In golf, inward nine refers to the back nine holes in a golf course. This term was used because the old courses were designed to have the last second 9 holes in, near the clubhouse, while the first 9 holes were out. In other words, the players will go out, away from the clubhouse, when they will play the first 9 holed. For the remaining second 9 holes, the players will move back in towards the clubhouse, making a total of 18 holes.

Front Nine and Back Nine

A standard golf course has 18-holes. The front nine refers to the first nine holes of the course. The inward nine is referred to as the back nine-hole of an 18-hole golf course. They are also called backside or second nine. Regulations on golf have established that for an 18-hole course, there are two sets of nines. Most golf courses acknowledge these two sets of nine holes by setting up halfway house or halfway hut in between the 9-hole and 10-hole.


Scorecards for golf are arranged with two sets of nines. The player will tally his or her scores from the two sets, the front nine and back nine, to get the result for the final score for the 18-hole match play. Next to the spaces for the two sets are labeled “out” and “in.” It is related to how the old course was set-up, having the inward nine on the second space with the label in and the front nine on the first space with the label out.

Inward Nine Further Explained

If you are a beginner of golf, do not be confused when professional players talk about front nine or inward nine. In an 18-hole golf course, the front nine refers to the holes 1 to 9, while the back nine is holes 10 to 18. However, there are cases when a specific tournament requires a player to start at holes 10 to 18. It will be the front nine, while holes 1 to 9 will change too as the back nine. These changes are for this specific game only. Otherwise, most tournaments follow the original set-up of the 18-hole match play.