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Explore Minnesota Golf Association

Golf Games for Odd Numbers

For anyone who’s ever tried to golf in a group of three or five, you know how hard it can be to play with an odd number of people. The fun, though, can be making a game inside the game and switching things up to make keep the outing interesting for everyone.

For example, trios can compete in a simple game called “Nines.” Here’s how it works in a group of three:

  • If all three players tie on a hole (for example, they all make par),
    each player gets three points. (3+3+3=9)
  • If one player wins the hole and the two others tie, the winning
    player gets five points and the two who tied each earn two points. (5+2+2=9)
  • If one player wins, another is a stroke behind, and the last player
    is a stroke behind second place, the player winner gets five points, second
    receives three points, and one point remains for third place. (5+3+1=9)

With each hole, nine points are awarded among the three players, thus the game’s name of “Nines”!
If possible, groups in odd numbers can walk the course to spend even more time together. If a cart is involved, however, players can switch carts every three or six holes on an 18-hole course so that everyone can ride and spend time with different partners.

The next time you find yourself golfing in an odd numbered team, don’t despair! Use these handy tips to keep all players engaged and involved throughout the whole game.

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