How to play best ball golf – Rules to play 2022

There are numbers of different tournaments in Golf but best ball golf is one of the most famous tournaments in golf. This style of play eliminates the inherent disadvantage that an individual competitor has in playing with a partner or in a team environment. The reason for this is that in standard golf tournaments, even though you may shoot one over par if your partner shoots five over par, you will lose.

In the best ball golf format, everyone on the team must shoot the low score of the team, so if one player shoots five under, but their partner shoots four under, they still win. Best ball golf play also allows for more freedom of shot selection and playing strategy than traditional formats because you are not limited to the shot your partner dictates.

Best ball golf format explained

Best Ball vs. Scramble

Best ball golf tournaments can be played as scrambles or as Stableford events. A scramble is a traditional four-person best ball golf format with each player teeing off and then the best drive decides which team member will hit the second shot of the hole.

Best Ball vs. Scramble

Then that partner hits his/her second shot from where it lands, followed by the third golfer of the team hitting his/her second shot from where it lands, and finally, it is up to the fourth player on what club he/she uses, including if they wish to play the third shot from within two hundred yards of the green or more depending on how many strokes remain before reaching said green.

Best Ball golf Strategies

The best ball golf strategy is different than in a traditional format and requires players to carefully select the clubs they hit off the tee because every shot counts when playing the best ball. Also, there are generally no guidelines when it comes to playing an approach shot into a green.

You can play your approach from where you like on the fairway, but keep in mind that you should try and shoot for a pin placement that will make your next putt easier; especially if there is water or other hazards nearby. When putting, always remember to take an easy swing and be conservative because one bad putt could cost you dearly.

Best Ball Strategies

Finally, in terms of scoring in a four-person scramble event (which works exactly like same as mentioned above with two players), you are always encouraged to take an “out” or lay up shot whenever the situation calls for it.

Speed and Order of Play in best ball golf.

When playing the best ball golf format, speed of play is a major concern that many players forget to consider before arriving at the course. Because everyone is going for low scores, players will want to get around as fast as possible to allow for more time, in the end, to relax and celebrate their victories or commiserate with their partners.

In this scenario, it may be very beneficial to use a “ready golf” system where each player tees off when he/she is ready. This type of play will avoid unnecessary delays from people trying to hit up next which only slows down the entire process and raises frustration levels among other participants.

Naturally, there should also be a rule that you cannot go directly into a hazard, but do not have an exact ruling on how much recovery is appropriate or if a mulligan can be taken.

Sudden Death in best ball format.

In a sudden-death scenario, the rulebook states (in Appendix I of the USGA Handicap System for Golf) that Any number of players tied for the lowest score in a match shall start again on the teeing ground.

No further play will take place unless all players are still tied after one extra hole has been played (except as provided by local rule). This form of play is recommended when it is desired to complete matches with heavy time pressure.

Sudden Death

Sudden deathmatches are becoming more popular because they allow for easier completion of tournament rounds and less human error; especially if you do not have an official marker or your player gets paired up against another good player that has a serious chance at coming back and winning the round.

The reason for this is that even though there can be just one partner that feels bad about shooting five over par, he/she joins in the sudden death format allowing the team to continue on with its foursome.

Sudden Death vs. Playoffs in best ball format

One of the most common questions regarding a sudden death in the best ball is when it should be used in place of a four-hole playoff (this is especially true when players are tied at the end of regulation, but cannot immediately go to sudden death because they have not completed their 18 holes yet).

The main reason why there are so many different conditions you have to follow before playing sudden death in the best ball is that the USGA wants to protect each player’s safety at all times. While some people may want to rush into sudden death because they are tired or have to get to work, there are some safety concerns that must be addressed.

This is why it is recommended for all participants (including the partners) to meet before teeing off and discuss whether it is safe to proceed with a sudden-death format; not everyone has suitable conditions of play available on their course.

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4-person best ball format

When playing a 4-person Best Ball golf even in the best ball tournament, the following rules must be followed:

1. The ball that each player puts into play from the teeing ground on each hole must be a different make and model of golf ball other than those used by the other players in the group.

2. If a player makes a stroke on a hole from a location other than the teeing ground, he must play the same ball that he played from the teeing ground on the previous hole.

3. If a player makes more than one stroke at a location on a hole (such as in taking relief), only the first of such strokes count towards his score for that hole. He is, however, required to use the same ball that he used for all previous strokes at that location [including any penalty strokes taken] on that hole or on any intervening holes.

4-person Best Ball in golf

If he fails to do so and chooses not to correct himself before making another stroke at this location, his score must be back-dated and disqualified for this reason under Rule 33-7c(i).

4. If a player is playing out of turn, he must play the correct ball for the hole being played.

5. A ball that falls off the course or rolls into an unplayable position or water hazard may be replaced by another ball that is of similar age and condition to the one lost without penalty under Rule 27-1. Exception: Ball falling in an unplayable water hazard – Penalty Stroke added to Hole (see Note 6 below).

However, if any other stroke has been made at this location since it last became a legal teeing ground, no replacement shall be allowed unless it is holed with the previous stroke (Rule 28-2a).

6. If a player’s ball falls into an unplayable water hazard, he may drop a ball without penalty as near as possible to the spot from which the original ball was last played (or to where it lay or was deemed to lie if it did not come to rest). If the player’s club strikes any part of the person dropping the ball, no penalty shall be incurred.

7. A player is never required to play a provisional ball in four-ball (best-ball) play. When his partner has holed out with his original ball, either on that hole or on some subsequent hole, and dropped another ball under Rule 27-1 or 28-2a(d), their opponents are entitled only to see whether the first putt passes the hole and is holed.

8. A player whose ball lies in a hazard (for example, a casual water hazard) may not play another ball from that hazard. He must take relief (Rule 26).

9. A player whose ball comes to rest in or on an obstruction (for example, a cart path) may not play another ball from that location unless the first putt passes the obstacle and is holed.

10. If a player plays more than one stroke at any one time while his ball is moving, there is no penalty under Rule 6-6d; however, he cannot score for that hole if his partner has already played (see Note 4 above).

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Two person best ball golf format

The best ball golf format is a format where two people play the same course. This format helps to promote the concept of teamwork, and in turn, it makes everyone feel more confident in the process.


The best ball golf tournament is the US Open. There are many different types of tournaments, but the most prestigious and difficult to win is the U.S. Open Championship which takes place every year in June at one of nine courses across America.

If you want to be able to compete for the Best ball golf, make sure your game meets or exceeds these basic requirements:

1) You need a handicap index under 10

2) You must have won an open event within two years

3) Your last three scores (scores that were not major championships or senior majors) if they aren’t all even-par rounds, should average more than 75 strokes per round over 18 holes with no worse than 12 individual hole scores higher than 5 shots.

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