The most established forms of match play, stroke play and partner and team play are detailed in Rules 1–24. This section outlines various alternative forms of play. Detailed modifications to Rules 1–24 that are required for these formats are detailed at USGA.org.
Modified Stableford is a form of play that gives higher points for good play, but also subtracts points for bad play. For example, four points are awarded for a birdie, two for a par and minus one for a bogey.
Greensomes is a variation of Foursomes where both partners play from the teeing area and one of the two tee shots is selected. The partner whose tee shot was not selected then plays the next stroke and each subsequent stroke is made in alternating order until the ball is holed. For example, if the tee shot of player A is selected at the first hole, Player B will play the next stroke, then Player A plays and so on until the ball is holed. Both players then play from the teeing area of the second hole and the process is repeated.
Other variations of Greensomes include:
Pinehurst Foursomes where both players tee off, then they switch golf balls, meaning Player A plays Player B’s ball, and Player B players Player A’s ball. After the second shots, they then select which ball they will continue to play, and that ball is then played by alternate-shot until holed.
Chinese or St Andrews Greensomes where the players decide, before starting the first hole of the round, which player will play the second stroke on all odd-numbered holes and the other player plays the second stroke on all even-numbered holes. This selection of player applies irrespective of whose tee shot is used on that hole. Each subsequent stroke on a hole is made in alternating order.
A scramble is played with two, three or four-person teams. Each player plays from the teeing area on each hole, one of the tee shots is selected and all the players play their second shots from that spot. One of the second shots is then selected, and all players play their third shots from that spot, and so on until the ball is holed.
There are many variations on the basic scramble format. Some of these include:
A Texas Scramble is a four-person team scramble, and this normally requires a minimum number of tee shots of each member of the team to be used during the round. Some forms of Texas Scramble require a player to play his or her own ball for the duration of each par 3 hole.
A Florida Scramble (also known as Dropout Scramble, Step Aside, Stand Aside, Stand Out) provides that the player whose shot is selected does not play the next shot.
A One-Person Scramble is where each player hits two shots, one ball is selected, two shots are played from that location, one ball is again selected, two shots are played from that location, and so on until the ball is holed.
This is a four-person team event where scores from only two members of the team count towards the team score on each hole.