How to Play the Blind Nine Golf Format

In the Blind Nine golf tournament format, sometimes called Blind Hole (or Blind 9), only nine of the 18 holes count for each team's final score. The catch? The teams don't know which nine holes count until the round is over.

Blind Nine really is just a basic scramble, but with that twist on scoring. The teams are typically four-player, but scrambles can be played with three or even just two golfers per team.

The teams go out and play the scramble as per usual.

Meanwhile, after all the teams have teed off, tournament organizers select the nine holes whose scores will count.

Typically, the nine holes are selected randomly for a Blind Nine: organizers can use a random number generator or golf format software if they have it, or just write numbers one through 18 on slips of paper and pull them out of hat.

However, some Blind Nine organizers prefer a bit more, well, organization, and choose three par-3 holes, three par-4 holes and three par-5 holes for the Blind Nine holes.

We're not fans of that process, however, because it makes it easier on the field: There are usually only four par-3s and four par-5s on a golf course, so this method gives aways too much information.

Regardless, at the end of the round the golfers learn which nine of the 18 holes count for scores. Each teams' performance on those nine holes is calculated, and those scores determine the winners.

Blind Nine is usually played with full handicaps, but using three-quarter handicaps or some other fraction can help ease the logjam that is sometimes created by using only nine holes to score.

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