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Most golf games are designed for an even number of players since foursomes are the most common golfing groups. Luckily, there are some great golf game options for three players as well.
Split Sixes is one of the best games to play with three golfers. Split Sixes is a points-based golf game that enables three individual players to compete head-to-head-to-head over an entire round of golf.
Split Sixes is also known as English, Cricket, 6-Point Game, and likely a few other monikers. There is even a nine-point version that can work well for five players.
This article will explain the basic scoring format for Split Sixes and some ways to vary or enhance the game. Let’s play!
Split Sixes Golf Scoring Format
As the name implies, Split Sixes involves splitting six points for each hole among three golfers.
Each golfer plays their own golf ball as they normally would in any stroke play golf game. Points are awarded based on the relative scores among the three players.
The basic point allocation looks like this:
- Lowest Score = 4 Points
- Middle Score = 2 Points
- Highest Score = 0 Points
Here is an example score card showing how points are awarded in this standard Split Sixes scenario:
Of course, players will commonly have tied scores on many of the holes.
If two players tie for the lowest score, both players earn three (3) points.
If two players tie for the highest score, both players earn one (1) point, while the low score earns four (4) points.
If all three players tie, all three players earn two (2) points.
At the end of the round, the points are totaled to determine a winner. Often, the points carry a monetary value and the margin of victory will translate into the amount owed to the winning golfer.
As you can see, Split Sixes is a straightforward stroke play game that enables three golfers to compete together.
Using Handicaps When Playing Split Sixes
Splits Sixes is almost always played using handicaps to even the playing field and enable competitive games among golfers of different skill levels.
Most frequently, the higher handicap players will “play off” the lowest handicap player. However, you can also play the handicap strokes “as they lie,” meaning assign all the strokes to all the appropriate holes for all the players.
Learn more about what handicaps are and how to calculate them.
Game Variations for Split Sixes
Now let’s explore some variations on Split Sixes and ways to add interest to this game.
Nassau Spilt Sixes
As with many golf games, Split Sixes can be divided into three separate games and played using the Nassau format.
Nassau is three separate games. There is a winner for the front nine, a winner for the back nine, and an overall winner. All you need to do to score Split Sixes as a Nassau game is to calculate the points separately for each nine and also for the total points over the whole 18-hole round.
Learn more about the Nassau Golf Scoring System.
Include Nearies with Split Sixes
Nearies are simply the closest to the pin in regulation. This is a perfect side game to add to a round of Split Sixes.
All you need to do is track which player hits the ball nearest to the pin on each hole. At the end of the round, add up the nearies for each player and award additional points to the final scores.
Some players assign a monetary value to each nearie, while other golfers prefer to calculate the number of nearies and declare the winner based on total number of nearies won.
Learn more about nearies and how they are scored.
Nine Points works almost exactly the same way as Split Six except there are nine point available for each hole. Just like Split Sixes, points are awarded to each player’s relative score among the group.
The player with the lowest score earns five (5) points. The player with the middle score earns three (3) points. The player with the highest score receives one (1) point. Ties are handled in the same way as Split Sixes and is described above.
Some golf courses allow fivesomes, and Nine Points can also be played with five golfers. In this case, the lowest score receives four (4) points, and next lowest score earns 3 points, the next lowest score earns 2 points, the next lowest earns one point, and the highest score earns zero points.
Ties are more common and slightly more complicated to handle with fivesomes, but it is still manageable. Just don’t be afraid to award the worst scores with zero points.
When playing golf with an odd number of players (3 or 5), it can be tough to find a fun game that includes everyone. Split Sixes or Nine Points is the perfect option for these groups.
English, Cricket, and 6-Point Game are other names for Split Sixes.
Add a side game like nearies and play with a Nassau format for even more fun. It’s way more fun than your standard stroke play match or a simple skins game. Just be sure to encourage your playing partners before the round of golf starts.