Golf Basics

Team play

A foursome (defined in Rule 29) is played between two teams of two players each, in which each team has only one ball and players alternate playing it. For example, if players A and B form a team, A tees off on the first hole, B will play the second shot, A the third, and so on until the hole is finished. On the second hole, B will tee off (regardless who played the last putt on the first hole), then A plays the second shot, and so on. Foursomes can be played as match play or stroke play.

A four-ball (Rules 30 and 31) is also played between two teams of two players each, but every player plays his own ball and the lower score on each hole is counted. Four-balls can be played as match play or stroke play.

A popular "unofficial" form of team play is the scramble, or ambrose. Each player in a team tees off on each hole, and the players decide which shot was best. Every player then plays his second shot from that spot, and the procedure is repeated until the hole is finished.

"best-ball" - Everyone involved tees off. Then the 'worst balls' get picked up on the way to where the 'best ball' landed. The owner of the 'best ball' takes the stroke, and marks the spot. In turn, the owners of the 'worst balls' drop them on the spot and take their swing. The 'best ball' among those gets played next, again picking up the 'worst balls' along the way. The owner of the 'best ball' goes first, of course. Repeat the process on down the fairway - hopefully only a small number of times - until a ball or balls land on the green. Putting doesn't use 'best ball' rules, except as a starting point for anyone who didn't have theirs land on the green.



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