Foursomes golf

The game of Foursomes golf where a team of two players take alternative shots is the most difficult and to some the most enjoyable form of the game.

It requires that extra layer of thinking psychology as to how to help your partner play well, on top of playing well yourself.

It also often makes it more difficult to get your own game into a rythmn when perhaps you don’t have a long putt or use a driver for many holes.

The majority of golfers prefer fourball play. Foursomes is often regarded as only playing half the course and thereby missing out on the utilitarian ‘value for money’ test.

For those who prefer playing quickly and the sociablity of foursomes, I have drawn up a list of clubs where foursomes is the favoured game. It is interesting to note that they nearly all also welcome dogs as well as being some of the ‘finest’ golf clubs in the UK!

Royal West Norfolk at Brancaster, Aldeburgh, Swinley Forest, Muirfield, Rye, West Sussex, Royal Ashdown, Royal Worlington and Newmarket, Ganton, New Zealand, Woking, Royal St Georges, Royal Cinque Ports at Deal, Prestwick, Huntercombe, Littlestone.

The Berkshire, Sunningdale,  Walton Heath and Frilford Heath, rotate their two/three courses between 2 and 4 ballplay.

Royal County Down , Hunstanton, and Piltdown I am told reserve a decent amount of Tee-time for 2-ball matches.

The accuracy of the above is not guaranteed! and we would welcome further information on other clubs.  Do send a comment below

Some helpful tips on playing foursomes golf:-

1) Always carry your putter on to the green irrespective of the length of your partner’s putt, thereby saving them further embarrassment, as you go off to get your putter, when they miss it!

2) If playing scratch foursomes, restrain your curiosity as to the opponents handicaps. To know they are higher or lower than your own, will not help your psychology in beating them. Perhaps over a beer afterwards they can be divulged!

Reader Comments

On January 4th, 2010 Duncan MacLeod said:

I think you have missed one of the most important features of foursomes golf and that is that every shot counts. Don’t forget that “it takes two to win and one to lose!”
For those who think they are only playing half the course. may I suggest they play the other half pm? Most good clubs charge a per diem green-fee.

On January 4th, 2010 paul dolton said:

Hi lorne, at my club, Frilford Heath, we always have one of the three courses reserved for two balls and foursomes. The course will be changed on a daily bases. This is great especially at weekends. Sometimes some of our members who are “above the rules” will go out in a three or four ball but this selfish practice should cease, as we have just started to employ a course marshall.

Sounds good news , for the long term, from the EU. Just leaves the small task of re-educating a generation of golfers,brought up watching those lush golf courses on their televisions. Thanks and keep up the good work

On January 31st, 2012 Paul Cowgill said:

Foursomes is a great format if your partner is a beginner, wants to get round the course without ‘showing themselves up’ but is concerned about being watched or holding up the group behind. My partner wanted to improve and to become comfortable on the course but she was nervous about making the transition from the golf range to the golf course. So I introduced her to life on the course by playing foursomes. I took the first tee shot to get us away and off we went. She is now a mid twenties handicap but we still play foursomes when we want to get round quiickly.

On July 22nd, 2013 Chris Butler said:

Scratch Foursomes: The truest test of golf! Hunstanton is mainly a 2 ball course with a few exceptions on quiet days of the week. Long may it continue

On September 1st, 2013 Stephen Kane said:

I introduced a stableford competition which was fourball out and foursomes home – an enjoyable format allowing competition against the other pair and the rest of the field as well as giving the dissenters three quarter of a round.

On April 26th, 2014 Tim Starbuck said:

You can’t win the hole off the tee but you can lose it off the tee.

On April 30th, 2014 Dan Kilgallon said:

Foursomes is a very enjoyable and testing form of golf. Excellent format for evening play – the match should be round in 2h 30m.
Don’t forget Edgbaston GC in Birmingham is another strong advocate of foursomes golf

On June 11th, 2014 Mary Buckley said:

Playing foursomes I hit my ball into water [now unplayable] who takes the next shot? Thanks.

Dear Mary, My instinct says your partner and I think Rule 29-1 suggests that is correct. Thanks for being in touch. Lorne

On April 30th, 2019 Grant Russell said:

I have just had the great pleasure of playing in the Parkstone Trophy at Parkstone GC. It is 36 hole foursomes scratch for the over 55s. Good for the nerves! We narrowly triumphed (Hockley GC) and our Parkstone hosts could not have been more welcoming or more gracious in defeat. A memorable day.

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