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How to play foursomes

Foursomes Golf Strategy - How To Play Foursomes

golf related golf tips

As we’ve touched on in several articles now, strategy in golf is important. In fact, it’s an integral part of the game. Players who fail to apply any short of strategy to their game are ultimately limiting what they can achieve on the course.

There are of course different strategies that fit different formats of the game. Here we’re going to look at the sort of strategy that should be applied when playing foursomes.


What is Foursomes Golf?

For many, the Foursomes format is somewhat alien. When most people get into golf, they play with a friend or two, and even if they are going round the course as a four, they’ll probably stick to stroke-play as individuals. Even experienced amateurs tend to stick to stroke play, maybe if they like to get a bit more competitive, they’ll mix it up with a bit of match play, but they probably won’t delve into foursomes, especially if they’re not a member of a club.

So, what is Foursomes? Also known as Alternate Shot, Foursomes is a format that involves two players playing as a pair against another two players, and they will play by taking it in turns to hit a shot. For example, the first player will tee it up and get the hole underway, leaving the second player to play the second shot. The first player then hits the third shot and so on. This is not to be confused with the format known as Four-Balls, where playing partners play all of their own shots, but combine as a pair when it comes to scoring by selecting the lowest score of the pair at the end of every hole.


Assess the hardest parts of the course beforehand

For example, if you know the toughest tees, or the holes that demand a strong drive, then you can incorporate this information into who gets things underway on hole one. After all, you want whichever one of you is the best driver to be stepping up to swing for as many of the tricky tee shots as possible.


Know your strengths, take advantage of them

Chances are there will be something that one of you does better than the other, and you need to exploit this. Let’s say that you’re a much better putter than your playing partner, and you know the first green is an important one to putt well on. It’s a Par 4, but you know that whichever way you play it, you’ll probably be putting for par, you’ll want to ensure that you’re hitting second to be the one who stands over the all-important par putt.


Don’t leave your partner in a poor position

What is meant here is that you play safe and smart. You don’t want to be taking unnecessary risks or not playing to your strengths, as you want to give your partner the best chance possible of doing what is required of them when they’re up.

Rule nr. ONE is definitely keeping the ball on the fairway.

Or for example, if you’re left with a 200-shot at the green, but you’re not confident from this range, play safe, don’t make a silly mistake and leave your partner in trouble. Play safe, so they can play from a decent position. Doing this on repeat will leave you in a good position to score well.


Keep it simple

Following on from the last one, just keep it simple. As the 2018 non-playing captain of Team Europe and the Ryder Cup, Thomas Bjorn said: “ In foursomes, it’s more the grinders, the people that work hard on the golf course and don’t give much away. Those are the guys that make great foursomes players”. Take Bjorn’s advice and grind it out, be sensible, don’t lose your head, play steady golf and stay in the fight. If you can do that consistently, then you’ll have a great chance of being an effective foursomes player.


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