how does four balls work in golf

Golfing 101: How Does Four Balls Work in Golf?

Last Updated on May 26, 2023

Golf can be an incredibly rewarding and exciting game, especially when you take the time to learn all of its nuances. But did you know that four balls is a special format for golf? It’s true. Four balls in golf may sound like it could get confusing, but don’t worry – we’ve got everything you need to know about this unique style of play right here. So if your question is, ‘how does four balls work in golf?’ then read on and find out how this fun twist on traditional rules works.

Table of Contents:

How Does Four Balls Work?

Four balls is a unique and fun game of golf that can be played with four players. It is an alternate form of match play, where each player plays their own ball throughout the round. The objective of the game is to have the lowest score at the end of 18 holes.

Rules and Regulations for Four Balls

Each player tees off on every hole, but only one ball per team counts towards their total score. Players must decide before teeing off which ball they will count as their team’s score. After all four players have hit their shots, they choose which ball to use for the remainder of the hole; usually, it’s whichever shot was closest to the pin or furthest down the fairway. On each hole, teams are allowed one mulligan (a free stroke). All other rules remain in effect during a four-ball round, such as out-of-bounds strokes, water hazards etc., unless otherwise agreed upon by all players beforehand.

Scoring System for Four Balls

At the end of 18 holes, each team adds up its scores from all eighteen holes and subtracts any handicaps if applicable; this determines who has won or lost that particular round. If two teams tie, then both teams receive half of the points for that round; if three teams tie, then each receives one-third point etc. In some cases, there may be no winner declared at all – this occurs when none of the four players is able to complete a full 18 holes due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances beyond control.

Key Takeaway: Four balls is a unique and fun game of golf for four players, where each team plays their own ball throughout the round. The objective is to have the lowest score at the end of 18 holes, and teams can use one mulligan per hole. Scoring is determined by subtracting any handicaps from total scores and ties are split between teams.

Tips and Tricks for Playing Four Balls

Course Management Tips for Four Balls

a gold on a tee

Knowing how to manage the course is essential when playing four balls. It’s important to plan ahead and know which clubs you’ll need in each situation, as well as where you should aim your shots. Also, be sure to factor in wind direction and speed, terrain changes, and other environmental factors that can affect your shot. Additionally, it’s important to think about the order of play – who will hit first or second on a particular hole? This can make a big difference in terms of strategy and success.

Mental Game Strategies for Four Balls

Playing four balls requires strong mental focus and concentration throughout the round. Before teeing off, take some time to visualise yourself executing successful shots during the round – this will help build confidence before starting out. During play, stay positive no matter what happens; if one player makes a mistake or hits an errant shot, don’t let it bring down everyone else’s game. Lastly, remember that four-ball golf is supposed to be fun, so enjoy yourself while playing.

When selecting equipment for four-ball golf, there are several things you should consider. First off, choose clubs with good distance control capabilities, such as hybrids or fairway woods, instead of drivers; these will give you more accuracy when hitting into greens from long distances away from the pin. Secondly, use wedges with plenty of spins to stop quickly on approach shots into greenside bunkers or roughs around greenside hazards like water features. Finally, select putters with a good feel so you have better touch around putting surfaces, especially those tricky downhill putts that require delicate strokes.

Key Takeaway: When playing four balls, it’s important to plan ahead and consider the order of play, wind direction speed, terrain changes, mental focus and concentration. Additionally, select equipment with good distance control capabilities (e.g., hybrid fairway woods), wedges with spin for approach shots and putters with feel for tricky downhill putts.

FAQs in Relation to How Does Four Balls Work in Golf

How does 4 ball best ball work in golf?

a green course with sand hazard

4 ball best ball is a popular golf format in which two teams of two players compete against each other. Each team plays their own ball, and the better score of the two players on each team counts as the team’s score for that hole. The lowest overall score at the end of 18 holes wins. It’s a great way to play with friends or family members who have different skill levels because it allows everyone to contribute to the final result regardless of individual performance. This format also encourages camaraderie and teamwork between partners, making it an enjoyable game for all involved.

What is Four-Ball in golf tournament?

Four-ball is a golf tournament format in which two teams of two players compete against each other. Each team plays their own ball throughout the round, and the lower score of the two teammates on each hole counts as the team’s score for that hole. The lowest total score at the end of 18 holes wins. Four-ball tournaments can be played with match play or stroke play formats, depending on how they are set up by tournament organisers. Four-ball tournaments often feature some form of prize money or trophies for winners, making them popular among competitive golfers looking to test their skills against others in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Why is it called a 4 ball tournament?

A 4 ball tournament is a type of golf competition where teams of four players compete against each other. Each team plays their own ball, and the lowest score from each team counts towards the overall result. This format allows for more strategic play, as it requires careful consideration when deciding which player should hit which shot to achieve the best outcome for the team. It also encourages camaraderie between teammates, as they must work together to get the lowest possible score on each hole. The term ‘4-ball’ comes from this four-player format, with one ball representing each member of the team.


In conclusion, four balls in golf is a great way to enjoy the game with friends and family. It’s an exciting format that can be both challenging and rewarding. Whether you’re looking for a competitive round or want to have some fun on the course, four-ball golf is definitely worth trying out. So if you’ve been wondering, “does four balls work in golf?” The answer is yes – it certainly does.

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