In 2024 we will once again be using the Ambrose format.
Ambrose allows all standards of golfers to mix and play together with equal enjoyment while promoting teamwork as one score is recorded per hole for the team. (It also reduces the time spent looking for balls!)
How does it work?
Groups of four players work as a team. Each player hits off the tee, the best shot is selected and all other players pick up their ball and place it, within one handspan, alongside the best ball. Each person then hits a second shot from the same spot. The best shot is again selected. This continues until the ball is in the hole. On the putting green the best ball is marked and the other balls are played from this position.
In other words, your group has four chances to hit a good shot. It certainly takes the pressure off the less skilled golfers and is a good team building format.
One score is thus recorded on each hole. This is the sum of the best shots used throughout the hole.
During the course of the round, each player's tee shot must be used on no less than 3 occasions. So, if you have a beginner golfer in your group it may be prudent to use their drives early in the round to minimise pressure on them as the round comes to a close.
Key Features of Ambrose
If your best ball is played from within a hazard then each of the player's balls must be played from within that hazard
If you are in a team of 3 players (for 4-person Ambrose) you are allowed a fourth putt to be taken by any of the team members
Your end score is adjusted for the handicap of the players in your team
If you are in a team of 4 golfers (playing 4-person Ambrose) then the combined handicap of all players is calculated and divided by 8 to arrive at the team handicap. This is then subtracted from the Gross Score of the Team to arrive at the Net Score
If you are in a team of 3 golfers (playing 4-person Ambrose) then the combined handicap of all players is calculated and divided by 6 to arrive at the team handicap. This is then subtracted from the Gross Score of the Team to arrive at the Net Score
A typical winning score is in the mid 50s as a Net Score. It is rare (but possible) that a winning score is under 50.