Four Ball Golf Format – How To Play

The four ball golf format is a fantastic way to add a little more excitement to your next round of golf. This four player golf side game is incredibly easy to play and fun for all skill levels. Here is how it works.

Golfers are divided into two teams of two. Each golfer will play out the hole in standard stroke play format. Once the hole is complete you will compare your score with the other golfer on your team. The better score between the two of you is selected and recorded as your score for the hole.

You then compare the score of your team versus the other to determine which team won the hole.

Scoring Four Ball Golf Format

The scoring of the four-ball golf format can be done in several different ways. These include stroke play, match play and Stableford.

Stroke Play

Stroke play is the standard golf scoring system. This means you add up all the strokes you took throughout the round. Once eighteen holes are complete the team that took fewer strokes is the winner.

Match Play

The match play format is essentially a skins game which means you add up the number of holes you won instead of total strokes. You still use your stroke total on the hole to determine who wins the hole. But at the end of the round, the winner is the team that won more holes throughout the round.


The Stableford scoring system is the least common of the three. This system awards points based on how you scored on each hole. Once the round is complete your point total is added up and the team with more points is the winner.

Who Is The Four Ball Golf Format For

Though this is a game that can be enjoyed by any level of handicap this game is especially enjoyed by high handicappers. This is because this game allows for more forgiveness on bad holes.

Beginners and high handicappers tend to struggle with consistency. This means they will typically have a few holes throughout the round in which they score much higher than average.

When playing in a team format like four ball these scores will likely not be counted. This means these golfers will be able to enjoy their round and not worry about a few holes spoiling their score.

Concluding Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our guide on understanding the four ball golf format. If you enjoyed this guide you may to check out some others featuring golf games. We suggest our articles on the flags golf format or one putt poker.

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