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Types of Competition

Hints & Tips

There are two main ways of playing golf, match play and stoke play.

Stroke play is where every player counts there own number of shots that they have taken for the whole round, which then produces the total score. The player with the lowest score is the winner.

Match play is where two players will play each hole as a separate match against each other. The person with the lowest score on that hole will win that hole; the game is won by the player that wins the most holes.

There are variations of these basic principles, and these are explained in the Rules of Golf and are therefore regarded as 'official' types of play. Foursome and four ball games are classed as 'official' forms of play.

A foursome, which is defined in Rule 29 of the Rules of Golf, is played between two teams of two players each, each team only has one ball and players alternate playing it. Foursomes can be played as match play or stroke play.

Four ball play, which is classified in Rules 30 and 31 of the Rules of Golf, is played between two teams of two players each. In four ball every player plays their own ball and for each team, the lower score on each hole is counted. Again this type of play can be either match play or stroke play.

During a tournament there is a form of play that can be used, which is known as shotgun play. A shotgun start to the game means that groups of players start at different tees around the golf course; this allows all players to start and end their round at the same time.