2 Best Ball

Golf Format Explained

In a round of 2 best ball golfers will usually be grouped as 3 or 4-member teams and will compete together against all other teams in the field.

Contrary to the best ball format where only one ball – and score – will count on every hole, this format will require that the 2 best scores be counted on each hole, hence the name.

How to Play 2 Best Balls

Each golfer hits his own ball throughout the round but after each hole, the two best scores amongst the team members are recorded and count as the scores for the whole team for that hole. After the round is completed the scores are added up and the total will represent the score posted by that team.

How to Win

The 2 best scores are added up on each hole. At the end of the round, those combined scores are all added up and constitute the total score for that team. The team with the lowest total will be declared the winner.

Alternatively, instead of adding both scores on every hole, teams often choose to keep track of their progress by how far they deviate from par. For instance, if the two best scores posted on hole #1 are par (E) and birdie (-1), then the team is 1-under after one hole. If the team proceeds to posting two bogeys (+1) on hole #2, then that team’s score is now 1-over after 2 and so on until the end of the round.


In contrast to the lone best ball format, the 2 best ball format tends to widen the spread between the total scores of the competing teams. Indeed, whereas it might prove easy for every team to post par on every hole it will prove trickier to have two scores of par on every hole. This results in less tied scores than in the regular best ball format.

The format also puts more pressure on all team members as they must seek to contribute further even after seeing 1 golfer doing well on a hole.


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