Considerations when Playing Foursomes

The first thing we need to establish for some of our readers is that foursomes is a form of competition where golfers compete in teams of two, using only one ball per team, and taking alternate shots until the hole is completed. We too frequently call four ball events a foursome, which is confusing especially now that we are about to watch the Ryder Cup soon which features foursomes as one of the formats of the competition. It is a fun format you should try, if you haven’t already.

A few hints to help you get through your next game of foursomes:

  • When playing foursomes it is suggested that the two team members establish individual strengths and weaknesses beforehand i.e. who drives best, who is best on par 3s as the format requires  one team member teeing off on the odd holes and other on the even holes. So, know your course as well as strengths and weaknesses before you play as your strategy will have a fairly significant effect on the overall results of the match.

  • Never apologize for a bad shot because presumably your bad shot was unintentional

  • Never give up because it is the one format where anything can happen at any time

  • Foursomes has tested the strengths of many friendships and even marriages. It can build or destroy a relationship.

  • Make sure you select a golf ball that both members of the team have confidence in. If you are going to mark it do so with something which will exude confidence rather than distracting scrawls.

Foursomes can be a lot of fun and you can get round easily in less than four hours. Try it.

Frank and Valerie


4 thoughts on “Considerations when Playing Foursomes

  1. A friend of mine and his wife were playing in their Club’s annual “mixed foursomes” championship several years ago. He had hit their drive right up the middle on the third hole short of a water hazard which crossed the fairway. His wife announced that she “always hits her shot into this hazard” and no amount of sweet talking could convince her otherwise. In desperation my friend said: “take an air swing then” which she did. He then played their (now) third onto the green where she proceeded to sink the putt for a par! They didn’t win the event but they did finish in the thick end of the prizes.

  2. Dear Valerie and Frank,
    Why not call a match between two teams of two players, each team using one ball, a two-ball match? The contrast with a four-ball match is clearer and I think this term was used in my youth — which doesn’t seem all that long ago to me.

    • Bill there are a number of clubs in the UK where 75% of play is foursomes, the term has been around for over 100 years. The name doesn’t need changing!

  3. Thank you for the explanation on partners teeing off on odd or even holes. I have played in alternate shot events where the person making the putt has to have their partner tee off on the next tee.

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