Game Formats

Do you know a barkie from an Arnie? The difference between a scramble, a Texas scramble and an Ambrose scramble? And what are Pick Up Sticks, Criers and Whiners and Acey Ducey? They're all either golf tournament formats or golf betting games. Here is  a glossary of such terms courtesy of About.com

"Foursomes"

Definition: Foursomes is a competition format in which teams are comprised of two players each, and the players alternate hitting the same ball (which is why Foursomes is also very commonly called…

"Yellow Ball" or “Pink Ball” or “Pink Lady”

Definition: Yellow Ball (a k a Pink Ball, Pink Lady, Lone Ranger or Money Ball) is a game for 4-person teams that puts the onus on one player per hole to come through for the team.

Each group of…

"2-Man Scramble"

Definition: A 2-Man Scramble is a competition format that is exactly what it sounds like: a scramble in which the teams consist of two players each. After each shot, the best of the two shots is…

"2-Person Best Ball"

Definition: "2-Person Best Ball" is a best-ball competition format in which the teams consist of two players. Played as one team vs. another, whether stroke play or match play, it's simply another…

"Ambrose Competition"

Definition: "Ambrose Competition" is another name for a scramble, but one in which a team handicap is used. All players tee off, the best shot is selected and all players hit again from that same…

"Bag Raid"

Definition: Bag Raid, a k a Pick Up Sticks, is a match play game between two players. It's pretty simple: Every time a player wins a hole, his opponent gets to choose one club from his bag and remove…

"Best Ball"

Definition: Along with the scramble, "best ball" is one of the most popular golf tournament formats.

Best ball can be played using 2-, 3- or 4-person teams. Each player on the team plays his or her…

"Bingo Bango Bongo"

Definition: Bingo Bango Bongo is a points-based game that can be played by any number of players, from two up.

In Bingo Bango Bongo, three types of achievements are rewarded with a point. The first…

"Blind Nine"

Definition: Blind Nine, sometimes called Blind Hole, is a scramble tournament in which only 9 of the 18 holes count in the team's final score. The catch is that the teams don't know which 9 holes…

"Bowmaker (or Bowmaker Tournament)"

Definition: Bowmaker tournaments are very common in the U.K., where the term is widely used. The term "bowmaker" is rarely used in the U.S., but the format is a familiar one.

A bowmaker boils down…

"Criss Cross"

Definition: Criss Cross is a tournament format or betting game in which the golfer or team gets to compare corresponding scores on their scorecard and choose the lower of two scores, resulting in a…

"Gruesomes" or Yellow somes

Definition: Gruesomes is a 2-person team game that is more common as a betting game but is also sometimes used as a tournament format.

In Gruesomes, both members of the team tee off - and then the…

"Four Ball"

Definition: Four Ball is a match pitting two teams of two players (a total of four balls being played, hence the name) against each other using best-ball scoring.

All four players play their own…

"Greensomes"

Definition: Greensomes is a competition format that is a variation of foursomes (2-person teams, each playing one ball). In Greensomes, both players on a team tee off, the best of the two tee balls…

"Stableford"

Definition: A Stableford competition is a golf tournament in which the object is to get the highest score. That's because in Stableford, golfers are awarded points based on their scores in relation…

"Switch"

Definition: Switch can be a tournament format or a betting game. Either way, it involves 2-person teams on which the players switch balls following the tee shots, then play out the hole using those…

"Texas Scramble"

Definition: Texas Scramble is a competition format that is a basic scramble with a slight twist.

Scrambles involve 4-person teams playing four balls, but with each shot coming from the same spot…

© MLGA 2011