What is St Andrews Foursomes and how do you play it? Here's what you need to know about this fun golf format

St Andrews Foursomes is a pairs golf format and variation of both foursomes and greensomes.

Sadly, this format doesn’t involve getting to play foursomes at the illustrious St Andrews – but it is a fun and unique variation of the game which can help mix up team competitions out on the course.

In St Andrews Foursomes, both team players tee off on every hole before one ball is played between the two. However, the twist in this variation of foursomes is that the golfer playing the second shot is alternated on every hole.

How to play St Andrews Foursomes

Like in foursomes, pairs decide before the game which player will take the odd holes, and which player will take the even holes.

All four players then tee off on every hole, with each pair electing which of their two balls they would then like to play for the second shot. But here’s where things start to get a little interesting.

Unlike in regular foursomes, the player hitting the second shot is then determined by whoever has the correlating odd or even hole number decided prior to play. This is irrespective of whose drive has been chosen, so in theory a player could have to play back-to-back shots.

After the second shot has been played, the format then switches back to regular foursomes rules, whereby each subsequent stroke is made in alternating order between partners. This continues until the ball is in the hole.

St Andrews foursomes can be played using either a match play or stroke play format. In match play, the team that completes each hole in the fewest shots wins the hole. In stroke play, the team that completes all 18 holes in the fewest total strokes is the winner.

Playing with handicaps

The handicap allowance in St Andrews foursomes is the same as regular foursomes. The team allowance is therefore half of the two players’ combined handicap.

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