What Is The “Back” Or “Back Nine” In Golf? – Explained!

what is the back in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms commonly mentioned on golf courses and TV broadcasts is the term the “Back”, or “Back Nine”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly is the “Back” or “Back Nine” in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what the expression “Back” means in golf.

What Is The “Back” Or “Back Nine” In Golf?

In golf, the “Back” or “Back Nine” of an 18-hole golf course refers to the 9 last holes of the course. The “Back Nine” holes of an 18-hole golf course are the holes numbered 10 through 18. Synonyms of the “Back Nine” include “Inward Nine”, “Back Side”, and “Second Nine”.

In the great game of golf, the expression “Back” or “Back Nine” is often mentioned on golf courses and on TV broadcasts alike.

In golf, the expression “Back” or “Back Nine” is the name given to the last 9 holes of an 18-hole golf course. In other words, the “Back Nine” of a golf course refers to holes numbered 10 through 18.

Explicitly, the “Back Nine” holes of an 18-hole golf course are the holes corresponding to the following numbers: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18. The first half of golf holes is referred to as the “Front Nine” or “Front”.

Considering how long it takes to play 18 holes of golf, It is very common for golf courses to install bathrooms and sometimes refreshments providers in between the “Front Nine” and the “Back Nine” tee boxes.

These restrooms prevent golfers from needing to walk all the way back to the clubhouse to relieve themselves or grab some much-needed refreshments, thus giving golfers an overall better experience.

Synonyms of the “Back” or “Back Nine” include the “Back Side”, the “Second Nine”, and the “Inward Nine”.

When you look on a scorecard, and there are boxes to tally your score “Out” and “In”, the “Out” box refers to your score for the “Front” 9 holes, while the “In” box refers to your score for the “Inward Nine”, or the last 9 holes of a golf course.

On many golf courses, you can decide to skip the “Back Nine” and only play the “Front Nine” holes of the golf course. This allows golfers who do not have the time or energy to play only 9 holes. Furthermore, playing only 9 holes is cheaper than playing 18 holes, in many cases.

If you are playing on a 9-hole golf course, then there is no notion of “Back Nine”, as that notion is reserved to 18-hole golf courses.

If you are playing on a weird golf course that does not have 18 holes, but it does have an even number of holes, like for example, 16 holes, then you can use the notion of “Back”, but without the number reference, such as in “Back Nine”.

If you would like to get a much better score over time on the “Back Nine” of a golf course, you can read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.

Origin Of The Term “Back”

The origin of the expression “Back” or “Back Nine” is based in the history of golf.

In fact, in the beginnings of golf, golf courses were often organized in a very particular way. These golf courses separated their holes in two halves.

To play the first half of holes, the “Front” holes, you had to walk away, or “out” from the clubhouse. To play the second half of holes, the “Back” holes, you had to start from the end of the “Front” half, and walk “in” towards the clubhouse.

Therefore, the “Front” nine holes are played in front of the clubhouse, while the “Back Nine” holes are played while moving back towards the clubhouse.

Conclusion

There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what the term “Back” or “Back Nine” is in golf.

Do you have any other golf expressions you wish to know more about? Let us know in the comments down below!