How to Play the Closeout Golf Bet

Closeout is the name of a golf betting game that kicks in when two opponents (or two sides) are playing a match and that match ends before the 18th hole. In that case, the Closeout bet goes into effect: a new match worth half the amount of the original bet, played over the remaining holes.

So, for example, Golfer A and Golfer B are playing a match and have $10 riding on the outcome. Golfer B closes out the match on the 16th hole, winning 3-and-2. There are two holes left on the golf course, though, the 17th and 18th holes. In Closeout, Golfer A and B go play those remaining holes as a new match, worth half the amount of the original (so $5 in this example).

If the first match ends on the 14th hole, then the Closeout match is four holes long; if the first ends on the 17th hole, then the Closeout match is only a single hole. And the value of the bet for the Closeout match is always half the value of the bet on the original match.

Is there any kind of strategy involved in Closeout? Well, if you feel like you are the clearly inferior player, then you definitely want to push the original match as far around the golf course as possible. Maybe you are 6-down after 11 holes, but keep pushing to extend that match: The shorter the Closeout match is, the better the odds are that a weaker player can win it and get back some of his or her money.

Or, if you are using handicaps and you are the golfer getting strokes, check the scorecard to see where those handicap strokes fall. If you'll be getting strokes on the last few holes, that gives you an advantage in the Closeout match.

At base, Closeout is a game that gives a golfer who just lost a match a chance to win back half his or her money. (And of course, if the original match goes the full 18 holes, there is no Closeout bet to follow.)

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