored card sets that match their tokens’ color.
The cards are the golf clubs.

Order Of Play


There are nine holes on the board. Notice the nine Tee cell and nine Target cell pairs labeled 1 through 9. The nine holes are played one after another as individual events. Players take turns planning (choosing flight path and card) and executing (rolling dice) shots toward landing on the Target cell and holing-out (“Hole-Out” is described below).

Beginning Play

Players begin by collectively choosing their colors and the initial playing order, however thereafter, the player farthest away from the Target cell goes next, even if that means two or more consecutive shots. After all players have Holed-Out, the number of shots taken to complete the hole is scored, and all players place one of their tokens on the next Tee cell. The player with the lowest score on the previous hole, begins the next hole. After Hole 9 is completed, the final score is tallied. Lowest score wins.


Flight Direction

A shot always starts and finishes on a Doshboard dot (the center of a Doshboard cell). There are 12 directions of flight to move from one Doshboard cell to another, as pictured in the clock image on the board. Each direction is denoted by a clock direction number 1 through 12. The distances, of the flight, are counted 1 for each Doshboard dot encountered for even flight directions (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12) and counted 2 for each Doshboard dot encountered in odd flight directions (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11). Refer to the clock image on the board to see this.


If a Distance count, in an odd flight direction, falls one count short of the next Doshboard dot, then the Doshboard cell that covers the last midpoint is the next correct position. Thus, the counting is rounded off slightly left or right of the planned flight direction. Refer to the arcs of the Doshboard cells. The resultant lie can be atop another player’s token.

Off The Board

Any count, that exceeds the limits of the board, is deemed out-ofbounds. Golf line-of-flight rule applies, so the next lie is the last Doshboard cell encountered in the flight. A one penalty is added
At any time, when counting goes off the playing surface, the flight is deemed out of-bounds. The last non-water cell touched is the resultant lie.

Distance & Hook

Each card has a blue section and red section that corresponds to the blue die and rec die respectively. For each turn, a player will choose a card and roll the blue and red dice. The blue die number is looked up on the blue section of the chosen card to find the Distance count. Similarly, the red die is looked up to find the Hook count.

Counting Distance & Hook

The blue Distance is counted off first and begins and ends on a Doshboard dot. Then the red Hook is counted off at a 90 degree angle, and also begins and ends on a Doshboard dot. Left or right Hook is indicated on the card. If the Distance count is 0, the Hook is still applied and moves essentially sideways from the starting lie.

Each Turn

Planning A Shot Direction

Each turn begins by choosing flight direction and card. First choose an intended flight direction by placing one orange pawn on a cell aligned in one of the 12 flight directions with the current lie. This orange pawn does not establish distance and it is only a directional marker, so it can be placed near or far.

Planning A Shot Card

Second, choose a card. So that all players can witness the choice, the card is placed face up in the middle of the board. Each turn, the player chooses a card that will most likely yield a favorable Distance and Hook for the intended flight. The Overall Rating on the card, is only used for easy card reference, and is the average of the twelve blue distances on the card.

Executing A Shot

To execute a shot, roll the blue and red dice. On the chosen card, look up the results of the blue die. Count off that many Doshboard dots in the intended flight direction. As the orange pawn is just a direction marker, counting up to or beyond it is normal, but the count stays in a straight line on the intended flight path. From the Distance resultant position, then look up and count off the Hook by similarly referencing the red die into the red section of the card. Remember that the Hook may be 90 degrees left or right and is based on the direction of travel at that moment.

Concluding A Shot

Place a token in the new Distance plus Hook resultant lie. All players examine the validity of the move. Remove the token that was marking the previous lie and the turn is concluded. Take the card back off the board and pass the dice and orange pawns to the next player.


A player is Holed-Out if (i) the resultant Distance plus Hook lie is on the Target cell and (ii) the Hook is in a green-box of the card’s red section. If the player has finished on the Target cell but has not Holed-Out, then add one stroke to the player’s score of the hole (because there is 100% chance that the player will Hole-Out on the next turn). The player has completed the hole and the player’s tokens are removed from the board until the next hole begins.

Planned Fade-or-Slice


The planned flight direction is actually a bit more interesting. Two orange pawns are used. The first orange pawn of the intended flight is placed atop a Doshboard dot where an elbow is planned. As before, this pawn must be aligned along one of the twelve flight directions from the starting lie. The second orange pawn in placed at any further distance leading away from the elbow position.

More On Elbows

  • An elbow may not exceed 90 degrees. An elbow cannot be placed off-the
    board, but otherwise, any other cell on the board may be the elbow.
  • Planning an elbow is not mandatory, so an intended flight path may be straight.
  • A two elbow flight path is not allowed.

Counting Elbows

When counting a Distance past an elbow, the elbow is made during the Distance count. The Distance flight direction changes at the elbow if the Distance count is at least 1 past the elbow. Notice that the Distance direction changes after the elbow and a new Hook direction is thus established after passing the elbow. If the elbow is not reached, then the Hook is taken at 90 degrees from the first leg of the intended flight path.

Cell Types

Safe Cells

General grass cells behave the same and nothing special happens when crossing them or landing on them. Tee cells behave the same way as grass cells. These cells are always a safe play (with the exception of a possible roll-away in professional rules).

Crossing Danger Cells

There are two kinds of water (water and waterfalls) and three kinds of trees (small, medium, and big). A flight count can always cross any of water, waterfall, or small tree cells. We will see below with the professional rules, that big trees, medium trees, and Targets can be hit (or missed) during a flight count.

Landing On Danger Cells

Water and waterfalls carry out-of-bounds line-off flight rules and a one penalty is applied. There is no penalty for landing on a tree cell, but with advanced rules, playing a shot out of a tree position can carry specific rules. With professional rules, landing off-the-board, water, waterfalls, big trees, and small trees may involve losing a card (described later).

Beginner Rules

All players use the same eight cards. Choice of color does not matter and can be collectively chosen by the playing group. Only the blue and red dice are used. Before including advanced rules, playing a game with amateur rules is suggested.

Water Cells

If the resultant lie of a player’s turn is on a cell other than one of the two types of water cells, then it is a valid position. If the final lie is water or waterfall, then line-of-flight rule is applied with a 1 penalty.

Tree Cells

If the Distance or Hook count touches a Doshboard dot of one of big or medium tree cells, then the count is immediately complete and the resultant position is that tree cell. Small tree, Tee, and Target cells play like grass and are safe for crossing or landing.

Flight Between Tree Cells

A flight does not “hit” a tree cell unless the flight goes through the corresponding Doshboard dot; a flight can travel cleanly between tree cells. Notice the use of the words dot and cell. However, when counting a flight, a Distance count can round-off to a Doshboard dot of a tree cell and then the tree has been hit.

Advanced Rules

All players use the eight card set that matches the color of their token. Players may find certain sets more to their liking, but the card sets are statistically consistent. Players retain their own set of cards throughout the game. Players may not use other players’ cards. As in amateur rules, counting is immediately stopped upon reaching a big or medium tree but there are more tree rules below. Water and waterfalls are still played as out-of-bounds. A third die, the black one, is introduced for landing near a downhill (described below).

Leaving A Tree

When planning a flight out and away from a lie in any of the three tree cells, the Distance looked up on the blue section of the chosen Subtract card is reduced. The big trees reduce the Distance count by 5. The medium trees and small trees reduce the Distance count by 3 and 2 respectively.

More On Leaving A Tree Cell

  • A count below zero results in zero and, without a Hook, the position remains the same for this turn and the player remains in the tree and is still in trouble, but has taken a turn none-the-less.
  • This count reduction from leaving a tree cell only applies to the blue Distance count and not the red Hook count which can still move the lie sideways off the tree cell.

Crossing Hills

Crossing Hills. Any Distance or Hook count that crosses a hill (cliff) line, going downhill, adds 1 to the current counting – the Distance or Hook counting goes 1 further. Any Distance or Hook count that crosses a hill (cliff) line, going uphill, subtracts 1 from the current counting – the Distance or Hook counting is shortened by 1.

Cannot Get Uphill

Sometimes a count cannot make it up the hill because it will take a 2 count to reach the next cell, but there is only 1 more in the count. In this case, the position is at the base of the hill. This possible remainder of 1 count is forfeited. This hill counting rule applies equally but separately to both Distance and Hook.


The black die is rolled if a resultant lie, after Distance and Hook, is adjacent to a downhill (cliff) line. This lie has a possibility of a downhill rollaway. A roll-away goes to the next cell in the downhill direction. The number on the black die is matched against the clock image on the board. If the black die number matches the board clock direction of the downhill, then a roll-away occurs. If the numbered direction does not match, then the lie remains and the turn is concluded.

Odd Direction Roll-Away

Note that a roll-away along an odd direction may occur and the arcs of the Doshboard cells must be analyzed carefully because the one cell movement may be above or below the hill depending on the arc. The more neighboring downhill cells there are, the more chances there are for roll away.

More On Roll-Away

  • If the resultant lie after the roll-away is adjacent to yet another downhill line, then this process repeats with another roll of the black die.
  • Roll-away does not occur when Holed-Out, but can occur if the lie is atop the Target but not Holed-Out.
  • A roll-away may cause a player to escape a tree or may push a player into a water hazard, in which case water rules apply.
  • Technically, the roll-away is still part of the flight. A roll-away is always 1 cell and does not include another count because of moving downhill.
  • A lie atop a hill from a line-of-flight rule does not ever roll-away.
  • Water out-of-bound rules apply before roll-away rules, so there is no roll-away when landing on a waterfall.

Professional Rules

All advanced rules apply and a fourth die, the white die, is used for Hit-or-Miss and Lost-Card rules (described below). Players may agree upon which professional rules are to be used and which are not, however, it is suggested to retain Card-Up and Card-Down if Lost-Card rules are used (described below).


If a Distance or Hook count that crosses a big tree, medium tree, or Target Doshboard dot during flight, there is a chance to hit this obstacle. Note that amateur rules play big and medium trees as an always hit and stop. Now, the white die is rolled for each of these occurrences during the Distance or Hook count and the flight may continue unimpeded.

Big trees are hit and flight path is stopped if the white die is greater than or equal to 2. Medium trees are hit and flight is stopped if the white die number is greater than or equal to 5. A Target is hit and flight path is stopped only if the number is equal to 12.

More On Hit Or Miss

  • Small trees are never hit in flight and only affect the next turn.
  • If necessary, the process is repeated and all players examine and approve as this occurs during a Distance or Hook count.
  • A card is not candidate for lost status (described below) if the flight does not hit and stop upon a tree.
  • The Hit-or-Miss rules apply equally to all the Targets – a player may be flying over the intended Target and get lucky to hit and stop.

Lost Card

When the final lie of a turn is on some danger cells or off-the-board, the current card may become lost. A Lost-Card is determined by the white die. If resultant final lie is waterfall or the count went off-the-board, the white die is rolled and a number greater than or equal to 2 makes the card lost. For water a number greater or equal to 5 makes the card lost. For a big tree, a number greater than or equal to 9; and for medium and small trees, the number is exactly 12.

More On Lost Card

  • The Lost-Card is placed on the side of the board and may not be used again by any player for the remainder of the game; this card may only be lost once.
  • The player who loses several cards is at a serious disadvantage.
  • If a player landed in a tree on the previous turn and does not escape the tree on the current turn, there is no (new) chance of losing the card.

Changing Card Distances

Changing Card Distances. Card-Down and Card-Up is a way to change the blue section Distances of the chosen card. For every turn, during shot planning, a player places an orange pawn on the side of the Doshboard atop one of the five markers (–2), (-1), (0), (+1), or (+2). All players see this decision with the orange pawn. A pawn placed on the (blank) indicates normal play and the Distances of the card are to be taken exactly as written.


During shot planning, a player may choose to Card-Down to reduce all the possible blue section Distances of the chosen card by one (-1) or two (-2). If the player chooses to Card-Down, every card Distance is taken to be 1 or 2 less respectively. Distances that end up below zero are taken as zero. Hook remains as per the card.


A player may choose to Card-Up and increase all the possible Distances of the chosen card by one +1 (or two +2). If the player chooses to CardUp, every Distance is taken to be 1 (or 2) more. However (not with Card-Down), the player also agrees to adjust the card’s red section Hook in two ways. First, the green-boxes section is diminished on both the left and right side by 1 (or 2); and thus may become nonexistent without chance to Hole-Out. Second, every Hook in the red section that is not in the newly adjusted green boxes area has one +1 (or +2) added to it.

Call a Hole-Out

For every turn, a player places an orange pawn on the side of the Doshboard atop one of the thirteen markers blank, 1, 2, through 12. During shot planning, a player may choose to forego the selected card’s green boxes Hole-Out and choose any single number to be the green-box replacement. This is done by moving the orange pawn from the blank to the selected alternate marker 1 through 12. All players witness the decision. This red die number now becomes the single Hole-Out possibility.

More on Changing The Hole-Out

  • Hole-Out applies at the end of Hook (or wind) count.
  • This rule is intended to give a player a chance to Hole-Out on a Hook that is non-zero.
  • Note that using Card-Up is applied first and may have completely voided the green-boxes Hole-Out; in this case calling the Hole-Out is not possible.

Wind Determination

By rolling the white and black dice once at the beginning of the game, the strength and direction-of-wind is determined. All players witness this roll. The black die number, in reference to the clock image on the Doshboard, is the wind direction. The white die determines the strength-of-wind.


A white die of 1 is no wind, 2 through 4 is low wind, 5 through 8 is medium wind, 9 through 11 is high wind, and a 12 is storm. For every shot, the wind becomes a third leg of the flight count following the Distance count and the Hook count.

Wind Application

In low wind, this third leg of the flight count is 1 count in the direction of the wind for every 6 of Distance counted. For medium wind, this third leg of the flight is 1 count in the direction of the wind for every 4 of Distance. For high wind, move 1 for every 3 of distance and for storm, move 1 for every 2 of Distance.

More on Wind

  • The wind count is rounded down; for example, a Distance of 10 in low wind results in 1 wind count and a Distance of 12 results in a 2 wind count
  • Wind count is always after the Distance and Hook count.
  • The Hit-or-Miss rules continue to apply through the wind portion of the count.
  • The wind portion of the count is skipped if the resultant position after the hook count is Holed-Out or stopped by a tree hit.
  • Card-Up and Card-Down rules apply before wind application.
  • Like Distance and Hook counting, the wind count always starts and ends in the middle of a Doshboard cell on a Doshboard dot.
  • If a player landed in a tree on the previous turn the wind only applies on the portion of the count after clearing the grip of the tree.
  • The balance of a wind count is foregone if interrupted by a tree.

Alternate Formats

If you have ever played golf before, you may be familiar with a wide range of alternate formats and courses. Consider:

  • Playing skins, doubles, or match play.
  • Different approaches to the starting card sets; for example, choose just three cards to begin.
  • Choosing alternate Tee and Target locations
  • Artificial mandatory dog-legs for any hole by placing some marker on a cell between the Tee and Targets.

Tournament Play

A tournament should be 36-holes. Each player can use each of the four colors for nine holes and it is statistically more likely for the best strategist to be the winner. The wind can change between rounds or even holes, but should be applied consistently for all players.

Time Limit

Professionals are allotted one minute for the planning and execution of their turn. Failure to complete the turn, or in the case of a miscount, the player incurs a 1 penalty.

Let’s Play Doshboardgolf!

Doshboardgolf is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Copyright Kapalko Games 2014