Golf Tournament Games – Nassau


One of the most talked-about games played in golf is called the Nassau. Invented by John B Coles Tappan, the captain of the Nassau Country Club back in 1900, it has a long history of being played both officially and unofficially.

The popular game around the world

Tappan created the game at a time when the scoring was often lopsided which caused a lot of bruised egos and reputations. In this game, Tappa awarded 1 point for the first nines, 1 for the second nine and another 1 for the golfer of the overall 18. This means that the worst loser will only reflect a 3-0 loss and nothing more. When played informally, golfers usually place a bet on every hole which is why it is sometimes regarded as the 2-2-2 (or $2 Nassau). In other places, it is known as the Best Nines.

How is Nassau played?

This game can be played either individually or as a team. The objective of the game is to win either the first nine, the second nine of the overall 18-hole round. However, the scoring system used in the game can be in various methods. The organizers or the group can collectively decide which scoring system to use which means you can use Best Ball, Scramble or others. No matter what rules you use in this game, the underlying principles will remain where there will be 3 games involved namely the first and second nine and the 18-hole.

What is the 2-2-2- all about?

Sometimes referred to as the Nassau Bet, this is a great game to be played among your peers. The standard variation is to place a $2 price on the first nine, $2 on the second and another $2 on the overall 18-hole. The player who wins all the 3 will take home $6. This seems to be simple and straightforward and the amount can be increased depending on the agreement (like 5-5-5 or 10-10-10). So, if there are more players, the amount could spike and this could get quite complicated and at times, uncontrollable even.

Pressing the bet in Nassau

While the standard format is simple, you can go for ‘pressing the bet’ in this game where a new bet is started that will take place on top of the original agreement. Pressing and re-pressing can occur in a single Nassau game and that will accumulate to quite a substantial amount. How this works is that:

  • Considering an original $2 Nassau where there is only $6 involved.
  • When pressed and repressed and then double pressed, the amount will increase. When $2 is pressed once, it becomes $4. If repressed twice it becomes $6 and that is only in the first nine.
  • If the entire side is pressed, the wager now becomes $12 and you have yet to finish the first nine.
  • If you dare, you can press the entire match on the 18-holes. By now, that shot is at $48 which is quite a lot of money involved.
  • It is often advised that the limit of wager be set before starting the game so that one does not lose too much over a friendly game.


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