Foresome golf formats

Foursome Golf Format – What Is It and How To Play It


Tired of playing solo? Getting overly familiar with your regular golf buddy’s competition? Want to hit the fairways and spice up the action with the gang?

Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered.

At Groupia Golf our team has teed off, sliced, shanked, and eventually sank putts countless times, so we know a thing or two about fun golf formats.

Check out our guide on what the foursome golf format is and how to play it and you’ll have an awesome round when you next hit the fairways.

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What is the Foursome Golf Format?

Foursome golf format

The foursome golf format requires two players minimum.

We hope you trust your partner’s skills; it could make or break the round (maybe don’t team up with the duffer).

As a format it’s diverse as you can play foursomes in both stroke play and matchplay, meaning you can keep your preferred scoring system—so no headaches there.

It’s a breeze to understand and it goes as follows:

  • Create teams of pairs.
  • One player is golfer #1 and the other golfer #2.
  • One ball is shared between the pair.
  • The #1 golfer is often the strongest off the tee.
  • Golfer #2 will take the second shot.
  • This alternates until the pair hole out.

Make this interesting by switching roles on each hole.

A rule that differs the foursome golf format from others is if you draw on a hole, this score is halved, rather than carrying over.

How about that for an exciting twist?

When Did the Foursome Golf Format Start?

Foursome golf format

While the format has grown in popularity across the globe, just like the invention of the legendary game itself, the term was recognised first by Scottish golfers who preferred playing in groups.

Many believe foursomes have existed as long as golfers have grabbed their clubs, and paired with friends.

Tournaments Featuring The Foursome Golf Format

Foursome golf format

Foursomes features in many of golf’s prestigious tournaments, meaning it’s an entertaining format that both pros and duffers can enjoy.

The Ryder Cup

The most prominent tournament to use the format.

Since the Ryder Cup began in 1927, a European team has gone head-to-head against an American team and it’s created some historical moments for the sport.

The Solheim Cup

Effectively the ladies’ version of the Ryder Cup; in its own right the biggest event in women’s golf.

Both the USA and European teams clash using the foursome golf format and it doesn’t disappoint.

LIV Golf

The new Saudi Arabian-backed tour is known for evolving the game and taking golf to new heights.

Often, LIV Golf uses the foursome format in their tournaments, proving the format is entertaining to both play and watch.

So, why not follow in the footsteps of your favourite pros’ and give it a crack?

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Our Expert’s Recommendations

Foursome golf format

Here at Groupia Golf, what our team doesn’t know about golf ain’t worth knowing.

Our team has played foursomes countless times and here are our recommendations for a successful round using the format:

  • It’s a great chance to involve higher handicaps.
  • Playing with mixed abilities makes it more interesting.
  • Or pair with someone familiar to create a killer dream team.
  • Be a good partner and support your teammate (you’re in it together).
  • If you aren’t rotating the order, tactically select the best driver on the hardest tee-offs across the course (do your homework beforehand!)


What is the Difference Between Four-Ball and Foursome?

While both formats require a team of pairs, the main difference is the number of balls in play. In foursomes, the pair share a ball, whereas a four-ball has each of the four players using an individual ball.

What is the Best Way To Play Foursomes?

Most commonly you play foursomes with either match play or stroke play. Whichever of the two kinds you prefer is the one you should play. Professionals also recommend you play with patience and teamwork to win.

How Do You Calculate Handicaps for Foursomes?

Each team adds their handicap and then you calculate the difference between the two totals. Next, you divide this difference by two. That is the given handicap.

Can You Share Clubs in Foursomes?

Absolutely. With foursomes, you share everything between the pair, whether that’s tips, clubs or even sharing the same caddie. You’re playing together as a team, so it’s best to help out whenever you can to guarantee a win.

Final Thoughts

Follow our advice for the foursomes golf format and guarantee an unforgettable round with the squad.

All you need is a willing teammate and a winning spirit, and you’re ready to hit the fairways for this famous format.

Book your golf trip holiday and play foursomes on world-class fairways.

Eddie Hall avatar

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