“Best Ball” and “Four-Ball” are two names for the same game. If you have ever watched the intense competitions in any Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup or Solheim Cup match, then you have seen a four-ball match (or best ball match).
It’s the perfect golf tournament setup for combining the fun of team play with the personal glory of individual play.
Best Ball/Four Ball is a competition where two competitors play as partners, each playing his own ball, then the lower score of the partners becomes the team score for the hole. Best ball can be scored as match play or stroke play.
How To Play
In the Best Ball format you can elect the number of best ball scores you want to use. In best ball each golfer plays his own ball the entire way and you chose the best score for the hole. So if you have a group of 4 and you select 1 ball, your group would take the lowest score for the hole and that would be your group's score for that hole.
If you select 2 ball, then your group would take the two lowest scores for the hole and use that for your score.
In a 3 ball scenario, you would basically drop the worst score and use the 3 best scores for the hole.
In the best ball format your group's score would be used as your team total versus other teams that you are playing against. The team with the lowest best ball score wins.
Remember, the keys to successful match play golf are easy: pick a good partner and don’t get stressed if you have a bad hole!