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Three Golf Gambling Games to Spice Things Up
Golf and gambling go hand in hand… At least if you ask Michael Jordan. It’s an easy way to spice the game up and boost the adrenaline, provided that you don’t go overboard and end up neck-deep in debts.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of attractive golf gambling games to choose from when you want to up your stakes.

The Nassau

One of the most popular golf bets owes its name to the Nassau Country Club of Glen Cove, Long Island, and it was devised as a way for players to evade embarrassment. You might wonder - why? Allegedly, rich industrialists who played golf at this club feared that local newspapers reporting their losses might ruin their reputations; to prevent bruised egos, they came up with a system that doesn’t allow even the worst loss to be reported as anything more than 3-0.

The Nassau wager consists of three bets bundled in one: front nine, back nine, and overall (all 18 holes). The most common form of betting is the $2 Nassau, also known as “2-2-2”, where each of the three bets is worth $2, so if you or your team sweep all three, you get a total of $6.

Before the game, players decide if they’ll use handicaps and allow pressing. If they opt for pressing, the losing side can offer the press - which is basically a side bet - when they are two or more holes down during the front-nine, back-nine, or 18-hole segment, in an attempt to even their money by doubling the bet. Of course, if they lose, their loss will double.


Known as “scats,” “cats,” or “syndicates,” the game of skins quickly gained popularity across the US in the last decade of the 20th century.

Before their tee shots, all players must stake a certain amount (usually $1) and agree upon the scoring type - net or gross - and whether or not handicaps will be allowed. It’s essential to have someone keeping the score for each participant.

The next step would be to determine the value of each skin. Each hole is usually worth $1, but if you’d like to liven things up, you can gradually increase the value of the hole as the game progresses.

Now, the goal of each player or team is to score better than others with a pair or better on as many holes as possible. If it’s a tie, the value carries over to the next hole, doubling the price; skins can keep mounting up until there is an outright winner, which adds to the pressure and excitement.


What screams “gambling” louder than Vegas? Named after the world’s capital of gambling, this golf variant is perfect for those into high stakes and high-intensity games. Vegas asks for two-player teams and has a unique scoring system. Prior to the game, teams should set their wager amounts per point, usually somewhere between $0.1 and $2.

Once the match begins, you can throw traditional maths out of the window. Instead of adding up the scores of team players, Vegas asks for pairing them. For example, if each team member scores four, the total score of the team is not 8, but 44. If one scores 5 and the other one 4, they get 54. The amount of money a team gets is calculated by subtracting the higher and lowered paired scores. In our example, the first team would win 10 points.

Hitting double figures can result in huge losses, so it’s always prudent to agree on a cap on total losses and stakes. We recommend playing with nickels, dimes, quarters, or similar amounts of money to avoid breaking the bank.

The Bottom Line

The long history of golf has given rise to many variations of the game, with differing numbers of players, stakes, and scoring systems. Incorporating betting elements in a game of golf brings more than an adrenaline boost; it allows less-skilled players to enjoy the competition and level up their performance. And there’s no need to play for high stakes; a round of drinks can do just fine.

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