Different Golf Tournament Formats

Friday, November 7, 2014


There are different ways to play a round of golf. When it comes to golf tournaments you have many different formats to choose from so it is totally up to you which one you go with for your specific golf event! What is the most popular? How are they played? Take a look below at a few simple formats to  use when hosting a tournament or just playing a round with some friends!


  • The shotgun start format is a golf tournament format which all groups of golfers tee off at the same time from different holes.  For example, Group 1 would start from hole #1, Group 2 from hole #2, and so forth. The purpose of all golfers playing simultaneously is that they all will end their round of golf at the same time.


  • A scramble, usually played with 4-person teams, but it can be done with 2-person teams, is a very popular type of format for tournaments especially because it speeds up play. When a scramble format is being used, each player tees off on each hole. After each golfer tees off all of the players next shots will be played from the best spot of all of the previous shots. They will continue to play from the location of the best shot until one of the golfers holes the ball! The foursome, or twosome, plays together and records only one score for each hole.

Best Ball

  • The format known as best ball is one of the most common in golf tournaments. It can be used for 2-person, 3-person or 4-person teams.  When you are playing best ball, every golfer plays the hole with their own ball. After the hole is finished by every golfer, only the lowest score by any golfer in the group is recorded. In the end it allows the group to finish their round with the lowest, “best”, score possible because they  throw out the poor scores and only record the best score out of the group on each hole.

Four Ball

  • When you have a 2-person best ball match play competition it becomes four ball. Therefore each twosome will have a score based on the lowest score achieved on each hole between the two golfers.

Alternative Shot

  • Alternative shot works best for 2-person teams. Just like it sounds, the two golfers will alternate taking shots until the ball ends up in the hole and there will be one score per twosome. If you want to speed up your tournament, this is a great way to do so. They will also alternate hitting tee shots so if you have hole in one prizes for your golf tournament make sure you implement the appropriate rules for the par 3 prize holes.

Are you ready to get your hole in one insurance in place for an upcoming golf tournament? Give an US Hole In One tournament consultant a call at 888-882-5440 or email us at info@usholeinone.com! We look forward to hearing from you!


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Sarah Halcovage

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