What Are The Different Types Of Golf Formats? – Top Golf Advisor

Nothing beats the idea of a great golf game if there’s no healthy competition involved. In such cases, solo play is no fun. However, various types of golf formats can give us a healthy round of golf play that is friendly yet competitive. 

Match play and stroke play are the two basic types of golf. Aside from these two basic types of play, there are numerous other golf tournament formats, some of which are considered “official” forms of play, such as Stableford and the favored team play formats known as Foursome and Fourball games.

Scramble (Texas scramble, Ambrose, and Greensome are other popular non- “official” forms of team play.

Put some, Skins, String, Chapman, and Flag tournaments are other golf games.

Different types of Golf Formats

In this article, we’ll briefly describe all of them one by one and what to expect when playing them. However, before we jump into the details, make sure to check out our Beginner’s Guide to Golf for a full in-depth description of golf.

Why Should I know About types of Golf Formats?

Would you call yourself a cricket or football fan if you needed to know the type of competition these sports had daily, monthly, or yearly? The same goes for golf. 

Every golfer should inevitably be aware of various golf formats that take place over time. 

Essentially, a beginner or an intermediate familiar with competition amplifies their experience and personalities on the course. You can only keep playing solo for a short time. 

Therefore, without any further ado, let’s dive into the types of golf formats. 

Stroke Play

At most professional tournaments, strokeplay is the most common form of competition. In stroke play, each player (or team) competes on all 18 holes, counting the total number of strokes. The party with the lowest total net score (gross score minus handicap) wins.

Players usually go out in groups of threes or twos.

Match Play 

Two players (or two teams) compete against each other on each hole. Regardless of how many shots he won the hole by, the team with the lower score wins that hole. 

If both players’ or teams’ scores are equal, the hole is “halved” (drawn). The team that wins more holes than the others wins the game. At the club level, matchplay is a prevalent form of competition.


Two players in the partnership play a foursome, each hitting one ball alternately. Regardless of who played the last putt on the first hole, one player tees off on the odd-numbered holes and the other on the even-numbered holes. 

The remaining shots are played in turn until the hole is completed. The order of play is unaffected by penalty shots. Foursomes can play according to either match play or stroke play rules.

A Greensome, a Canadian foursome, and a Mixed Foursome are foursome variations in which two teams of male and female golfers alternate shots. 

Each player in a Canadian foursome plays their ball from the tee, and the players then decide which ball is in the best position, and the other ball is taken out of play. See more about Greensome.


Each player uses their ball like foursomes, and the team’s best score counts. Four-ball can be played as a match or as a stroke game. (Rules 30 and 31 define this.) 

Three players compete against one another in a Three-Ball match, each playing two separate matches. Best-Ball is a slightly different variant in which one player competes against the best ball of two or three players.


The form of strokeplay in which points are awarded about a fixed score at each hole is as follows: 

Hole Played In Points

Hole Played In Points

<1 over fixed score —> 0

One over fixed score —> 1

Fixed score —> 2

One under fixed score —> 3

Two under fixed score —> 4

Three under fixed score —> 5

Four under fixed score —> 6

Whoever scores the highest numbers will be the winner. 

Bogey and Par Competition 

Bogey and par competitions are scored similarly to match play. Any hole for which a player does not return is considered a loss. The player who is the most successful in the aggregate of holes wins. 


Each team member (of two, three, or four players) tees off on each hole, and the team decides which shot is the best. Other players then pick up their balls and play their second shot from that position, and so on, until the hole is completed. 

You must place lifted balls within one scorecard width of the chosen position. If the balls are placed on the green, they must be within one putter head of the marker. Golf societies enjoy this type of competition the most. 

Types of Golf Formats; Ambrose 

An Ambrose is similar to a Scramble, except handicaps are utilized in the game, as in strokeplay. The net score is calculated by subtracting the adjusted handicap from the overall gross score. 

The adjusted or team handicap derives by dividing the total of a team’s handicaps by two times the numbering players, so 1/8 of the aggregate for a four-person team, 1/6 of the aggregate for a three-person team, and 1/4 of the aggregate for a two-person team.

Texas Scramble 

It is a variant in which individual and team performance are recognized since each team member must utilize a certain number of drives throughout the round. 

If a novice golfer is on the team, it may be a good idea to use their drives initially in the round to relieve pressure on them for the remainder of the game.


Match play game in which each hole is worth a certain number of points or money, and you can only win by winning the hole outright. 

Suppose more than one player achieves the most significant score for the hole. In that case, the money or points are carried over to the next hole, possibly making all the following holes significantly more valuable. 

A playoff will commence if two or more players split the last hole until one golfer wins the hole outright.


A Foursome variant in which both colleagues on each team hit a tee shot, and each team chooses which one they prefer. The player whose ball was not chosen then plays the second and all subsequent even-numbered strokes on this hole while the other partner plays all subsequent odd-numbered ones.


In fourball, we play the first six holes, the following six in Greensome, and the last six in foursome. The final stroke count is computed in the same manner as in a foursome.


A Four Ball variant in which each player takes a tee shot and then switches places to hit the new ball (each player on the same team hits their teammate’s ball), then they pick one of the two balls to play for the rest of the hole. The other ball is picked up once the optimum position is determined, and the teammate’s alternate strokes until the hole are reached. Also known as “Pinehurst.”


Each participant is given a length of thread to amend faulty lies. The length of the string is determined by the handicap of the player (generally 50cm per handicap point). 

When the player is in a terrible lie, they cut the length of the string equal to the distance they transfer the ball (without penalty) to any new location away from where the ball had previously come to rest. 

That string length is no longer available once the ball has been relocated. Players may utilize their string at any point during the round to conserve as many strokes as possible.

Flag Tournaments 

Each player is given a tiny flag and several strokes equal to par plus two-thirds of their handicap. When the player’s strokes run out, he places his flag where the ball falls. The player who travels the farthest distance wins.

Final Words 

Well, that concludes our golf formats and how they’re played. Novice golfers must be familiar with these competitions to offer their best game skills and analyze their improvements and score system. 


What is a 6 6 6 format golf?

Round Robin, often known as 6,6, and 6, is a foursome game in which the two-player teams switch partners every six holes. Three 6-hole matches make up the round, allowing each participant to play in a different match with a different partner.

What is the new golf format?

Players will compete in a 7-event regular season in both individual and team events to win points and cash prizes. An Individual Champion will be named following those 7 events based on season-long points totals.

What is Jack and Jill’s format in golf?

The team decides which tee shot they prefer after each player on the team hits a shot. The two players start their game there. The individual who missed their shot picks up the ball and pushes it one club length closer to the chosen location. Up until the ball has holed out, this continues.

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