NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a fourball?

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 fourball?

The fourball format is typically used in matchplay events such as the Ryder Cup and is very similar to the betterball format. It is usually two teams or two individuals playing against each other and the lowest score on the hole wins.

How would I use it in a sentence?

“We’re playing in the fourball knockout competition today”

What are the origins?

The fourball format didn’t come into play in the Ryder Cup until 1963 with the event having just foursomes and single, individual matchplays.

The term fourball is usually combined with betterball when referring to competitions at your golf club.

Any other business?

Not to be confused with the foursome format also used in the Ryder Cup. In fourball every player plays their own ball where as in foursomes players take it in turns to play the same ball in an alternate shot format.

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