Four Ball in Golf featured Image

Four Ball in Golf

Golf has various interesting terminologies but if someone recently invited you to play in a Four-Ball match, you must be curious to know more about it!

In this article, you will learn a lot about a Four-Ball format in golf. And this will help you ace your performance on the golf course.

What is Four-Ball in Golf?

In simple terms, a Four-Ball match consists of two pairs of golfers forming different teams. Then, each player plays his/her shot and whoever makes a better score on each hole, it counts as the team score for that hole.

However, there is much more to a Four-Ball format that can help you give your best on the field. So, keep reading to learn the basics to more advanced strategies of Four-Ball in golf.

Formats of playing Four-Ball in Golf

Now that we fully understand the concept of a Four-Ball, let’s discuss different formats to play a Four-Ball match. Basically, Four-Ball is played as a Stroke play or Matchplay tournament.

Players Participating in Four ball Golf

Stroke Play:

In the Stroke Play format, all the competitors play as a team. Each golfer plays his/her ball until they finish all the holes. Once the holes are complete, the total lowest scores are counted as the team’s score.

Match play:

In Match play format, four golfers team up consisting of two players on each team. All four golfers play their ball in an attempt to hit the lowest score on each individual hole. As they complete a hole, the pair who has the lowest score on a particular hole wins that hole. However, in case, both teams score the same then the hole is halved.

Scoring and Rules of Four-Ball in Golf

Rule Details

Rule 23.3a

When one of the partners hits the ball to start the first hole, the round begins.

Rule 23.3b

During a Stroke play tournament, a round ends when either one or both partners have completed the final hole. The round can also end if one of the partners completes the final hole and the other opts not to complete it.

In the case of a Matchplay tournament, a round ends when any of the teams wins the match.

golfer is trying to understand the rules

Rule 23.3c

In the Stroke play match, a hole is complete when one of the partners has holed out. This means that all the flour players do not need to hole out in order to finish the hole.

Meanwhile, in Matchplay, a hole is only complete when all of the four players have holed out, or if any of the team decides to concede the hole.

Rule 23.4

In a Four-Ball match, both of the partners on each team do not need to be present during the entire match. And even if both players are present, they do not need to play each hole.

For example:

In a match-play tournament, if a player arrives late then he/she must wait for the current hole to finish before he/she can begin playing.

In the case of Stroke play, if a player is late but he arrives before anyone starts a hole then he/she may play that hole.

Rule 23.5

According to this rule, a partner may lift, spot, drop, place, and mark his partner’s ball. However, he becomes responsible for any breach of rules, which ultimately leads to penalties. Examples of some violations are:

Misplacing a partner’s ball accidentally

Lifting the ball without marking the spot first

Four Ball Scoring

Four Ball Scoring Table

Each team is responsible to fill in their scorecards correctly.

The net score of at least one of the partners is added to the scorecard for each hole.

There is no penalty if the score of both partners is added to each hole.

It is important to specify the partner, whose score is being added on the scorecard. If not, the team is disqualified.

Only one of the partners of a team can certify the hole scores on a scorecard.

In the end, it is the committee’s decision to decide which scores to count for the team on each hole.

Scoring Table

Strategies to play Four-Ball

Four-ball matches are a great way for beginners to learn and improve their game. However, if you follow some correct strategies along with that, you can certainly take your game to the next level.

It is important to choose the right partner on your team. For example, if you can play par on most holes, then you should choose a partner who is good at scoring birdies or double bogeys occasionally.

Another great strategy is to decide who will tee off the ball depending on your and your partner’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, if a partner cannot tee off the ball far enough or if he/she has a high handicap. Then, letting him go first can allow the best player to choose his next shot wisely.

Finally, the ultimate strategy is to score as low as possible to win the game. To achieve this, you can practice with your partner before the match to form a cooperation with each other during the match.

Other Names for Four-Ball in Golf

Better Ball

Two Ball Best Ball

Best Ball

Golfers playing two ball best ball

Famous world records for Four-Ball

There are many world records for Four-Ball tournaments, but the two of them are particularly famous.

Gunsan Country Club, South Korea

On June 28 of 2009, ninety-four teams came to play at the Gunsan Country Club setting the new Guinness world record. These teams played 6974 collective holes within 24 hours at an impressive rate of 74 per group.

Rotorua Golf Club, New Zealand

On 12 November 2017, four incredible golfers named Steven Holloway, Matthew Dalton, Landyn Edwards and Michael Ryan set a new world record for playing the fastest round of golf. They finished 18 holes within 48 minutes and 56 seconds.


Four Ball is played in the world’s biggest professional golf tournaments like the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, and Solheim Cup.

Yes, the terms Four-Ball and Best Ball are the same. During this game, the players play their ball to complete the hole and then the best player’s score adds to the scorecard.

Four Ball matches consist of two pairs of teams where each player uses his/her own ball to finish the hole. After the hole is complete the lowest score for that particular hole is added to the scorecard.

Meanwhile, in a foursome tournament, two teams of players compete against each other using just one ball per team. Players take turns in hitting the ball until the hole is complete. So, it is more like teamwork where if a golfer hits a bad shot then his partner must hit a good one to make up for it.

Similar Posts