Fourball (also called bestball or fourball) is played in golf with two, three or four players per team. Each golfer in a team plays his or her own ball. However, after each hole, only the best score is included in the team score. If one player locks in a four and the team partner needs five or more strokes, only the four is scored.
The fourball format holds some tactical possibilities: In the team it can be decided, for example, that one player plays more on risk and attacks the flag directly in order to win the hole (in match play). The other team partner tries to provide back-up by trying to place the ball safely on the green and thus take the pressure off. Who takes on which role depends on the current game situation.
Fourball with numerous variations
If a player with a very low handicap competes against players with a higher handicap, another variant is conceivable: The strong golfer is on his or her own and plays alone against a team that can take advantage of the synergy. In addition, the pairing of low handicap with high handicap is advantageous in fourball tournaments played according to Stableford. Such tournaments are often offered at the beginning or end of the season, when the course is not yet or no longer in the best condition.
In stroke play, the best scores of all the holes played by a team are added together and the total number is counted at the end of the course. In match play, as it is played at the Ryder Cup or Solheim Cup for example, you play against your opponents for each hole. The team that needs fewer strokes for the respective hole gets a point. In the event of a tie, the hole is split – both teams receive half a point. The team that wins the most holes wins the match.