This puzzle is about golf, but does not require any specific golf knowledge. Rounds of golf are played over 18 holes (the front nine and the back nine), and each hole can be won by either player or it can be drawn (or halved in golfing parlance). However this puzzle would work equally well with two lots of 18 games of chess, for example, as games of chess can be won/lost or drawn.
A father organised a round of golf with his two sons, and to try to raise their interest in the sport he proposed the following inducement:
- I will play the first nine holes against Andy and the second nine holes against Ben.
- If I don't win the first hole I'll pay Andy £1 and if I don't win the tenth hole I'll pay Ben £1.
- If I don't win a hole immediately after winning a hole I'll also pay £1.
- If I don't win a second consecutive hole I'll pay £2 for that hole, £3 for a third consecutive hole, and so on.
In short, to win money each son has to prevent his father winning a hole, and the amount won on a hole increases the more consecutive holes the father fails to win.
The father had a disastrous round winning only five holes; however, he did win the first and the 18th - the two holes in sight of the clubhouse, which saved a little embarrassment.
And his two sons won the same amount of money. So how much money did the father pay out in total?
Answer at 9.00 on Monday