How To Play A Nassau

We have all been there: the mad dash to the course, coveting the early tee time to keep the rest of your Saturday free. Everything seems like a blur, then you find yourself standing on the first tee and now you can relax… until someone asks, “what’s the game?”


You’ve seen it a thousand times. Not all players may know the suggested game or one may not even want to play. If you find yourself in this situation, instead of stammering, just offer up a Nassau.

What is a Nassau? It is the Gentlemen’s Bet. 

A Nassau (also known as 2-2-2) can be played with as few as two players and as many as four. You can play as a single or a team and the round is divided into three separate bets.

Wagers are placed on the front nine, back nine and overall round.  The most common format sets an equal denomination for each, $2 each, for instance, hence the game’s alternate name, 2-2-2. 

A $2 Nassau means a player stands to lose $6 in a worst-case scenario, making it popular among pairings that are either randomly paired together or those who do not feel comfortable playing for much (or losing much). Quite simply, the Nassau is a way to impart added interest in a round with little financial downside. The game keeps a player who had a horrible front nine invested in the rest of the round,


Another reason for the Nassau’s popularity at clubs is its versatility. Players can choose to play with or without handicaps, the format can be match or stroke play and the overall match may be worth more than the single front and back wagers. The most common format is match play with handicaps and equal bets across the front, back and overall round, but again, the utilitarian nature of the game is what makes it great. 

The next time you are looking to add some interest to your regular game but don’t want to count sandies, barkies, greenies or snakes ,try a Nassau!

Nassau Notes

  1. Suitable for 2-4 Players
  2. Single or Team Play
  3. Uses handicaps, but can be played without
  4. Common format is Match Play
  5. Equal wager for the front, back, and overall.

WARNING:  This friendly wager can turn ugly fast.  Stay tuned for our next SxS Money Game article, “The Press: How To Win From A Losing Position.”