What Is “four Ball/better Ball” in Golf?
Four ball, also known as better ball, is a golf competition format consisting of two teams of two players each. Teams compete against each other using the better of the two players’ scores for each hole. The format is used in both match and stroke play.
When four ball is used in match play, each hole is scored individually based on the better of the two players scores. For example, if the two players on team A score a four and a five on the first hole, they record the better score of four. Similarly, if the two players on team B score a five and a three on the first hole, they record the better score of 3. Team B wins the first hole in this case. The same scoring format is used in stroke play, but in stroke play, the scores are totalled, and the team with the lowest score at the end of 18 holes wins. Stroke play four ball is more often called two-person best ball.
The four ball match format is one of the formats used in the professional Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and Solheim Cup competitions. It is also used in many amateur and club events. Rules for both match and stroke play are covered in the Official Rules of Golf.