NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a Betterball?

Don’t know your dormies from your doglegs? NCG’s Golf Glossary is here to help

Here at NCG we pride ourselves on being the publication for the everyday player, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to delve into the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.

Sometimes the most obvious terms have the most interesting story, so you might find yourself an interesting conversation starter…

What is a Betterball?

Betterball format in golf is where two players play as a team but still play their own ball. The lowest score of the pair on that particular hole is the score that is used.

How would you use it in a sentence?

“The pair played together in the betterball competition and shot three under par”

What are the origins?

The term ‘betterball’ comes from the fact the pair is using the better scoring ball on each hole.

Any other business?

The format is used during the Ryder Cup and some events across different tours around the world. The first time it was used in a Ryder Cup was in the 1963 event which was held at East Lake Golf Club.

There a number of different varieties of the betterball format. The one we mentioned above is where two players play with each other in a competition and the best ball counts towards their tournament score.

The other that is used in the Ryder Cup is a fourball better ball where two teams of two players, play against each other in a match play format with the lowest score out of the four winning the hole for their team.

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