What Is A Four Ball In Golf | Learn Rules & Golf Format 2024

You come across many different versions of the same sport as a golfer. It’s primarily because you must add flair and excitement to an otherwise dull game. Therefore, the idea of a competition puts the players on edge and helps them deliver remarkable performances. One such game that most people question is what is a four-ball in golf. 

This blog will dissect this topic in-depth and learn everything a player should know about. Learning more and more about golf broadens your playing scope and lets you juggle between different hitting techniques that can score points for your team. 

Thanks to your pitching; it also helps you evolve as a player and make more reliable connections. Moreover, suppose you’re a beginner or curious about golf and want to learn more about it. In that case, this blog will help answer all your queries. 

What Is A Four Ball In Golf

What Is A Four Ball In Golf?

We will start by clearing the air and defining the term for better understanding. A “four-ball” in golf refers to a particular kind of competition when two teams, each with two players, play against one another. 

All golfers use their ball for the duration of the round. The group’s score for a given hole is determined after each hole by averaging the scores of each player on that team.

The side with the most minor total strokes at the end of the round wins the match. Because each player on a team can preserve their score while contributing to the team’s aggregate score, this style encourages more strategic play.

What Are The Rules For Playing Four-Ball Game?

Like every other game, you can only play this one with rules. Below are some of the basic rules you should know about. 

  • Two players come together to form a team. Throughout the round, every player shoots their ball. The lower scores of both team players determine the team’s total for each hole.
  • Score: The squad’s score is determined by taking the lowest score between the two players on the team after each hole. For example, the team’s score on a hole is four if Player A achieves a four and Player B scores a 5.
  • In a four-ball match, you can employ handicaps to balance team talent differences. The management uses the net rating to calculate the team score by deducting each player’s handicap from their gross score.
  • Match Play Format: You can play this format as a stroke play. According to match play, the team with the lowest hole score wins. Additionally, if both the teams have the same score on holes, you can consider that a halve. 
  • Tee-Off: Every hole begins with both players from each team teeing off. Following the tee shots, the team chooses which of the two tee shots is the better and plays their subsequent strokes from that position. This procedure keeps going till the ball sinks in the hole. 

It’s essential to know any additional rules or adjustments for the individual four-ball event you are playing in, especially when you are new to what is a four-ball in golf space.

What Is The Difference Between Foursome And Four Balls?

What is a four ball in golf and foursome are two distinct things. Golf four-ball play, in which each team plays their ball, differs from foursomes. In contrast, in a foursome, each team plays with a single ball. 

The foursome golfing format is simple to learn because it functions exactly like the standard form of golf play but for adding two extra players.

One player is  “Golfer A” and the other as “Golfer B” in each pair. As the person who must go first, “Golfer A” usually has the best tee shot. After “Golfer B” makes the second shot, the players shoot until the ball is in the hole.

Every hole, ‘Golfer B‘ will hit the drive shot every other hole, with the pair’s roles being switched. ‘Golfer A‘ will hit the tee shots on all odd-numbered holes.

What Is The Famous Four-Ball Tournament? 

You can find a bunch of other golf format tournaments as a beginner. Still, nothing comes close to the hype of a four-ball golf tournament in the professional field. Moreover, people who ask what is a four ball in golf should know about these tournaments as well. 

The Walker Cup: 

The four-ball event has been a standard in the golfing world for a long time. The Walker Cup is one of the globe’s most renowned and esteemed four-ball golf competitions. 

Teams representing the United States, Great Britain, and Ireland compete in the men’s amateur golf tournament known as the Walker Cup every two years. The competition name pays homage to George Herbert Walker, former USGA president. It started in 1922 and has become the amateur golf championship.

The competition uses a conventional match play structure with singles and four-ball (better ball) matches. Four four-ball matches in the morning and four foursomes (alternate shot) in the afternoon are for the opening day. Eight afternoon singles events and four-morning four-ball matches get set for the second day.

What Is A Four Ball In Golf For Amateur Tournaments: 

An amateur tournament is for players who are not professionals in golf. People who practice golf as a pastime or for pleasure, as opposed to as their primary source of money or career, are eligible to compete in these events. Recreational golfers can demonstrate their abilities, compete against their peers, and typically use amateur tournaments as a springboard for more severe or friendly competitions.

Amateur golfers can put their skills to the test, experience competing, and bond with other enthusiasts in amateur competitions. By allowing people to compete in organized events and promoting a sense of camaraderie among golfers, they aid in expanding the sport. 

Ryder Cup: 

One of the best examples of players using golf is the Ryder Cup. If you’re foreign to the play, the Ryder Cup features a three-day competition between the USA and England that keeps the whole golf community on the hook. The pride players carry with them results in some of the best golfing experiences. 

The format is also another factor that adds flair to the excitement. The competition features a four-ball play on Friday and Saturday. They play the 36 holes during these sessions on the first two days. Seeing your favorite players use their best skills in what is a four ball in golf helps you learn and grasp many techniques.  Also check our article on Can A Man Use A Ladies Golf Ball.

Wrapping Up! 

What is a four-ball in golf is a common question for amateurs learning the game, mainly because of how popular the tournament is globally. It’s a fun and easygoing play that helps you enhance your skills and technique for stroke play. Therefore, we hope this blog clarifies the definition and offers you all the information regarding the game. 

Golf may look easy, but a lot goes into your skillset to ace the sport like a pro. Hence, to explore more fun and informational blogs about golf, check out what golf balls are made of. 


Does four balls count as a hit?

A batter’s stay on base and plate appearance are recorded when they receive a base on balls; nevertheless, they are not counted as hits or at-bats.

What is the best ball in golf?

The best ball tournament is a golf competition where participants match with a partner. Although each player uses their ball, the team’s score is the average of the two players’ balls.

Why is it called a four-ball tournament?

Four balls are in play at any given moment throughout a match, hence the term “Four-Ball,” which first showed up in the R&A’s Rule Book in 1908. The Rules did not include Four-Ball Stroke Play until 1952.

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