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What are the Different Formats in Golf?

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What are the differnt formats in golf
What are the differnt formats in golf
Published: 28 February 2024
Written By Nimra Safdar

Reviewed by Saba khan

Facts checked by Zafar Mehmood

Golf is a game of strategies and precision and provides players with enjoyment on the green. Players find golf exciting Because you can play different Formats of Golf Games at a course. 

Golfers can choose from various alternative formats besides the traditional 18-hole stroke play, which adds excitement and unique challenges to the game. Golfers can choose from a variety of alternative formats.

If you are a beginner or someone unaware of golf formats and wondering about the different golf formats, Then we are here to solve your query. Golf is a versatile game; Players can enjoy a variety of formats in the universal sport of golf. Every format gives the game a different twist, like Scramble, Stroke Play, Alternate Shot, Six-Six-Six, etc. 

 Let’s explore the different formats in golf.

What are the Different Formats in Golf:

Players can access various golf formats in the conventional 18-hole stroke play format. Every format in golf games has unique requirements and features. Popular and strategic formats of golf include:

  • Scramble.
  • Stroke play.
  • Alternate Shot.
  • Best Ball.
  • Six-Six-Six.
  • Match Play.
  • Skins.


Scramble is a team-based game that can be played with two, three, or four players on your team. It is a simple game where each player tees off, and the rest of the team members choose the best shot.

After that, players hit from that location and continue in that manner until the ball is put out. You proceed to the next hole after recording one score on the scorecard. Every golfer in the world loves scrambling, which is their number-one choice.

When playing scramble format, you should aim for a low score to win because every putt has a free opportunity that allows you to read putts to score more birdies and eagles.

Advantages of Scramble:

  • Scramble allows less experienced golfers to play from the winning team without pressure for every shot they hit.
  • Scrambles promote cooperation and teamwork Since each player gets to contribute and hit the same shot.
  • Players can also be more aggressive when playing scrambles because they are less likely to use poor shots. 
  • Scramble golf is played more quickly than regular golf.
  • Scrambles allow high handicappers to play better shots than they typically do.

Stroke Play:

Stroke play is the most typical and traditional type of golf game. It is also known as plain old golf. Playing this game is the easiest compared to other classes we will discuss. Stroke Play provides golfers of all skill levels with the classic golfing experience.

Stroke play is the basis of worldwide competitive golf competitions. All you have to do in a stroke play is Play a hole, keep your score, and total it when your round ends. 

Stroke play is a true test of a golfer’s skill throughout the course because it focuses on individual performance, accuracy, and consistency.

Advantages of Stroke Play:

  • Stroke play is easy to play.
  • If you play a steady round, it can be very beneficial for your self-confidence.
  •  It also serves as a basis for handicap calculations Because it enables golfers of various skill levels to compete against one another.

Disadvantages of Stroke Play:

    Alternate Shot: 

    Alternate shot is a type of golf game that is a two-person game. It is also known as Foursomes. In the foursomes golf format, two players team up and play with one ball at a time. As they use this ball to take alternate shots, the design is called Alternate Shot. 

    In an alternate shot, a pair of players teams together and hit the same ball alternately. One player tees off on odd-numbered holes, while the other tees off on even-numbered spots. You can alternate with each other until the ball is out of play.

    An alternate shot is difficult to play as skills and strategy are required to achieve the best shot. This kind of structure requires teammates to work together and devise a plan. you may like to read our article why do i hit behind the golf ball?

    Advantages Of Alternate Shot:

    • It increases your creativity and enhances your game.
    • It teaches you teamwork.
    • It increases your focus when playing alternate shots; golfers must be extremely focused.
    • It helps golfers to learn how to manage stress on the course and build resilience.
    • It can appeal to people who want a quicker and more organized game of golf.

    Best Ball:

    The Best ball, called Four-Ball, is simple, and keeping score is a snap. One, two, three, or four best ball games can change the game. 

    The best ball is more fun in team play. It involves two teams of two players each. Each player plays their ball throughout the round, and the lowest score among the teammates on each hole determines the team’s score.

    Depending on the game, this type of golf can be played with a player’s net or gross scores.

    Advantages of Best Ball:

    • Best ball is a great format for players who prefer to maintain their scores at all times.
    • The best ball golf game is simpler to play.
    • It boosts your confidence.

    Also read our article why you keep topping your golf ball?

    Disadvantage of Best Ball:

      Six-Six-Six Golf Game:

      One game that works especially well for foursomes is called Six-Six-Six, or Round Robin. With this straightforward match-play structure, you can play the entire round with every group member instead of just one partner.

      The 18 holes are split into three six-hole matches; You can utilize any scoring system you like. Even if you lose badly in the first one, You still have two more games to win your confidence back.

      The “Six-Six-Six” game provides a well-balanced combination of strategic decision-making, adaptability, and individual and team play. It adds an element of variety to the round, keeping players interested and giving them a different course experience. This format works well for groups of four players who want to play competitive and cooperative golf in the same round.

      Advantages Of SIX-SIX-SIX Golf game:

      • 6-6-6 is an interesting game to play.
      • It enables friendly competition between players of all skill levels.
      • It is an excellent learning opportunity, particularly for novice golfers.

      Disadvantage Of SIX-SIX-SIX(6-6-6):

        Match Play:

        What are the differnt formats in golf
        What are the different formats in golf? 2

        Match-play is complex, but players find enjoyment in it. Match play is the opposite type of stroke play.

        Match play is a hole-by-hole competition; the player with the highest score on each hole wins that hole in this competition. Whoever wins the most holes is the winner. In match play, you face off against your opponent in a head-to-head competition. 

        The dynamic aspect of match-play gives the game an additional degree of strategy and intensity. Match-play is frequently preferred in team competitions like the Ryder Cup, where individual matches count toward the team’s total score.

        The match-play format encourages a more aggressive style of play,  as players can take more chances to gain an advantage on a particular hole without worrying about how those shots will affect their final score overall.

        Advantages Of Match-play:

        • Every hole is made more exciting by match play.
        • Match play promotes flexibility and strategic thinking. 

        Disadvantages Of Match-play:


          The thrilling and frequently high-stakes golf game known as “Skins” enhances the intensity of traditional stroke play. Each hole in Skins has a distinct value, or “skin.” Wins that skin at a specific location. The player with the lowest score wins.

          In a game, if there is a tie, the skin moves to the following hole and gains value. Skins are popular among friends or professional golfers who want to spice up their rounds. Its ease of use and potential for large payouts add something fun and memorable to golf.

          Advantages Of Skins:

          • It enhances the level of excitement in the game.
          • Skins are flexible enough to be played in various group sizes and situations.
          • Playing in the Skins format is often faster than traditional stroke play. 

          Disadvantage Of Skins:


            In conclusion, What are the different formats in golf? One of the things that makes golf so appealing is its versatility; there are Different formats of Golf games available to fit players with different skill levels and preferences. 

            While stroke play is still popular, trying out other games like Scramble, Best Ball, Alternate Shot, and Six-Six-Six can spice up your time on the course and create new memories.

            These golf games could offer a welcome change of pace for experienced players and an enjoyable way for a beginner golfer to become familiar with the game.

            Why try one of these games to mix up your routine on your next golf outing? You may even find a new favourite technique for playing golf.

            After reading this, I hope you are familiar with the different formats in golf, so go try them out in reality. I am sure you all will like and enjoy playing them.

            Frequently Asked Questions:

            What is Texas Scramble in golf?

            Texas Scramble is a variant of the standard scramble format, where each player’s shot is used at least a certain number of times during the round, adding an extra layer of strategy.

            Which golf format is most frequently utilized in Ryder Cup-style team competitions?

            In team competitions like the Ryder Cup, match play is frequently employed, with each match counting toward the team’s total score.

            Muhammad Zafar