4 ball Format in golf What is 4 Ball format in golf?

What Is 4 Ball Format In Golf? Unveiling Rules And Strategies

Golfers can enjoy golf in many ways, such as playing 4BBB or Four-Ball. This format is also known as “Best Ball” or “Better Ball”, making the game more enjoyable. So, what is 4 Ball Format in golf exactly? Let’s unveil some basic rules of playing 4BBB and explore the key strategies for this game. That’s how we can make golf very interesting and you can even bet on who scores the best. So, let’s discuss 4-ball in detail and make golfing a pleasurable experience for you and your pals. Also, go through the FAQs in the end.

What Is The 4-ball Golf Format?

At its core, the 4-ball golf format is a match-play competition between teams, each containing a pair of players. As opposed to traditional golf where individual scores prevail, 4-ball allows each teammate to use their ball throughout each hole; team scores on individual holes will then be determined by whoever holds a lower score among themselves and this adds another element of strategy and collaboration to each round of play. That’s how the 4 Ball format in golf works.

Golf Span and Historical Significance

What is 4 Ball format in golf? We have learned that it’s a competition between two pairs where the lowest score counts. The Better Ball (4BBB) format boasts an extensive history. The term 4BBB refers to having four balls in play at any one time during a match; its official introduction in the 1908 R&A Rule Book cemented its place within the golf lexicon. Some notable tournaments that feature Four-Ball include The Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.

How Does The 4-ball Format Work?

What is 4 Ball format in golf? Now we know what it is. But understanding scoring dynamics is central to mastering the 4-ball format. Each hole features two individual scores from teammates with the lower of these being counted towards your team score for that hole. This unique scoring system emphasizes teamwork while still providing individual strengths an outlet. Let’s determine a few key features of this game, team formation, scoring mechanics, and other issues.

Team Formation

4BBB requires teams of two players collaborating as partners to form a foursome and take on each of its challenges and victories together. Now, this approach adds an element of friendly competition to each round while sharing struggles and triumphs among teammates. Now, you know the perfect response to the query, “What is 4 Ball format in golf?”

Scoring Mechanics

4 Ball format in golf, in essence, is unique due to the scoring system. So, each hole sees both players on a team playing independently while their final team score for that hole will depend on which individual’s scores are lower; this unique dynamic showcases teamwork while still giving individuals space for individual brilliance to shine through.

Match Play VS Stroke Play

Best Ball can be played either through match play or stroke play. When played as match play, whichever team had the lowest score on any hole will win it. That’s how they will the match; but, when done as stroke play, the total number of strokes taken determines who takes home victory at the end. That’s how the 4 Ball format in golf works in the end.

Strategic Decision-Making

Strategic decision-making lies at the core of 4BBB. Teammates must collaborate in making key choices during every round, such as which ball should be played during various situations. So, effective communication and an in-depth knowledge of one another’s playing styles lead to successful partnerships that create lasting friendships on and off the course.

Handicaps and Fair Play

As opposed to some golf formats with standard handicaps, 4-ball tournament organizers often leave it up to them when setting handicapping rules for tournaments involving this format. This ensures fair play while permitting customized tailoring based on specific events.

Handicaps in Better Ball

Not like other golf formats, the 4 Ball format in golf has no strict handicapping regulations; thus, tournament organizers usually decide the procedure themselves. A common approach is this: men receive 80% of their course handicaps, while women receive 90% of their course handicaps.

When playing a four-ball bridge (known as 4BBB), the player with the lowest handicap provides strokes to his or her fellow three players based on 90% of any difference between his or her handicap and that of each of his/her three opponent handicaps.

4-ball In Comparison: Best Ball VS 4BBB

So, what is 4 Ball format in golf? We’ve answered this question above. At times, another crucial question arises as to whether Best Ball and 4-ball are synonymous. Well, they are the same; we can use both of these terms to describe a single golfing format. However, some amateurs make the mistake of confusing 4BBB with foursome; these formats are very different.

4-ball VS Foursomes: Spotting the Differences

Differing the 4-ball and 4somes formats are integral for golf enthusiasts, with four balls used during 4-ball being individually played by each player versus two balls used in the other golfing format (where each team’s score equals the lowest of both individual scores). The main distinction lies with these formats of play being determined by who uses which ball.

In 4-ball, each individual plays his/her ball as each team scores individually against their partner on the green. In foursomes, teams use at least four players’ balls with scores being determined as below by either individual scores combined from both teams. So, foursomes (a.k.a. “alternate shot”) is a game in which teammates take turns hitting a shared ball against an opposing teammate. That’s how we can answer the question “What is 4 Ball format in golf? and explain how this format is different from foursomes.

Major Golf Competitions and 4BBB

The 4BBB has become a star attraction at major golf competitions, such as the Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, and Presidents Cup, an honorific that speaks volumes of its significance within golfing culture. This golfing competition is a very interesting and important format.


We’ve discussed what is 4 Ball format in golf and how it’s played. Hopefully, you’ll understand the ups and downs of this golfing format. Also, consider reading this old article we’ve written in the 4-ball format; this article will help you better understand the 4BBB way of playing golf.

Moreover, read the FAQs written below. These questions will help you get a closer idea of how this format works. Keep on unveiling the rules and strategies of playing golf on a golf course.

FAQs – What Is 4 Ball Format In Golf?

1. What is the 4-ball format in golf?

The 4BBB in golf is an inter-team competition where two players form two separate teams. Each plays their ball throughout; their combined score on every hole forms their team’s scorecard. So, this is how the 4 Ball format in golf works.

2. What are the rules of 4-ball?

Rules of 4-ball golf involve two teammates playing their balls independently on separate holes; the team score for every hole is determined by which individual’s score was lower. This format may either involve match play or stroke play competitions.

3. How to play Four-Ball golf?

What is 4 Ball format in golf and how does it work? Four-Ball Golf features teams of two players. Each member uses their ball to score the hole; when it comes to scoring as a team, their best scores combined determine which team wins outright at the end.

4. How do handicaps work in 4BBB?

Tournament organizers frequently establish handicaps for Better Ball. A common method involves men receiving 80% and 90% respectively of their course handicap, and then giving strokes out based on percentage differences between handicaps based on which player holds the lowest handicap.

5. What’s the difference between 4-ball and foursomes?

The main difference lies in the number of balls in play. In 4BBB, each player plays their ball, and the team’s score is the lower of the two. In foursomes, teammates share a ball, taking alternate shots. The team with the fewest strokes on each hole wins.

6. Can you change balls in foursomes?

Yes, foursome players may change balls during each hole of their foursome matchup. Each participant can select his or her preferred ball before beginning play for that specific hole, giving each one of them the freedom to choose what best meets their game or hole’s particular demands. You may describe this as one of many differences between the foursomes and 4 Ball format in golf.

7. How do you win foursomes in golf?

Foursomes involve two players on a team taking turns hitting shots until each hole has been completed in as few strokes as possible. So, the team with this accomplishment is declared the winner. Success requires cooperation among teammates, strategic shot selection, and effective communication to navigate efficiently throughout the course. Here, we conclude the answer to the question, “What is 4 Ball format in golf?”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *