Four-ball golf

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Four-ball is a pairs playing format in the game of golf. It is also known as better ball[1] and best ball, although the latter more properly describes a variation involving teams of 3 or 4 players.[2] It is also sometimes abbreviated as 4BBB.

In a stroke play competition, competitors are paired and play as a team. Each golfer plays their own ball; the team's score on each hole is the lower of the two players' scores. Only one of a pair is required to complete each hole. The winners are the team with the lowest aggregate score over a set number of holes.[2][3] Since 2017 this format, along with foursomes, has been used by the Zurich Classic on the PGA Tour.[4]

In a match play competition, a four-ball consists of two teams of two players competing directly against each other. All four golfers play their own balls throughout the round (rather than alternating shots); each hole is won by the team whose member has the lowest score.[2][3] This form of golf is commonly played in team golf competitions such as the Ryder Cup,[5] Solheim Cup, and Presidents Cup.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ellwood, Jeremy (September 30, 2018). "The Difference Between Fourball and Foursomes". Golf Monthly. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Rules of Golf - Rule 23: Four-Ball". The R&A. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Rules of Golf: Rule 23 – Four-Ball". USGA. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  4. ^ "How it works: Zurich Classic of New Orleans team format". PGA Tour. April 18, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  5. ^ Woodard, Adam (September 26, 2018). "Ryder Cup format: Breaking down fourball, foursomes and scoring for non-golf fans". USA Today. Retrieved December 17, 2019.