Best Nines

Type Match
Alias Nassau, 5-5-5, 2-2-2
Format Game
Number of players 2, 4
Team or Individual play Both
  • Nassau is one of the most popular betting games in the golf world and can be played in any format, but most commonly it played in match play, with two or four players against each other one-on-one or in teams. The Nassau consists of three matches with bets placed on each: the front nine, back nine, and 18-hole score. The holes have the same point value in each match.
  • The reason it is also called 2-2-2 or 5-5-5 is because the agreed upon wager for each match is usually either $2 or $5, meaning a bet of either $2 or $5 is placed on every match.
  • Apart from the original bet, Nassau can be played as an option as well. The Nassau press is a bet offered on either the front nine, back nine, or overall 18 holes by the losing side during the match. If the player who offers the press manages to beat the opponent over the remaining holes, he wins the press bet. The opponent has the option to accept or reject the press.
  • In a Nassau tournament, all players or teams have the chance to win a prize. The player/team that wins the front nine gets a prize, the player/team that wins the back nine gets a prize, and the player/team that wins the overall 18-hole also wins a prize.
  • Match play, stroke play, alternate shot, single-player, two players, handicaps, no handicaps, there are many different variations that can be used in a Nassau tournament, and the score is tracked accordingly. The distinguishing factor is that it consists of three different games in one.
  • While Nassau can be played with different scoring options, the Match Play scoring system is the most common one for Nassau.

    Nassau without Presses:

              It is decided before the game whether handicaps will be used and if pressing is allowed. If it is not, this is how the game proceeds:

              In a match play game, players compete for the first nine holes. The player with the highest score after the nine holes wins that match/Nassau. In case of a tie, no one wins the front 9 Nassau.

              The players then move on to the second round consisting of the next nine holes. Scores from the previous Nassau are not carried over to this Nassau. The player who wins the most number of holes wins the round.

                Nassau with Presses:

                    There are a few rules when it comes to presses. They are listed below:

                    • Presses are only allowed when one of the original wagers has been lost.
                    • Presses are only allowed on the last three/four holes of each nine.
                    • Presses are only allowed when a team is down by at least two holes
                    • A maximum of two presses are allowed per 18 holes, and these can be used in the same nine as well.

                      The press is the ability of a losing team to start a second bet of the same amount on top of the original bet. For example, if a player or team is down 2 after six holes, they can press their front nine bet. So, a second bet (the press bet) will begin on the 7th hole and continue till the 9th hole. If the pressing player/team wins all three holes, not only will they end up with a +1 on their original bet, but they will have a +3 on their press bet.

                      If the second player or team is down a hole in the next 9, they can start a second press to recover their bet and raise the stakes higher in the process.

                      The competitor has the right to accept or decline the press bet, unless it was decided at the start of the game that all presses have to be accepted. Rejecting a press is also considered unsportsmanlike, and so players usually accept presses.

                      Apart from the optional press, there is another kind of press, called the “auto press”, which automatically becomes effective when one team is down 2 holes.