Scotch Foursomes is a golf term used to describe a type of alternate shot golf format. It describes two teams composed of two golfers who are playing in either a stroke play or a match play.
Though the term is sometimes used synonymously for foursomes, it also generally refers to this specific variation.
Like the classic foursomes, Scotch foursomes also follows the same teeing format.
This requires one player of the team to hit the drive and then the other player hits the second shot. The players continue to do alternating shots using the same ball.
There is also a modified version of the teeing format used in Scotch foursomes.
It involves both players hitting drives and then selecting the most ideal drive before playing the alternate shot format. This means the players will only hit the ball alternately beginning with the second shot.
Scotch foursomes are known by several other names depending on the country or region of play or the variation or standard form used.
Some of these include Scotch Doubles, Canadian Foursomes, and Modified Pinehurst. It is also known as a Greensomes and Selective Drive.
This kind of format is generally used in stroke plays. It is used as a match play in competitions like the Ryder Cup.
For betting competitions, the format can be played in either stroke or match play.
Origin of the Scotch Foursomes Term
The term can be traced back to the history of the game itself, which is the country, Scotland where the game originated in the same country during the 15th century.
In golf, the term “Scotch” is used, to mean a golf format that refers to an alternate shot.
In fact, most golf tournaments would usually indicate what kind of format is being used, if it is partially or entirely alternate shot, or if it involves a no-Scotch play.
Calculating Scotch Foursomes in Handicaps
In the United States Golf Association, calculating Scotch foursomes in handicaps is done by using a 50 percent allowance of the team’s combined course handicaps during straight alternate shots.
If using selected drives, then a 40 percent allowance is used.