Overview of Four-Ball RandA Rule 23.1
is a form of play (in either or ) involving where:
- Two compete together as a , with each player playing his or her own ball, and
- A score for a hole is the lower score of the two on that hole.
Rules 1-20 apply to this form of play, as modified by these specific Rules.
A variation of this is a form ofknown as Best-Ball, where an individual player competes against a of two or three and each plays his or her own ball under the Rules, as modified by these specific Rules. (For Best-Ball with three on a , each reference to the other means the other two ).
23.2 Scoring in Four-Ball
a Side’s Score for Hole in Match Play and Stroke Play
- When Both Partners Hole Out or Otherwise Complete the Hole under the Rules. The lower score is the score for the hole.
- When Only One Partner Holes Out or Otherwise Completes the Hole under the Rules. That partner’s score is the side’s score for the hole. The other does not need to .
- When Neither Partner Holes Out or Otherwise Completes the Hole under the Rules. The
does not have a score for that hole, which means:
- In loses the hole, unless the opposing already had conceded or otherwise lost the hole. , the
- In disqualified unless the mistake is corrected in time under Rule 3.3c. , the is
b Side’s Scorecard in Stroke Play
(1) Side’s Responsibility. Thegross scores for each hole must be entered on a single and, in a handicap competition, each handicap must be entered on the .
For each hole:
- The gross score of at least one must be entered on the .
- There is no penalty for entering more than one score on the .
- Each score on the disqualified. must be clearly identified as the score of the individual who made it; if this is not done, the is
- It is not enough to identify a score as the score of the in general.
Only one Rule 3.3b(2).needs to certify the hole scores on the under
(2) Committee’s Responsibility. Theis responsible for deciding which score counts for the on each hole, including applying any handicaps in a handicap competition:
- If only one score is entered for a hole, that score counts for the .
- If the scores of both
are entered for a hole:
- If those scores are different, the lowest (gross or net) score for that hole counts for the .
- If both scores are the same, the may count either score. If the score used is found to be wrong for any reason, the will count the other score.
If the score that counts for the disqualified.is not clearly identified as the score of the individual who made it, or if that is disqualified relating to the play of the hole, the is
c Exception to Rule 11.2 in Four-Ball
Rule 11.2 does not apply in this situation:
When a player’shas already completed the hole and the player’s ball in motion needs to be to lower the score for the hole by one stroke, if any person deliberately deflects or stops the ball at a time when there is no reasonable chance it can be , there is no penalty to that person and the player’s ball does not count for the .
23.3 When Round Starts and Ends; When Hole Is Completed
a When Round Starts
Astarts when one of the makes a to start his or her first hole.
b When Round Ends
(1) Match Play. Ahas completed a hole when both have or had their next conceded or either has conceded the hole.
(2) Stroke Play. Ahas completed a hole when one of the has and the other has either or chooses not to do so.
23.4 One or Both Partners May Represent the Side
Themay be represented by one during all or any part of a . It is not necessary for both to be present or, if present, for both to play on each hole.
If ais absent and then arrives to play, that may start play for the only between the play of two holes, which means:
- – Before Any Player in Match Starts Hole. If the arrives only after any player on either in the match has started play of a hole, that is not allowed to play for the until the next hole.
- – Before Other Partner Starts Hole. If the arrives only after the other has started play of a hole, the arriving is not allowed to play for the until the next hole.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 23.4: .
23.5 Player’s Actions Affecting Partner’s Play
a Player Allowed to Take Any Actions Concerning Partner’s Ball That Partner May Take
Although each player on amust play his or her own ball:
- A player may take any action concerning the ball that the is allowed to take before making a , such as to the spot of the ball and lift, , and place the ball.
- A player and the player’s Rule 10), but must not give any help that the ‘s is not allowed to give under the Rules. may help the in any way that the ‘s is allowed to help (such as to give and be asked for and take the other actions allowed under
In Rule 15.3a)., must not agree with each other to leave a ball in place on the to help either of them or any other player (see
b Partner Is Responsible for Player’s Actions
Any action taken by the player concerning theball or is treated as having been taken by the .
If the player’s action would breach a Rule if taken by the:
- The Rule 23.8a). is in breach of the Rule and gets the resulting penalty (see
- Examples of this are when the player breaches the Rules by:
- the to be made by the ,
- Accidentally causing the ball to , or
- Failing to the spot of the ball before lifting it.
This also applies to actions by the player’sconcerning the ball that would breach a Rule if taken by the or .
If the actions of the player or the player’s Rule 23.8a(2) to find out when there is a penalty for both .affect the play of both the player’s own ball and the ball, see
23.6 Side’s Order of Play
may play in the order the considers best.
Exception – Continuing Play of Hole After Stroke Conceded in Match Play:
- A player must not continue play of a hole after the player’s next has been conceded if this would help his or her .
- If the player does so, his or her score for the hole stands without penalty, but the score for the hole cannot count for the .
23.7 Partners May Share Clubs
Rule 4.1b(2) is modified to allow to share clubs, so long as the total number of clubs they have together is not more than 14.
23.8 When Penalty Applies to One Partner Only or Applies to Both Partners
When a player gets a penalty for breach of a Rule, the penalty may apply either to that player alone or to both(that is, to the ). This depends on the penalty and the form of play:
a Penalties Other Than Disqualification
(1) Penalty Normally Applies Only to Player, Not Partner. When a player gets a penalty other than disqualification, that penalty normally applies only to the player and not also to his or her, except in the situations covered by (2).
- Any penalty strokes are added only to the player’s score, not to the score.
- In (loss of hole) has no score that can count for the on that hole; but this penalty has no effect on the , who may continue to play for the on that hole. , a player who gets the
(2) Three Situations Where Player’s Penalty Also Applies to Partner.
- When Player Breaches Rule 4.1b (Limit of 14 Clubs; Shared, Added or Replaced Clubs). In adjustment of the match score); in , the also gets the same penalty as the player. , the gets the penalty (
- When Player’s Breach Helps Partner’s Play. In either same penalty as the player. or , the also gets the
- In Match Play, When Player’s Breach Hurts Opponent’s Play. The same penalty as the player. also gets the
Exception – Player Who Makes Stroke at Wrong Ball Is Not Treated as Having Helped Partner ‘s Play or Hurt Opponent’s Play:
- Only the player (not the Rule 6.3c. ) gets the for breach of
- This is true whether the ball played as a belongs to the , an or anyone else.
b Disqualification Penalties
(1) When Breach by One Partner Means Side Is Disqualified. A disqualified if either gets a penalty of disqualification under any of these Rules:is
- Rule 1.2 Standards of Player Conduct
- Rule 1.3 Playing by the Rules
- Rule 4.1a Clubs Allowed in Making a Stroke
- Rule 4.1c Procedure for Taking Clubs Out of Play
- Rule 4.2a Balls Allowed In Play of Round
- Rule 4.3 Use of Equipment
- Rule 5.6a Unreasonable Delay
- Rule 5.7b-c When Committee Suspends Play and Play Resumes
- Rule 6.2b Teeing Area Rules
Match Play Only:
- Rule 3.2c Applying Handicaps in Handicap Match
Stroke Play Only:
- Rule 3.3b(2) Player’s Responsibility: Certifying and Returning Scorecard
- Rule 3.3b(3) Wrong Score for a Hole
- Rule 3.3b(4) Scoring in Handicap Competition
- Rule 5.2b Practising On Course Before or Between Rounds
- Rule 23.2b Side’s Scorecard in Stroke Play
(2) When Breach by Both Partners Means Side Is Disqualified. A disqualified if both get a penalty of disqualification under any of these Rules:is
- Rule 5.3 Starting and Ending Round
- Rule 5.4 Playing in Groups
- Rule 5.7a When Players May or Must Stop Play
Stroke Play Only:
A disqualified if, at the same hole, both get penalties of disqualification under any combination of these Rules:is
- Rule 3.3c Failure to Hole Out
- Rule 6.1b Playing from Outside Teeing Area in Starting Hole
- Rule 6.3c Wrong Ball
- Rule 14.7 Playing from Wrong Place
(3) When Breach by One Player Means Only That the Player Has No Valid Score for Hole. In all other situations where a player breaches a Rule with a penalty of disqualification, the player is not disqualified but his or her score on the hole where the breach happened cannot count for the.
In loses the hole., if both breach such a Rule on the same hole, the