Ever heard of Four-ball golf? It might sound like a tricky game, but it’s actually quite simple and a great way to get your competitive juices flowing! Four-ball is a fun team game that pairs two golfers in competing teams. Each player gets to use their own ball throughout the game, and the team score is based on the lowest score from each hole. Let’s dive in and learn more about this exciting game!

The Basics of Four-Ball

Four-ball is an exciting format that consists of two pairs of players competing against each other. Each pair can be made up of any combination of golfers, and each individual golfer plays their own ball throughout the round. At the end of each hole, the team's score is calculated by whichever partner has recorded a lower score. It is also known as “better ball” or “best ball”—the latter which can be played with more than two players. This form of golf can be played in either stroke play or match play formats.

Scoring System

When calculating scores using four-ball, it's pretty simple. Each team player plays their own golf ball and records their own score. The lowest score from each team is recorded as the team score. For example, let's take a look at 2 teams - Team Blue with Player A and Player B and Team Red with Player C and Player D.

On Hole 1 Player A pars the hole with a 4 while Player B bogeys the hole with a 5. The score for Team Blue is a par of 4. Meanwhile, Player C birdies the hole with a 3 while Player D bogeys the hole. The team score for Red is a birdie, 3.

In stroke play the winner of the match is the team with the lower cumulative score over 18 holes or however many holes were agreed to be played. In Match Play each hole is won, lost, or halved (tied). The team that wins the most holes is declared the winner.

Playing Strategy

Now let’s break down what makes four-ball such an exciting experience for both recreational and competitive golfers alike. Four-ball is all about strategy. Because you have a playing partner you're encouraged to think about each individual shot as it relates to your team and how you can collectively post the lowest score. This means that your play can be dictated by not only what your opponent does but also how your partner is playing the hole.

If they're in trouble on a particular hole you may be forced to dial back your game and play a little bit more conservatively to keep your team in the hole. But if they're sitting pretty with a guaranteed par perhaps you can get aggressive and attack the pin or not worry about putting it 6 feet past the pin. Either way, it's a team game and calls for a different mindset than individual play.

Ultimately, you don't want to let your partner down, especially if they've been carrying you throughout the match. There's an added responsibility to help them when they're struggling on a hole. Who knew golf could be such a team game?

So, if you’re looking for an interesting twist on traditional golf, four-ball could be just what you need. And if you're feeling a little frisky you can mix up the rules anyway you want! For example, you could choose which ball needs to be used for each shot or even switch sides after each hole so that everyone gets an opportunity to lead their respective teams.

Obviously, this was not the way the USGA defined the rules of Four-Ball, but who said you can't have a little fun? Interestingly enough, there is a different version of Four-Ball within the rules of golf. The USGA defines Best Ball as a variation of Four-Ball played as match play with a team of 1 player vs a team of 2 or 3 players. Now that could be fun if you want to gang up on your better playing buddy.

So there you have it. Now you know what Four-Ball is all about. It's an exciting alternative to traditional stroke play or match play formats because it allows two players or more to work together as a team while still competing against another pair of opponents. With its unique scoring system and various playing strategies to consider, it gives experienced golfers a fun and different way to play. Plus beginners can hone their skills with some friendly competition! So grab some friends and give four-ball a go - you won't regret it!

If you're looking for the best new golf balls for your next game of Four-Ball, see below.