Ryder Cup 2023 Format: Rules, Foursomes, Four Ball, & How It Works

Ryder Cup 2023 Format: Rules, Foursomes, Four Balls, & How It Works

The Ryder Cup is a biennial golf event that brings together two teams from Europe and the United States. Unlike traditional golf competitions, the Ryder Cup tests golf’s greatest players in a range of different team formats.

Instead of the traditional stroke play, the format will follow match play throughout the competition. Players will be teamed up to compete at each hole and the lowest score wins. The match will automatically end when the losing team or player is behind by more holes than that’s left to play.

The Ryder Cup will feature three different match plays including foursomes, four-ball, and singles.

Ryder Cup Formats

There will be 28 matches that will be worth one point in the team total. If any case of a tie, the match will be halved. The defending champions (Team USA) will need to reach 14 points to win while the European team will need to hit 14.5 points to reclaim the Ryder Cup.

Teams will be participating in foursomes, four-ball, and single formats. Both the European and USA teams will make teams of two as they compete in the different formats.


The first event players will be competing in on Day 1 and 2 will be the foursomes format. There will be four foursome matches starting at 1:35 a.m. ET and tee times continue every 15 minutes after.

In foursomes, each two-man team will play one ball per hole and take alternate shots wherever the ball lies. In each pair, one player will only tee off on odd holes and the other will begin on even holes.

After the foursomes section ends, team captains will need to submit their next lineups for afternoon foursballs. Captains will be submitting their lists without knowing what the others will do, adding a little more drama to the Ryder Cup.


The afternoon events will feature a four-ball format, which is often known as best ball. Pairs will tee off with their own ball. The lowest score between the dup will be marked down as the team’s score. The lowest score between the two teams will win the hole.

At the end of each four-ball session, captains will need to set their new lineup for the following day for the foursome format.

Singles Format

On Sunday, all 12 players from each team will meet to compete in a match-play format. Sunday’s tee times are a little later beginning at 5:35 and teeing off every 12 minutes.

All players will be expected to play the full 18 even if the outcome is already certain. In 44 editions of the Ryder Cup, the US has won 27 Ryder Cups to Europe’s 14 with two ties in history.

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