Rules of Foursomes You Need to Know

  • 5 min read

Rules of Foursomes You Need to Know

Understand the essential rules of foursomes in golf, a format where two teams of two players alternate shots. Learn how it works in match and stroke play.

A group of golfers on a golf course, with two pairs of players engaging in a conversation and preparing to play. The image highlights the concept of Foursomes in Golf.

Have you ever wondered what the word Foursomes in Golf means? Or have you seen a golf match in which two partners play against another team of two players? In the current article, we are going to guide you through this golf strategy.

What are foursomes in golf?

Foursomes In Golf is also known as Alternative or Alternate Shot, which is a unique strategy in which two participants participate on a side by playing a single stroke, one after another, in alternating order. By explaining it more simply, as identified by its name in this technique of foursomes, four players play the game with two players on each side and take alternate shots to win the course. It is basically a type of match play or stroke play that comes under Golf Rule 22.

In past years, the number of Foursome Golf tournaments has dwindled, but they are still played in specific tournaments, including the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup, the President Cup and the Walker Cup Match.

Have you ever seen one man playing against a team of two players? That is also an exciting form of golf match play in which an individual golfer takes part against two partner players who hit alternative strokes. It is called a Threesome in Golf.

How do foursomes work in Match Play and Stroke Play?

Foursome works in both Match Play and Stroke Play.

Firstly, let's talk about Foursomes in Match Play. It is played under paramount contests considerably in the Ryder Cup. The winner is decided according to the golf rules, which team has scored more holes by the end of the course. A team wins a hole by putting the ball in the hole with the least number of hits. If both teams put their ball in the hole with the same number of hits, then half a point is awarded to every team.

And now, talking about Stroke Play. It is played in a friendly environment and is just not for golf tournaments. The team competes with alternative strikes, but Player A strikes all the even-numbered holes, whereas Player B strikes all the odd-numbered holes. The major difference is that the winning team is decided based on accumulative stroke count, and the winning team is announced based on the lowest scores.

As you know, the golf regime is full of rules, so when we are talking about Foursomes in Golf, how may we think that rules will not apply here?

Two golfers taking swings on a golf course, illustrating the rules of foursomes in golf. The image emphasizes the coordinated effort required in this format.

Foursomes in Golf comes under Rule No. 22, which has certain clauses which are described below:

Rule 22.1 This rule states the basic principle of foursomes in golf, which is that players take Alternate shots on one ball to achieve a hole.

Rule 22.2 This rule allows each partner for the side to mark the spot, lift the drop, or even replace the ball.

The partner nad its caddie may help and guide the player who is about to shoot but the thing which is to note is the other player's caddie is restricted to help.

Any certain action that abides by the rules of foursomes in golf by either the golfer or caddie is applied on the side.

Rule 22.3 Partners have to alternate the symmetry of which partner plays first from the tee area to the hole.

If the stroke does not cover the golf rules and is cancelled, then the same partner will shoot the next stroke again.

The team may decide which partner makes the first shot unless the Terms of Competition announces which player will start.

Rule 22.4 The partner who needs to play first needs to be ready at the starting point and at the starting time. The player can not make a shot before and after the starting time.

The partner who needs to play second should be present at the starting time and at the starting point or the area where the ball will come to rest after being shot from the tee area.

Rule 22.5 The partners may exchange the clubs, but their total quantity should not exceed 14.

Rule 22.6 When the player is gathering knowledge to make the hit, the partner is not allowed to stand on or very next to the Line of Play behind the ball.

Untold Rules of Foursomes in Golf

Yes, you heard it right. There are also certain unspoken and untold Rules of Foursomes in Golf, which are consultation with your partner and patience. Although it is not in the golf rule book, it is certainly important to keep focused on the team's ability and be supportive because a single mistake from any team member may cost you the hole.

Renown Foursomes Golf Tournaments

A golfer taking a swing on the green surrounded by a large crowd of spectators and photographers. The text reads Renown Foursomes Golf Tournaments.

Some of the featured Foursomes Golf Tournaments with Match Play formats are discussed below:

The Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup has evolved as the world's best sports event for men. The Foursomes in Golf of the Ryder Cup was added in 1927. The event occurs every two years, and the winning ratio of USA vs. Europe is 27 and 14, respectively. The upcoming tournament of  The Ryder Cup will be in 2025.

The Solheim Cup

The Solheim Cup tournament was established in 1990 and named after Karsten Solheim, who exerted a divine force for its creation. The Solheim Cup provides professional female Golf players with the opportunity to compete with each other biennially. The date announced for the upcoming Ryder Cup tournament is Tuesday, September 10, 2024, to Sunday, September 15, 2024.

The President Cup

The journey of the President Cup started in 1994 and now it is one of the popular men’s golf tournamnet in the world. The date announced for the upcoming President Cup is Tuesday, September 24, 2024, to Sunday, September 29, 2024.

The Walker Cup Match

The official name is The Walker Club Match, but it is also famous as The Walker Club, which came into existence in 1922. The upcoming tournament of  The Walker Cup Match is on 6 and 7 Sep 2024.

Sharpen Your Skills: Continue Your Golf Education with More Expert Articles!

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Golf is a game of precision pat, dance, and continuous practice. This article focuses on explaining the rules of playing golf in foursomes. We've also included links to articles that will help anyone to understand golf better. Like "The History and Origin of Golf," "How to Shape a Golf Shot", "Hit Bunker Shot", and "Beginner's Guide to Golf Handicap". Reading them will improve your knowledge of golf and transform your game piece by piece. Check out our full range of golf blogs for more insightful content.  Keep reading, keep learning, and above all, keep playing!


Foursomes in golf need patience and are an immense blend of strategy and collaborative work. It is not only about a good handicap because your partner may spoil a good shot of yours, and again, you need to clean up his or her mess. So, if you want to enjoy foursomes in golf after practising the rules of foursomes in golf, you should have a stronger fellowship and good examination, of course, and appreciate the fairways.