What Is Greensomes?

Here we explain greensomes, one of golf's most fun formats

A golfer plays a drive
(Image credit: Future)

Greesomes is a commonly used format in club golf, largely due to its fun and more relaxed nature.

It carries a very similar premise to that of foursomes (alternate shot), a format utilised in the Ryder and Solheim Cups, with only one very small difference; which we'll get into here. 

Greensomes is commonly made up of teams of two. Each player hits a tee shot and must then select what they perceive to be the best drive and play alternate shot from that position until the hole is complete.

For example, if Player A hits the tee shot, then Player B plays the second shot and so on. 

Greensomes can be played in both stroke play and match play.

In stroke play you complete your scorecard like you would a regular stroke play round, marking the gross score on each hole. You may have to use the 'Player A' and 'Player B' columns depending on which person's drive was chosen as some competitions enforce a minimum number of tee shots that each player must hit during the round. 

Once your gross score is complete, take the handicap allowance off at the end of the round if you're playing medal or add up the stableford points if that's the format you're playing.

How are greensomes handicaps worked out?

Under the World Handicap System (WHS), the allowance should be 60% of the lowest handicap, plus 40% of the highest handicap.

For example, if Player A has a handicap of 5 and Player B has a handicap of 15, their greensomes handicap would be 9 (5 x 0.6) + (15 x 0.4) = 3 + 6 = 9. If both handicaps are equal, you just need to halve them. Two nine handicappers would play off of nine, for example.

If you are playing greensomes in match play format, use the same method to calculate the allowance for each team and deduct the difference. 

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5