What is a Nassau in Golf? A Fun & Competitive Betting Game Explained




what is a nassau in golf

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If you’re a golf enthusiast looking to add some excitement to your next round, you may want to consider playing a Nassau game. A Nassau is a popular betting format in golf that can be played with friends or in tournament settings. It’s a great way to add a competitive element to your game while also making it more engaging and fun.

In a Nassau, players are essentially competing against each other in three separate games: the front nine, the back nine, and the overall 18 holes. Each of these games can be bet on separately, with players wagering on who will win each game or by what margin. It’s a great way to add some friendly competition to your golf game.

Key Takeaways:

  • A Nassau is a popular betting format in golf that can be played with friends or in tournament settings.
  • Players compete against each other in three separate games: the front nine, the back nine, and the overall 18 holes.
  • Each of these games can be bet on separately, with players wagering on who will win each game or by what margin.

What Is The Nassau Golf Format

Golfers of all skill levels enjoy playing the Nassau golf format, which is a well-liked betting game. Understanding the rules and scoring system is crucial to fully appreciate this exciting golf format.

A Nassau game is typically played over 18 holes, with the main objective being to have the lowest score among your playing partners. The game is divided into three separate matches, each of which has its own wager:

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Match TypeWager
Front NineLowest score among the first nine holes
Back NineLowest score among the last nine holes
OverallLowest score among all 18 holes

In some variations, a fourth match can be added to the Nassau game, which is called the “18-hole match”. This match involves a wager on the overall lowest score among all players.

Aside from these main matches, golfers can also make side bets during the game, such as a “birdie bet” or “longest drive bet”. These side bets add an extra layer of excitement and competition to the Nassau game.

Scoring in Nassau

The scoring system in Nassau is easy to understand. Each match is decided based on the lowest score among the players involved. In the case of a tie, the wager is usually carried over to the next match. In the event of a tie in the overall match, the Nassau is typically carried over to the next game.

Handicaps are usually factored into the scoring system, which means players with higher handicaps are given strokes to level the playing field. The number of strokes awarded to a player depends on their specific handicap, which can be calculated based on their previous round scores.

Now that you understand the basics of the Nassau golf format, it’s time to explore how it can be implemented in a tournament setting. Check out the next section to learn more.

How to Play a Nassau Golf Tournament

Playing a Nassau golf tournament follows the same basic rules as a regular Nassau game. However, when playing in a tournament, handicaps are taken into account to level the playing field for all participants. Each player’s handicap is factored in to determine the net score for each hole.

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Typically, a Nassau golf tournament is played over 18 holes and divided into three separate bets: front nine, back nine, and overall. The front nine bet encompasses the first nine holes, the back nine bet covers the last nine holes, and the overall bet is the total score for all 18 holes combined.

During a Nassau tournament, players can choose to compete individually or in teams. In team play, the overall score for each team is calculated by adding up the individual scores of each team member. The team with the lowest score wins.

When playing in a Nassau golf tournament, it’s important to remember that the game is still meant to be fun and competitive. Try not to get too caught up in the betting aspect, and focus on enjoying the game and spending time with your fellow golfers.

Tips for Enjoying a Nassau Game

If you’re planning on playing a Nassau game, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to ensure an enjoyable and competitive experience.

Calculate Scores Properly

One of the most important aspects of a Nassau game is calculating scores properly. This is especially important when using handicaps. Make sure you understand how to adjust scores based on handicaps and keep track of them accurately. This will ensure that everyone is playing on a level field and that the game remains fair and competitive.

Keep it Competitive

To keep the game exciting, it’s important to keep it competitive. This means choosing bets or wagers that are challenging but still achievable. It’s also important to make sure the bets are evenly matched, so everyone has a chance to win. By keeping the game competitive, you’ll ensure that everyone is fully engaged and having a good time.

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Don’t Be Afraid to Be Creative

While the standard Nassau game is fun, don’t be afraid to get creative with your bets and wagers. You can introduce new challenges or side bets to keep things interesting. For example, you could bet on who will hit the longest drive or who will make the most birdies. By introducing new elements, you’ll add an extra layer of excitement to the game and keep everyone on their toes.

Have Fun!

Ultimately, the most important thing when playing a Nassau game is to have fun. It’s a great way to enjoy some friendly competition on the golf course and to bond with your fellow golfers. So, make sure to keep it lighthearted and enjoyable, and don’t forget to celebrate with a round of drinks at the end!


Now that you have a better understanding of the Nassau format in golf, it’s time to try it out for yourself. Incorporating this fun and competitive betting game into your golf outings can enhance the overall experience, creating a more engaging and exciting atmosphere on the course.

Remember, calculating scores properly is crucial when playing a Nassau game, especially when using handicaps. Keep the game competitive and enjoyable for all participants by strategizing and placing strategic bets and wagers throughout the game.

We hope this article has been informative and helpful in introducing you to the world of Nassau golf. Give it a try on your next golf outing and see how it can enhance your overall experience on the course.

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