Foursomes and Fourballs

Foursomes and Fourballs

One of the best tournaments to worldwide is the Ryder Cup which offers the usual golf competition every two years between Europe and USA teams. For the 2012 Ryder Cup, the Medinah Country Club, Illinois is going to be the venue. It is played in various match play competitions and even the format has changed these last years. Its characteristics comprise foursomes, fourballs and singles.


Singles golf is played as a match between two people.

The system handicap is a numerical measure that gives all players with different abilities the opportunity to compete equally.

The basic forms of play consist in:
  • Strokeplay: counts the total number of strokes taken on each hole through a round. At the end the total are added for the gross score. The player who obtains the lowest score wins.

  • Matchplay: players compete to win individuals holes; they can be an individual player or a team. The player who obtains the most holes wins the match.

  • Stableford: a player gains points on each hole of the round: 1 point means a bogey, 2 points means a par, 3 points means a birdie and more. At the end the total are added to the final score. The player with the highest score wins.
Furthermore there are more ways of scoring, but in general the player who takes the fewest shots over 18 holes, wins. Most golf tournaments are played this way.


A foursome is also called alternate shot, a type of match that includes teams of two where people compete against each other using one ball. The team that completes a set number of holes with the fewest shots wins. In foursomes, players need consistency, keep the ball in play and avoid making mistakes.

It's really important to be fit if you want to get the best golf score. When you play golf you burn a lot of calories. The number of calories you burn while exercising is dependent on the time spent doing the golf exercise. On this page you can find detailed information about calories burned playing Golf and various foods that have an equivalent number of calories.

Generally the natural order of play not interfere by the penalty strokes whether you play out of turn; in match play you lose the hole and in strokeplay two shots must be added to your score for that hole.


A fourball is other type of match, played with four balls where two teams or two players against each other using better-ball scoring.

It is usually used in the Ryder Cup, a fourball can be played as a strokeplay or matchplay. During a strokeplay, the competitors in groups of two plays as a team and the lower score on each hole are counted. The winners are the team with the lowest score over all holes. During a matchplay, two teams in pairs compete against each other. In alternate shots, the four golfers play their own ball throughout the round and who has the lowest score in each hole is the team winner.

In fourballs, players need to have good relationship with other partners. Professional players in big competitions say that "sorry" is a word that is hardly ever used.