How to play best ball in golf? The Ultimate Guide

How to play best ball in golf? As a passionate golfer, I have always been intrigued by the various formats and styles of play that the game offers. One format that has gained popularity in …

How to play best ball in golf

How to play best ball in golf? As a passionate golfer, I have always been intrigued by the various formats and styles of play that the game offers. One format that has gained popularity in recent years is best ball in golf. Best ball is a unique and exciting way to play golf, requiring not only skill but also strategic thinking and teamwork. In this article, I will delve into the world of best ball, exploring its rules, strategies, and variations. By understanding the intricacies of this format, you can elevate your game to new heights.

Key Takeaways

  • Best Ball is a golf format where each player plays their own ball, but only the best score on each hole counts for the team.
  • The rules of Best Ball are simple: each team consists of 2-4 players, and the team with the lowest score at the end of the round wins.
  • When forming a Best Ball team, it’s important to consider each player’s strengths and weaknesses, and to communicate effectively on the course.
  • Strategies for playing Best Ball include playing conservatively on difficult holes, taking advantage of each player’s strengths, and staying focused on the team’s overall score.
  • Choosing the right golf course for Best Ball depends on factors like the team’s skill level, the course’s difficulty, and the team’s preferences for scenery and amenities.

How to play best ball in golf

What is Best Ball in Golf?

Best ball is a golf format where each player on a team plays their own ball throughout the round. However, at the end of each hole, only the lowest score among all team members is recorded as their team score for that hole. This means that even if one player struggles on a particular hole, their teammates can still contribute with strong performances to maintain an excellent overall score.

What sets best ball apart from other formats like stroke play or match play is its emphasis on teamwork rather than individual performance alone. It encourages players to support one another and work together towards achieving the lowest possible team score.

The Rules of Best Ball

To fully grasp how best ball works, it’s essential to understand its rules thoroughly. Each player must adhere to standard golf rules regarding tee shots, fairway shots, putting strokes, penalties for out-of-bounds or water hazards – essentially all aspects of regular golf apply.

At the end of each hole in best ball play, teams compare scores among themselves and record only their lowest individual score as their team’s official score for that particular hole.

Scoring in best ball follows traditional stroke-play scoring methods – meaning you count every shot taken during your round until you complete 18 holes.

How to Form a Best Ball Team

When forming a best-ball team for any given round or tournament eventuality there are several factors to consider. Firstly, it’s important to select teammates who complement your playing style and skill level. Look for individuals who have a similar level of experience and ability as you, as this will ensure a fair and balanced team dynamic.

Another crucial factor to consider is communication. A successful best ball team relies on effective communication between teammates. Choose players who are open to discussing strategies, sharing advice, and providing constructive feedback.

Lastly, forming a best ball team should also take into account the compatibility of personalities. Golf is not only about skill; it’s also about enjoying the game with like-minded individuals. Ensure that your potential teammates share similar values and attitudes towards the sport.

Strategies for Playing Best Ball

golf shots

To maximize your team’s score in best ball play, there are several strategies you can employ throughout the round. Firstly, it’s essential to communicate openly with your teammates before each shot – discuss club selection, target lines, and potential hazards together.

Additionally, when approaching different holes or shots during a round of best ball golf, it can be beneficial to adopt specific strategies based on each player’s strengths. For example, if one teammate excels at driving off the tee but struggles with putting while another teammate has exceptional short game skills but lacks distance off the tee – strategize accordingly by allowing each player to focus on their strengths during specific shots or holes.

Choosing the Right Golf Course for Best Ball

When selecting a golf course for best ball play there are several factors worth considering. The first consideration should be course difficulty – choose a course that offers an appropriate challenge without being too overwhelming for all members of your team.

Another factor is course layout – look for courses that provide opportunities for strategic shot-making while still offering fair scoring chances throughout the round.

Lastly, consider practical aspects such as location and cost when choosing a golf course suitable for best ball play – finding one that meets all these criteria will enhance both the enjoyment and competitiveness of your game.

Best Ball vs. Scramble: What’s the Difference?

While best ball and scramble formats share similarities, they also have distinct differences that set them apart. In a scramble format, all players on a team hit their shots from the same location after each stroke. The team then selects the best shot among them and continues to play from that spot until completing the hole.

The primary difference between best ball and scramble lies in individual responsibility. In best ball, each player is responsible for their own score on every hole, whereas in a scramble format, players work together as a team to achieve one collective score for each hole.

Both formats have their pros and cons – while best ball emphasizes individual performance within a team setting, scramble allows for more collaboration and shared decision-making during gameplay.

Tips for Improving Your Best Ball Game

how to hit down on the golf ball

To improve your skills in best ball golf, it’s crucial to practice both individually and as a team. Engage in drills that focus on specific aspects of your game such as driving accuracy or putting consistency.

Mental strategies are equally important when playing best ball golf. Stay focused on your own game while supporting your teammates throughout the round. Avoid getting discouraged by mistakes or poor shots – instead, maintain a positive mindset and learn from any setbacks you encounter during play.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Best Ball

In any form of golf play, there are common mistakes that can negatively impact your overall score – this holds true for best ball as well. One common mistake is trying too hard to make up for teammates’ errors by taking unnecessary risks or attempting difficult shots beyond one’s skill level. Remember that consistency is key; focus on playing smart rather than trying to be heroic with every swing.

Another mistake often made in best-ball play is neglecting communication with teammates during shot selection or strategy discussions – effective communication ensures everyone is on the same page and maximizes your team’s chances of success.

Best Ball Tournaments: How to Participate and Win

Participating in best ball tournaments can be an exciting way to challenge yourself and compete against other teams. To prepare for a tournament, practice regularly with your teammates, focusing on teamwork and communication skills.

During the tournament itself, stay calm under pressure and trust in your abilities as well as those of your teammates. Remember that consistency is key – aim for steady play rather than trying to hit miraculous shots every time.

Best Ball Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts

When playing best ball golf, it’s important to adhere to proper etiquette both towards your teammates and opponents. Always be respectful of others’ shots by remaining quiet during their swings. Offer encouragement when a teammate hits a good shot or makes a great putt – positive reinforcement goes a long way in boosting team morale.

Additionally, be mindful of pace of play – keep up with the group ahead while also allowing faster groups behind you to play through if necessary. Lastly, remember that golf is meant to be enjoyable for everyone involved; maintain a friendly attitude towards opponents regardless of the outcome.

Best Ball Variations: Adding Fun and Challenge to Your Game

Championship Golf Courses

To add variety and excitement to your best ball game, consider incorporating different variations into your rounds. One popular variation is “alternate shot” where teammates take turns hitting shots until completing each hole – this format requires even more teamwork as players must strategize together on every shot.

Another fun variation is “worst ball” where each player plays their own ball throughout the round but records only their highest score on each hole – this adds an extra layer of challenge as players must avoid mistakes at all costs.


Best ball golf offers an exhilarating experience that combines individual skill with teamwork like no other format in the game. By understanding its rules, strategies, and variations, you can elevate your game and enjoy a new level of camaraderie with your teammates.

Remember to choose your teammates wisely, communicate effectively, and practice regularly to improve both individually and as a team. With dedication and perseverance, best ball golf can become a rewarding aspect of your golfing journey. So grab your clubs, gather some friends or family members, and give best ball a try – you won’t be disappointed!


What is Best Ball in golf?

Best Ball is a golf format where teams of two or more players compete against each other by taking the best score of the team on each hole.

How is Best Ball different from other golf formats?

In Best Ball, each player plays their own ball throughout the round, but only the best score of the team is counted for each hole. This format encourages players to take risks and play aggressively, as they have the safety net of their partner’s score.

What are the benefits of playing Best Ball?

Best Ball is a fun and social way to play golf, as it allows players of different skill levels to compete together. It also encourages teamwork and strategy, as players must work together to determine the best shot to take on each hole.

How do you score in Best Ball?

In Best Ball, the team’s score for each hole is the lowest score of the team’s players. For example, if one player scores a 4 and the other scores a 5, the team’s score for that hole is 4.

What are some strategies for playing Best Ball?

Some strategies for playing Best Ball include playing aggressively on holes where one player has a clear advantage, communicating with your partner to determine the best shot to take, and playing conservatively on holes where both players are struggling.

Can you play Best Ball with more than two players?

Yes, Best Ball can be played with teams of two, three, or four players. In larger teams, the format is often called “Four Ball” or “Texas Scramble.”

Originally posted 2024-01-24 07:17:47.

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