Golf games: How to play a Nassau, including the Press
Golf Culture

Golf games: How to play a Nassau, including the Press


There are so many good golf games to play, most of which have rules that make betting easy, too.

The most common game people play on the golf course is also the easiest to understand and bet, and it's called the Nassau.

The rules of Nassau, including the Press and Adjust

The Nassau is essentially three games in one. There's a bet for the front nine, the back nine and the 18-hole match. (You could conceivably do this for any even-number round length.) Each bet is separate and scored separately, either by stroke play (with or without handicap) or match play (with or without handicap).

Golf games: Wolf | Scramble | Shamble | Snake | Nines or 5-3-1 | Nassau | Skins game | Quota | Snake | Chapman | Bingo Bango Bongo | Mulligan-Recall

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In the stroke play format, you can have more than two players or teams. In the team stroke-play format, you can play where all scores count combined, the best score counts, drop the worst, drop the two worst, etc.

In match play, you're limited to two players or teams.

Settling the initial three bets is pretty simple. However, the Nassau can get more complicated -- and expensive -- with concepts like the Press and the Adjust.

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What is a Nassau Press?

The Press is a bet that a player or team that is trailing in any bet can make at almost any time in the match, usually in the same amount of the bet they're losing when they start the Press.

For example, if you're 3 Down on the front nine with two holes to play on the $5 front nine bet, you're not winning that bet. So, you can choose to Press for the remaining two holes for $5 more. If you win the Press, you've broken even on the side -- losing the main bet, taking the Press. If you lose the Press, then you're down $10.

Usually, a trailing player has the right to Press at any time on any of the remaining bets (i.e., you can't Press on the front nine bet on the back nine). In many clubs and groups, there is an automatic Press when a player gets 2 Down on a bet.

What is a Nassau Adjust?

In some groups, there is something called the Adjust bet after the front nine bet in a Nassau. That bet is usually created in a match-play Nassau after the front nine bet to give the losing team a better chance of winning a separate back nine bet.

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