The T&F (T and F) Golf Format Explained

T&F (or "T and F") is the name of a golf format that counts nine holes out of your 18-hole round to determine winners. Which nine holes count? The ones that begin with a "T" and an "F."

There are nine "T" and "F" holes on a golf course, four on the front nine and five on the back nine. Those holes are 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 15. Holes two, four, twelve, fourteen, etc. — those whose hole numbers, when spelled out, begin with the letter "t" or the letter "f."

When 3-person or 4-person teams are in play, then the T&F format means that the tournament results are based only on the scores recorded on the t- and f-holes. With 3- or 4-person teams, the scoring format can be anything. Whatever it is, at the end of the rounds the team's scores on the T&F holes are added up and that determines the tournament placings.

There is a twist, though, when 2-person teams are used for a T&F golf tournament: one partner's scores are counted on the T&F holes, while the other partner's scores count on the other nine holes. Each golfer thereby contributes nine scores to the team's final total.

Which golfer gets the t-and-f-holes, and which gets the other holes? Sometimes that is left up to the teams themselves to decide. Many times, however, tournament organizers make that choice randomly (by, for example, flipping a coin), and the teams don't know that information until after the round ends.

The T&F format can also be used as a honey pot — a bonus pool — for a golf tournament, rather than as the basis of the tournament standings. T&F similarly works well as a side bet for any group of golfers playing together. A quartet of golf buddies can play 18 holes for an overall wager, but also have a side bet or small side pot riding on just the T&F holes.

More golf formats:

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