What is foursomes in golf

What is foursomes golf, what are the handicap allowances and how do you play?



What is foursomes in golf?

Foursomes golf, also known as alternate shot, is a golf format where teams of two play one ball and alternate on each shot. So player A tees off, player B takes the next shot, player A the one after and so on until the hole is completed. You alternate who tees off on each hole as well. So one player takes the odd numbered holes and the other the evens. 

It's a pressured format as generally you'll be keen not to leave your playing partner in a tough position and vice versa. 


How do the Handicaps work in foursomes golf?  

In match play you take the combined handicap of both players, then the pair with the combined lower handicap subtracts their handicap from other team. 

So if team A have a combined handicap of 20 and team B is 15. You take 15 away from 20 and team A have 5 shots. 

In stroke play the handicap allowance is 50% of the combined handicap. So just add your two handicaps together and divide it by 2. 


Do any professional golf tournaments play foursomes? 

Yes, most notably the Rider cup every time since it's inception back in 1927.

It's also played in the early stages of the Solheim Cup. 

Finally it's also played in both the Presidents Cup & the Walker Cup. 


Any tips for foursomes golf? 

There's no real master technique when playing foursomes however the main thing you need to consider is the holes you'll be teeing off on. 

For example you may want to ensure the bigger hitter gets as more of the par 5s or long par 4s. Or the better player gets more of the par 3s giving you a higher chance of birdie putts. 



See other popular articles on golf terminology

What is greensomes golf?

What is a shotgun start in golf?

What is a Texas Scramble?

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