How to Play the Golf Game Named 'Nines'

Nines is the name of a golf game for foursomes (although it can be played by threesomes, too) in which nine points are at stake on each hole. The golfer who wins a hole earns five of those points, the golfer with the worst score on the hole gets zero.

At the end of the game, each golfer adds up her points and high points win. Golfers can bet the Nines game by putting money into a pot before the round begins, winner take all; or by assigning a value to each point and paying out the differences at the end.

Alternate names for the Nines game are 9-Points or the 9-Point Game, and Win, Place and Show (although those names imply a 3-person game rather than a 4-person game).

So, how are the nine points on each hole awarded? Like this:

  • Low scorer on a hole gets 5 points;
  • Second-best score on a hole earns 3 points;
  • Third-best score on a hole earns 1 points;
  • High scorer on a hole gets zero points.
What about tie scores? Add the scores together and divide by the number of tied golfers. For example, if on the first hole Golfer A and Golfer B tie for low score with pars, each gets 4 points (5 points plus 3 points divided by two golfers). If all four golfers make the same score on a hole, they equally split the nine points (2¼ points each — yes, in Nines tie scores sometimes mean you have to use fractions).

A group of three golfers playing nines would just use the 5-3-1 points (drop the zero).

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