4BBB Golf Tournament Format

Group of four golfers on a putting green
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"4BBB" is a golf tournament format, and understanding it is pretty simple so long as you know what "4BBB" stands for: "4-ball, best ball" (or 4-ball, better ball). Golfers tee off in groups of four, and each golfer plays his own ball. So there are four golf balls in play on each hole, but only one ball (the better ball, or low ball) counts per team per hole.

Four golfers per group can mean two, 2-person teams paired together, or it can mean one, 4-person team (2-person teams is more common).

Another way of putting it: 4BBB is usually just another name for a best ball (4-person teams) or better ball (2-person teams) format.

In some parts of the golf world, it is common for 4BBB tournaments to use Stableford scoring.

4BBB With 2-Person Teams

If two-person teams are in use for the 4BBB tournament (as noted, the most common way to play it), then Team 1 and Team 2 tee off together (so four golf balls are in play), and each team's low ball counts as that team's score on each hole.

If Golfer A and Golfer B make up Team 1, and on the first hole A scores 5 and B scores 4, 4 is the team score on Hole 1.

With 2-person teams, 4BBB can be played as stroke play or match play.

4BBB With 4-Person Teams

If four-person teams are in use, then 4BBB works like this: All four golfers tee off and play their own balls into the hole. The low score among the four counts as the team score for that hole.

When 4-person teams are in use, 4BBB is played as stroke play.

And with 4-person teams, it's more important to use handicaps and award places based on net scores. Otherwise, the weaker golfers on the team will have very few (if any) opportunities to contribute the team's score on any give hole.