Three-Ball, Best-Ball and Four Ball Match Play

Rules of Golf Aplly

The Rules of Golf, so far as they are not at variance with the following specific Rules, apply to three-ball, best-ball and four-ball matches.

Three-Ball Match Play

a. Ball at Rest Moved by an Opponent
Except as otherwise provided in the Rules, if the player's ball is touched or moved by an opponent, his caddie or equipment other than during search, Rule 18-3b applies. That opponent incurs a penalty of one stroke in his match with the player, but not in his match with the other opponent.

b. Ball Deflected or Stopped by an Opponent Accidentally
If a player's ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by an opponent, his caddie or equipment, there is no penalty. In his match with that opponent the player may play the ball as it lies or, before another stroke is played by either side, he may cancel the stroke and play a ball without penalty as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5). In his match with the other opponent, the ball must be played as it lies.

Exception: Ball striking person sttending flagstick - see Rule 17-3b.

See also: Ball purposely deflected or stopped by opponent

Best-Ball and Four Ball Match Play

a. Representation of Side
A side may be represented by one partner for all or any part of a match; all partners need not be present. An absent partner may join a match between holes, but not during play of a hole.

b. Maximum of Fourteen Clubs
The side is penalised for a breach of Rules 4-3a(iii) and 4-4 by any partner.

c. Order of Play
Balls belonging to the same side may be played in the order the side considers best.

d. Wrong Ball
If a player makes a stroke at a wrong ball that is not in a hazard, he is disqualified for that hole, but his partner incurs no penalty even if the wrong ball belongs to him. If the wrong ball belongs to another player, its owner must place a ball on the spot from which the wrong ball was first played.

e. Disqualification of Side

(i) A side is disqualified for a breach of any of the following by any partner:
  • Rule 1-3 Agreement to Waive Rules
  • Rule 4-1 or -2 Clubs
  • Rule 5-1 or -2 The Ball
  • Rule 6-2a Handicap (playing off higher handicap)
  • Rule 6-4 Caddie (having more than one caddie; failure to correct breach immediately)
  • Rule 6-7 Undue Delay; Slow Play (repeated offence)
  • Rule 14-3 Artificial Devices and Unusual Equipment
(ii) A side is disqualified for a breach of any of the following by all partners:
  • Rule 6-3 Time of Starting and Groups
  • Rule 6-8 Discontinuance of Play
(iii) In all other cases where a breach of a Rule would result in disqualification, the player is disqualified for that hole only.

f. Effect of Other Penalties
If a player's breach of a Rule assists his partner's play or adversely affects an opponent's play, the partner incurs the applicable penalty in addition to any penalty incurred by the player.
In all other cases where a player incurs a penalty for breach of a Rule, the penalty does not apply to his partner. Where the penalty is stated to be loss of hole, the effect is to disqualify the player for that hole.

g. Another Form of Match Played Concurrently
In a best-ball or four-ball match when another form of match is played concurrently, the above specific Rules apply.