Rule 22 - Foursomes (Also Known as Alternate Shot)

22.1  Overview of Foursomes

22.1/1 – Individual Handicaps Must Be Recorded on Scorecard

Under Rule 3.3b(4) (Handicap Shown on Scorecard), it is the player’s responsibility to make sure that his or her handicap (see 3.3b(4)/1) is correctly shown on the scorecard. In a Foursomes competition, this would apply to both the player and his or her partner.

If the side returns a scorecard on which the handicaps are not individually recorded for both the player and the partner, such as being combined as a side handicap allowance or being omitted, the side is disqualified.

22.3  Side Must Alternate in Making Strokes

22.3/1 – When Playing Again from Teeing Area in Mixed Foursomes Ball Must Be Played from Same Teeing Area

In playing mixed Foursomes where different teeing areas are used by women and men if, for example, a man tees off from the teeing area defined by green tee-markers and hits his shot out of bounds, the woman must play the next stroke from the green teeing area.

22.3/2 – Determining Which Ball Is in Play When Both Partners in Foursomes Tee Off from Same Tee

If both the player and his or her partner mistakenly tee off from the same teeing area, it must be determined whose turn it was to play.

For example, Player A and Player B are partners of the side A-B. Player A tees off first; then Player B tees off from the same teeing area:

22.3/3 – Player May Not Purposely Miss Ball so His or Her Partner Can Play

A player may not change whose turn it is to play by intentionally missing the ball. A “stroke” is the forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. Therefore, if a player has intentionally missed the ball, he or she has not made a stroke and it is still his or her turn to play.

For example, Player A and Player B are partners of the side A-B. If Player  A purposely misses the ball so that Player B can hit the shot, Player A has not made a stroke as there was no intention of striking the ball. If Player B subsequently plays the ball, side A-B gets the general penalty because Player B played in the wrong order as it was still Player A’s turn to play.

However, if Player A intends to strike the ball and accidentally misses it, he or she has made a stroke and it is Player B’s turn to play.

22.3/4 – How to Proceed When Provisional Ball Played by Wrong Partner

If a side decides to play a provisional ball, it must be played by the partner whose turn it is to make the side’s next stroke.

For example, Player A and Player B are partners of the side A-B. Player A plays his or her ball and there is doubt whether the ball is out of bounds or lost outside a penalty area. If the side decides to play a provisional ball, Player B must play the provisional ball. If, by mistake, Player A plays the provisional ball, there is no penalty if the original ball is found and the provisional ball does not become the ball in play.

However, if the original ball is lost and the provisional ball becomes the ball in play, since Player A played the provisional ball in this example, the side loses the hole in match play or gets a penalty of two strokes in stroke play for playing in the wrong order. In stroke play, the provisional ball must be abandoned and Player B must return to the spot of Player A’s last stroke at the original ball and put a ball in play (Rule 18.2b).