What is a Nassau in Golf?

What is a Nassau in golf? As you approach the first tee with your weekend golf group, one of your friends says, “Do you want this to be interesting?” The conversation then continues with various complaints, complex math, haggling over inflated handicaps, and the general fairness of the proposed terms. Then someone cuts the noise and says, “Let’s keep this simple. Let’s play 10-10-10”. Everyone agrees and the round begins.

So what is this eerily easy format of “having skin in the game”? Although thousands of golfers have used this betting structure, only a few know that it is actually called Nassau.

So what is a Nassau in golf? A Nassau is a betting format where equal monetary values ​​are placed on the first nine, back nine and the general round. In the typical format, the player who wins each part of the round receives the agreed value of each part of the bet. The Nassau bet can come in many shapes, sizes, formats, etc., but it was designed to attract competitive golf bets for a wide range of handicaps.

When we hear the word “Nassau”, many of us are immediately transported to the Caribbean and imagine ourselves sitting on a beach with a cold drink and an umbrella. However, the iconic destination of the Bahamas has nothing to do with the format of golf betting in common use…

 

Where did Nassau in Golf Originate?

The term Nassau originated from the Nassau Country Club on Long Island and has been used in the game of golf since the early 20th century.

As the story goes, NCC had the most talent on its main golf team and many of the area clubs became unhappy when they were asked to play. Hence the birth of the Nassau Wager, yet another nod to the longstanding legacy and traditions of the game of golf.

 

The Nassau Format

When considering who wins the top nine, back nine, and the overall round, a few parameters need to be set before the round begins. Generally, handicap shots are allocated by playing the low handicap of the group. In an example of two players, one with a handicap of +5 and the other with a handicap of +10, the second player would get 5 strokes over the first.

Second, with the allocation of handicaps, the overall scoring format must be determined.

The most common choices among golf groups would be strokes or matches. Stroke play counts the number of strokes in the front nine when considering handicaps.

On the other hand, match play scores each individual hole as one point and would be better if the handicaps vary greatly between the competing teams.

Outside of the basics of a Nassau betting format, there are additional components that can be added during a round to keep things interesting, or at least in theory for players looking to double down or catch up with the leader.

A common mid-round addition is called a Press, and it essentially represents a later bet than the originally defined terms. In most situations, the player who is behind in the round proposes pressure in an attempt to break even or perhaps minimize monetary damage. Examples of a press include: playing for the same value as the Nassau for a particular range of holes, in the event of a tie up front, pushing the amount wagered to the back nine (doubling down), or even betting as agreed. amount in the final hole.

In addition to Presses, a variety of side bets can be added to the general betting format, such as closest to the pin, closest chip, putt contest, etc.

As you can see, a Nassau with multiple side bets chained together can get quite confusing and easily consume conversation throughout the round. However, when formatted correctly it can be a very simple bet for all players to enjoy.

 

Conclusion: What is a Nassau in Golf?

At the end of the day, you’re there to play golf, enjoy the round and, if you’re a golfer, come home with more money than when you left that morning. The betting is meant to be fun and add some friendly competition to the round, along with the inevitable trash talk.

A Nassau is a great way to keep things simple, and when pressures aren’t considered, it’s a good way to allow the loser of the top nine to get a restart for the back.

For many of us, we can only play golf once a week, once a month, etc.

“How much have I lost?”, or

“I have to turn this around!”, or even

“Wait, I thought I won that hole?”

Unnecessary emotions and thoughts can easily derail an amateur golfer’s round and any chance of winning bets. So the next time you play with your friends, go back to basics in the proposed terms and strive to play your best game. There’s no arguing that if you get a better score than your opponents, your chances of winning are much improved!

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