The most common golf tournament format is called a scramble. This tournament allows a team to select the best shot in each individual series of hits. Then each player will take their next shot from this location. This pattern continues to the end of each hole. Keep in mind that when playing a scramble, you can drop your ball within one club length from where the chosen ball lies, but no closer to the hole. The advantage of a scramble golf tournament format is that each team will get its best possible score while wasting no time trying to locate balls hit into trees, sand traps, creeks, or lakes.

Best Ball

This popular golf tournament format is popular with more advanced golfers who like to play their own ball.  Each player on the team plays his or her own ball for each hole, just as you would in a typical game of golf. However, at the end of each hole, the lowest score among the players counts as the team score.

Alternate Shot

This golf tournament format (also called “Foursomes”) involves two-person teams and is a competition where the team alternates who hits each shot while playing the same ball. The first player hits the drive, the second player hits the second shot, the first player hits the third shot, and so on until the ball is holed. The team also alternates who tees off on each hole, so the same player doesn’t hit every drive. Other variations of this format are known as “Odds and Evens” and “Scotch Foursomes”.


When the Chapman System is chosen as the format for a golf tournament, it means that 2-person teams will be competing against one another. Chapman is really a melding of several formats into one. In a Chapman event, both golfers tee off and then switch balls for their second shot.  Teammates then select the one best ball after their second shots, and continue to play alternate shots until the ball ends up in the hole.