The T-E-N Golf Format Explained

You're playing in a T-E-N golf tournament in a couple days. Great! Only one problem: You don't know how the T-E-N tournament works. Don't worry, it's very easy. And the key to it all is those letters: t, e, n.

In the T-E-N format, golfers play the 18-hole round. But at the end, only their scores on the holes that start with a "t," an "e," or an "n" are counted. For example, the first hole is hole one, which starts with an "o" so it doesn't count for the T-E-N score. But the second hole, hole two, begins with a "t," so your score on the second hole counts in T-E-N.

And that's how it goes. Every hole that begins with a T, E or N is counted, your scores on the other holes are not. Ironically, in the game named T-E-N only nine holes count: holes two, three, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen and eighteen. The "T" holes are 2, 3, 10, 12 and 13; the "E" holes are 8, 11 and 18; the "N" hole is 9.

A similar format that uses a slightly different group of nine holes is called N.O.S.E. (And you might see a T-E-N tournament advertised as T.E.N. or just TEN.)

Just about any stroke scoring format, for individuals or groups, can be used in T-E-N. They key in T-E-N is not that you are playing standard stroke play as an individual, or best ball as a four-person team, but that only nine of the 18 holes will be tallied up at the end to determine winners.

The T-E-N format can also make for a good honey pot or bonus prize in a tournament that counts all 18 holes, or a side game within a group of golfers. You and your golf buddies can tee off as a quartet, playing 18 holes for a big bet, while also having smaller, supplemental bets on various other things such as T-E-N.

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