Golf Tournament Formats

Golf Tournament Formats


  • Alternate shot

Also known as the foursomes. Basically, players take turns to hit ball until it drops into the hole.

  • Best Ball

Also known as Four Ball. Players have individual ball and whoever has the best score will be the team’s score.

  • Bingo, Bango, Bongo

A point is given to the first ball on the green, a point for the closest to the hole, and a point for the first ball that is holed

  • Chapman

Also known as Pinehurst is a two man team requires teammates to both tee off and then switch balls. After playing the second shots, the best ball is selected and an alternate shot format is played until the ball is holed with the player whose second shot was not selected hitting the team’s third stroke.

  • Chicago

Starts the round with a negative number of points based on the player’s handicap. Then add one point for a bogey, two points for par, four points per birdie, and eight points for an eagle. The player with the highest score (negative or not) wins.

  • Defender

A three player game with the same handicap. Prior to teeing off the team must establish a rotation of whose who and what hole number to defend. If the defender successfully defends his hole by having the lowest score of the threesome then he gets 3 points while the other players are deducted one point each. If the defender is defeated by one of the other players then he loses three points while the other players each gain 1 point. If there’s a ties, the defender gains 1 ½ points while the other players lose a half point each.

  • Las Vegas

Played by two teams, the scores of the players are paired to have a team score. The lowest score is always the front number. The differential is calculated and points are tracked throughout the round in order to know the winning team.

  • Lone Ranger

Two teams each with 3-4 players. Each player plays their own ball taking turns.

  • Maxwell

It has 5 player per team and at the end of each hole you throw out the worst score/ the team score is the total of the other four scores in relation to par.

  • Modified Stableford

Used in the PGA Tour at Castle Pines Golf Club, it awards extra value to strokes under par of the following:

  • -3 points for Double Bogey or worse
  • -1 point for Bogey
  • 0 points for Par
  • 2 points for Birdie
  • 5 points for Eagle
  • 8 points for Albatross

Players with the same handicap are grouped as a team and the scores are modified.

  • Nassau

Nassau is composed of three matches – the front nine, the back nine, and the entire 18 using stroke play or match play.

  • Scramble

All the players on the team tee off. The team selects the best shot and the other players pick up their balls and everyone on the team plays within one club length of the best tee shot. After everyone hits their second shot, the best shot is again selected from which point everyone again plays within one club length from the best spot. This is repeated until the ball is holed.

  • Scramble Descramble

Unlike Scramble, the worst shot is selected to play from.

  • Shoot out

Shoot out is played with one more player than holes being played. After each hole, the player with the highest score is eliminated. The goal is to be the last player standing on the final green.

  • Split Sixes

Six points are available on each hole with four points being awarded to the player with best score, two points for the second best score, and zero points to the player with the worst score. If there is a tie for the best score then the points are divided evenly 3-3-0 or 2-2-2 depending on the whether it was a two or three player tie. If there is a tie for second place then points are divided up 4-1-1.

  • Stableford

A less popular version of Modified Stableford, the players accumulate points using the following scoring format:

  • 0 points for Double Bogey or worse
  • 1 point for Bogey
  • 2 points for Par
  • 3 points for Birdie
  • 4 points for Eagle
  • 5 points for Albatross

The number strokes of the players corresponds on their handicap.

  • Wolf

Wolf is a popular betting game played in a best ball format with each player in the foursome taking turns being the wolf for a hole. As the wolf you always tee off first and have three points for the hole.

    1. Before teeing off you can go as the lone wolf and take on the other three players with the wolf winning or losing triple the points.
    2. After your tee shot you can decide to take on the other three players with the wolf winning of losing double the points.
    3. After hitting you tee shot you watch as each player tees off and try to decide on a partner for the hole.

The catch is you have to select your partner after you have seen his tee shot but prior to seeing the next player’s tee shot.  If you don’t like what you see from the first two players you automatically get the third players as your partner. These matches are worth 1 point or whatever the base bet is.