best golf formats

How To Play Nassau Golf?

What is Nassau and how do you play it? Here’s what you need to know about this fun golf format


Golf, known for its serene landscapes and precision play, is as much about strategy as it is about skill. Among the various formats and betting games golfers enjoy, Nassau stands out as one of the most popular and enduring. Rooted in its namesake from the Nassau Country Club in New York where it was first introduced, the Nassau format divides the game into three separate bets – one for the front nine, one for the back nine, and one for the full 18 holes.

Whether you’re a casual weekend golfer or a seasoned pro, understanding and playing Nassau can add an exciting layer of competition to your round. This page will guide you through the ins and outs of Nassau, helping you grasp its rules, strategies, and nuances to elevate your next golf outing.

Whether you fancy a healthy wager with your mates or are looking to mix things up on the course, the Nassau is a fun and competitive game you can implement into any round.

How To Play

A match consists of three different parts: the front nine, the back nine, and the full 18.

This means that the player or team who wins each part of the match gets a prize, typically a wagered cash sum.

The beauty of this game is that it can involve any number of players, scoring format or handicap stipulation. Whilst match play is the most common format used in Nassau games, there are no ‘official’ rules, so they can be mostly be left up to the preference of the players.

With three parts to play for, Nassau matches keep things entertaining throughout. Get thrashed on the front nine? Not to worry, there’s still all to play for on the back nine.

Nassau Golf | FAQ

What exactly is the Nassau golf format?

Nassau is a popular golf betting format that splits the game into three separate bets: one for the front nine holes, one for the back nine holes, and one for the entire 18 holes. This means a golfer or team can “win the front nine,” “win the back nine,” and “win the match” in one round.

How are the bets determined in Nassau?

Before teeing off, the players or teams decide on the monetary value for each of the three bets (front, back, and overall). For instance, a £5 Nassau would mean £5 on the front nine, £5 on the back nine, and £5 on the overall match. The player or team with the lower score on the front nine would win the first bet, and so on for the back nine and overall match.

What happens in the event of a tie for either the front or back nine in Nassau?

In the event of a tie, the bet can either be considered a “push,” meaning no money is exchanged, or players can agree to “carryover” the bet to the next nine holes. If players choose the carryover option and the back nine ends in a tie as well, the bet can be added to the overall 18-hole match.

Can Nassau be played in both match play and stroke play formats?

While Nassau is most commonly associated with match play, where players compete hole-by-hole, it can also be played using stroke play. In stroke play, the total strokes for the front nine, back nine, and entire round are tallied to determine the winners of each bet.

Is there a strategy to playing Nassau?

Certainly! Like all golf formats, Nassau requires strategy. Players must weigh the risks and rewards of every shot, especially when considering the implications for the current bet. For instance, if a player is significantly behind on the front nine, they might adopt a riskier strategy to try and catch up, or they might play conservatively to focus on the back nine or overall match. The decision to “press” or initiate a new bet during the round is another strategic element unique to Nassau.

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