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Golf Bet
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Definition: The Nassau is one of the most popular golf tournament formats and golf bets. It's essentially three tournaments (or bets) in one: the front nine, back nine and 18-hole scores all count as separate tournaments or bets.

In a Nassau tournament, the player (or team) winning the front nine wins a prize, the player (or team) winning the back nine gets a prize, and the player (or team) with the low 18-hole total wins a prize.

Nassaus are more common as wagers among friends, however. As a bet, the most common form is the $2 Nassau. The front nine is worth $2, the back nine is worth $2 and the 18-hole total is worth $2. A player or team sweeping all three wins $6.

The type of scoring is really up the individuals. Stroke play or match play? Scramble, alternate shot, best ball? Full handicaps, partial handicaps, no handicaps? You decide. It's not like there are "official" rules for this sort of thing.

While the $2 Nassau sounds innocent enough, winnings can pile up if a higher initial bet is made, or if a lot of "pressing" takes place.

A player or team that is trailing in a Nassau can "press the bet" - opening a new bet to run concurrently with the original wager. A Nassau that has been pressed and re-pressed and double-pressed and pressed even more can wind up costing someone a lot of money.

For more, see an excerpt from the Chi Chi Rodriguez book Golf Games You Gotta Play titled How to Bet the Nassau.

See also:
FAQ: What is 'pressing the bet' in a Nassau?

Return to Golf Glossary index

Also Known As: Best Nines, or 2-2-2 when referring to a $2 Nassau
The Nassau was invented at Nassau Country Club in New York, in 1900, by club captain John B. Coles Tappan. (Seriously. The Golf Guru, writing in Golf Digest, provided this info.)
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