If only three of you arrive for the Sunday roll-up, don't panic, there are many excellent games you can play.... Three can still be the magic number.

The Best Threeball Formats For Golf

In Medal golf and other individual competition, players generally tee off in threeballs. But when it comes to the Sunday roll-up or a “bounce game” among friends, three is never viewed as the magic number. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Here we give you options for making threeball the new fourball.

We wanted to play some sort of match but there are three of us… What can we do?

There are a couple of options. Why not try threeball match play? Each player takes on the other two group members in standard singles match play format. Handicap allowances are taken against the lowest player; the higher players should receive the full difference (as recommended by CONGU). Even if you’ve been thumped by one of your playing partners you may still have a chance of redeeming yourself against the other.

Or, you could try a best ball. The lowest handicapper competes against the best ball of the other two with no handicap allowance.

See - playing in a three isn't so bad

See – playing in a three isn’t so bad

OK, what about mixing it up a little?

You could play a “Wentworth.” For this let’s call the players A, B and C. The lowest handicapper plays off scratch, the other two receive ¾ of the difference. For the first six holes A takes on the better ball of B and C, for the next six B takes on the better ball of A and C and for the final six C takes on the better ball of A and B. If the single player wins a hole he gets a point, if the pair win a hole they both get a point. The winner is the man with the most points after 18 holes.

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Isn’t Barracuda a game for a threeball?

Indeed it is. Each hole is played to the match play format (full H/C allowance) for six points. The winner of the hole receives four points and the runner-up gets two points, if the runner-up spot is shared the players receive one point each. If two players tie to win the hole they both receive three points. If all three tie the hole, they receive two points each. The winner is the man with the most points after 18 holes.

And we thought being one short of a four would be a damp squib!

And we thought being one short of a four would be a damp squib!

I like it. Is there anything else along those lines?

How about, “On the Perch”? The object of the game is to win points but you can only do it when you’re “on the perch”. To get on the perch you must win a hole outright from your playing partners. Once on the perch you can win points by winning further holes outright. But, if one of your partners wins a hole outright they will knock you off the perch and take the position for themselves. The winner is the man with the most points after 18 holes.

Three of us have turned up to play but we hadn’t realised this was a twoball only course. Any suggestions?

No problem. You can play threesomes. One of you plays as a single, the other two play alternate shots with one ball, as in foursomes. You could play a Medal, Stableford or match play competition. For Medal and Stableford, the single player should receive his full handicap while the pair receives half their combined handicap. In match play, whoever is higher (the single or half the combined total of the pair) should receive the full difference.

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