What Is a Mixed Foursome in Golf?

Two mature couples golfing, woman lining up shot

Golf lends itself to a variety of different player configurations and rules. The standard player vs. player, lowest-round-wins, stroke-play model is only one way to enjoy the game. Team games are also common, with the foursome played in both recreational and tournament rounds of golf. The mixed foursome is one golf team game that both genders can play.


A mixed foursome refers to four people who play a round of golf broken up into two teams of one male and one female each. The exact type of match or shooting rules may vary, but the mixed teams aspect always must remain the same for the pairing to be a true mixed foursome.


Generally, with a mixed foursome, the players will select a match format and specific rules ahead of time. You can count every shot for each player and then add up the team scores after the round to determine a winner, but using a little creativity is usually more fun. Play a “best ball” format in which both team members shoot, but only the best ball is played each time. You can alternate shots all the way through the course just with the tee shots, or come up with a scoring system everyone in the foursome enjoys.


To keep the playing field level for players of differing skill levels, teams can use handicaps to give the weaker players a boost. Individual handicaps are worked out after playing several rounds of golf, but basically your handicap gives you relief on the more difficult holes on the course. To mix in handicaps for a mixed foursome, StatMasters suggests adding the individual handicaps, multiplying that number by three and then dividing by eight to arrive at a team handicap. If you feel all the players in the mixed foursome match up evenly, abandon the handicap concept and play stroke for stroke.


The concept of the foursome is not confined to mixed foursomes. You can play two against two in a stroke-play format or games such as a “Canadian foursome” or “Chapman foursome.” In a Canadian foursome, you and your partner hit a tee shot and determine which one is best. Remove the other ball from play so both of you can hit again from the chosen spot. A Chapman foursome is similar, only you and your partner both hit tee shots and second shots before determining which shot is most favorable. Alternate shots from the third shot into the hole. Start with the partner whose shot wasn't chosen after the second shot.