How to Play the Middle Twelves Golf Game

Middle Twelves (or Middle 12s) is the name of a side game for golfers to play within their quartet over a round of golf. It's actually two games, because there are two common ways to play it.

Any number of golfers can play Middle Twelves, whether 2-, 3- or 4-person groups. It can even be used for a honey pot in a tournament setting.

Version 1 of Middle 12s

What does the "12" in the name of the game refer to? In this version of the game, it refers to the middle 12 holes on the scorecard: Hole 4 through Hole 15.

In this version of Middle Twelves, at the end of the round golfers throw out their scores on the first three holes and also on the last three holes. Then add up the scores on the middle twelve holes — holes 4-15 — and that is your Middle Twelves score.

And the golfer with the lowest score on those 12 holes only wins the pot or the agreed-upon wager. This version throws out the opening three holes, giving golfers time to get going and iron out early kinks; and the final three holes, where closing-hole pressure can play with one's game. That leaves the 12 holes in the middle.

Version 2 of Middle 12s

The second version might actually be the more-common of the two versions of this game. In this version, at the end of the round golfers throw out both their three worst scores and their three best scores.

The leaves 12 remaining holes. Add up those scores, which (in theory!) are more-representative of your true level after your best and worst holes have been tossed out.

Wagering on Middle Twelves

In both versions (also in tournament settings), golfers can play for a standalone pot that goes to the Middle Twelves winner. This game is usually a side game to a larger wager on the overall, 18-hole outcome.

But you can also bet the tossed-out holes in both versions. In Version 1, your group can have smaller wagers riding on both the first three holes (who is best at opening the round?) and the final three holes (who is best as closing the round?). In Version 2, you can wager on the lowest total of your three best scores, and also the lowest total of your three worst scores. Further in Version 2, you can also choose, if your group wishes, to make the golfer with the highest total among his three worst scores pay an additional penalty to the other three golfers.

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