Rule 29: Threesomes and Foursomes (The Rules of Golf)

Threesomes match with three golfers on a putting green
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(Editor's Note: What follows is text of Rule 29 as it appeared in the Rules of Golf that were in effect through Dec. 31, 2018. As of Jan. 1, 2019, a new version of the Rules of Golf went into effect. The new rules are condensed and in some cases greatly rewritten or rearranged. See A Quick Introduction to the Rules of Golf for a summary of the new rules. To read the new rules in full, visit USGA.org or RandA.org.)

(The Official Rules of Golf appear here courtesy of the USGA, are used with permission, and may not be reprinted without the permission of the USGA.)

29-1. General

In a threesome or a foursome, during any stipulated round the partners must play alternately from the teeing grounds and alternately during the play of each hole. Penalty strokes do not affect the order of play.

29-2. Match Play

If a player plays when his partner should have played, his side loses the hole.

29-3. Stroke Play

If the partners make a stroke or strokes in incorrect order, such stroke or strokes are canceled and the side incurs a penalty of two strokes. The side must correct the error by playing a ball in correct order as nearly as possible at the spot from which it first played in incorrect order (see Rule 20-5). If the side makes a stroke on the next teeing ground without first correcting the error or, in the case of the last hole of the round, leaves the putting green without declaring its intention to correct the error, the side is disqualified.

(Editor's Note: Rule 29 stipulates a handful of differences in matches involving the formats named threesomes and foursomes. A threesome is, as defined by the rules, "a match in which one player plays against two other players, and each side plays one ball." A foursome is "a match in which two players play against two other players, and each side plays one ball.")

(Decisions about Rule 29 appear on usga.org. The Rules of Golf and Decisions on the Rules of Golf can also be viewed on the R&A's website, randa.org.)