Master the 6 6 6 Golf Format: Rules, Strategies, and Tips for a Fun Round

Colin McCarthy

6 6 6 golf format

Looking to spice up your next round of golf? The 6 6 6 golf format might be just what you need. Also known as the 666 golf format, this versatile structure keeps the game fresh and exciting by changing the playing style every six holes.

Whether you’re organizing a tournament or simply enjoying a casual round with friends, this format offers something for everyone.

Imagine starting your game with a scramble for the first six holes, switching to best ball for the next six, and finishing with alternate shot.

This constant change not only tests different skills but also keeps players engaged throughout the round. If you’re tired of the same old golf routines, the 6 6 6 format could be the perfect solution to inject some variety and fun into your game.

The 6 6 6 Golf Format

The 6-6-6 golf format is a popular variation of golf that adds a fun twist to the traditional game.

In this format, players are grouped into teams of two, and each team plays six holes using three different formats:

Origins and Popularity

The 6 6 6 golf format, also known as the “666 format,” originated as a way to add variety and challenge to traditional golf rounds.

Players and organizers noticed the need for more engaging formats, especially during tournaments. As a result, the 666 format quickly gained traction among golf enthusiasts due to its unique structure and engaging gameplay.

Its adaptability makes it popular for both casual rounds and formal tournaments, maintaining player interest throughout the 18 holes.

The Basic Rules

In the 6 6 6 golf format, an 18-hole round is divided into three segments, each consisting of six holes. Each segment employs a different style of play to test various skills and strategies.

For example:

Best Ball

Players in each team play their own balls throughout the hole, and the lowest score among the team members is recorded as the team score.

Alternate Shot

Team members take turns hitting the same ball. One player tees off, the next hits the second shot, and so on until the hole is completed.


Each player tees off, the team selects the best shot, and all players hit their next shots from that spot, continuing this process until the hole is completed.

How to Play the 6 6 6 Golf Format

Playing the 6-6-6 golf format involves a few simple steps:

Choose the Formats

In the 6 6 6 golf format, select three different playing styles, each for a set of six holes. Common choices include Best Ball, Alternate Shot, and Scramble.

Best Ball involves all players completing the hole, using the best individual score as the team’s score. Alternate Shot requires teammates to hit shots alternately until the hole is completed. The Scramble format involves all players hitting from the best-positioned shot.

Pairing and Rotation

Before starting, decide on the pairings for the round. In a four-player game, you switch partners every six holes.

This rotation ensures that by the end of the game, each player has teamed up with every other player. Determine initial pairs before the first hole and reconfigure them as you progress through the segments.

Each segment of the 18-hole course consists of a different format: six holes of best ball, six holes of alternate shot, and six holes of scramble. This variety adds a unique challenge and requires strategic collaboration.


Scoring in the 6 6 6 golf format depends on the chosen style for each segment. In Best Ball, the lowest individual score counts for the team.

For Alternate Shot, the team’s score is the total strokes taken by alternating shots. In Scramble, the score reflects the fewest strokes needed collectively from the best shot.

Record scores for each segment and tally them at the end to determine the winners. This format ensures variety and strategic play across the 18 holes.

It’s crucial to communicate and plan each segment to maximize your team’s performance. Keeping detailed records will also help in analyzing areas for improvement in future games.


Focus on the strategies suited to each chosen format. For Best Ball, play your own game aiming for the lowest score. Utilize complementary skills in Alternate Shot to manage strengths and weaknesses effectively.

In Scramble, prioritize teamwork and communication, selecting the best shots strategically to maintain an advantage.

Additionally, practice adaptability to switch seamlessly between formats during the game. This approach ensures consistent performance regardless of the unique demands of each 6-hole segment.

Tracking Progress

Use a scorecard or a golf app like 18Birdies to keep accurate records of scores throughout the round. Document scores after completing each hole, ensuring the total reflects the best outcome based on the format in play.

Consistent tracking helps in staying organized and prevents scoring errors. Regularly reviewing scores can provide valuable insights into team performance and strategy effectiveness.

This meticulous approach ensures a smooth experience and adds an element of professionalism to your game.


Incorporate handicaps to balance the competition. Adjust scores based on individual handicaps to ensure fairness and inclusivity.

Net scores, calculated after considering handicaps, add equity to the game, enabling players of different skill levels to contribute meaningfully.

This format not only levels the playing field but also enhances the enjoyment and competitiveness of the game. Implementing handicaps ensures that every golfer has a chance to shine, fostering a truly engaging atmosphere.

Scoring in the 6 6 6 Golf Format

Scoring in the 6-6-6 golf format is relatively straightforward, but it varies slightly depending on the format being played (Best Ball, Alternate Shot, or Scramble).

Here’s how scoring typically works for each format:

Common Scoring Methods

In the 6 6 6 golf format, scoring varies depending on the specific rules of each six-hole segment. For the Best Ball segment, each player plays their own ball, and the lowest score among the team members counts for that hole.

Teams benefit from having multiple strong players as only the best performance from each hole matters.

In the Alternate Shot segment, teammates take turns hitting the same ball, and the score for the hole is the total strokes taken by the team. This requires excellent communication and coordination between partners.

The Scramble segment uses a different strategy, where all team members hit from the same spot, choosing the best shot each time.

The team’s score for each hole is the number of strokes taken to get the ball into the hole from the selected shots. Ensuring that each team member’s strength is utilized effectively is crucial.

Examples of Scoring in Action

Consider a round where the first six holes are played as Best Ball. If Player A scores a 4, Player B scores a 5, and Player C scores a 6 on the first hole, the team’s score for that hole is 4, the lowest score.

In the next six holes played as Alternate Shot, suppose the team collectively takes 5 strokes to finish a hole; the score for that hole is 5.

In the final six holes played as Scramble, assume all players hit their tee shots and choose Player A’s shot as the best. From that spot, all players hit their second shots, selecting the best one again until the ball is holed.

If the team takes four strokes from the chosen spots, then the score for that hole is 4. Thus, adapting strategies based on the dynamics of each format helps in achieving the lowest possible score for the round.

Comparing 6 6 6 Golf Format with Other Golf Game Types

Comparing the 6-6-6 golf format with other types of golf games can help highlight its unique features and appeal:

Key Differences and Similarities

Comparing the 6-6-6 golf format with other types of golf games reveals both key differences and similarities:

Key Differences:

Variety of Formats

The 6-6-6 format incorporates three different formats (Best Ball, Alternate Shot, and Scramble) within a single round of 18 holes.

This variety adds excitement and challenges players to adapt their strategies throughout the round. In contrast, traditional stroke play, match play, Stableford, and other formats typically stick to one scoring method for the entire round.

Team Dynamics

Unlike individual-focused formats such as stroke play and Stableford, the 6-6-6 format emphasizes teamwork.

Players are grouped into teams of two, encouraging collaboration and communication as they navigate the different formats together. Match play also involves teams, but it focuses on head-to-head competition rather than cooperative play.

Strategy Variation

Each format within the 6-6-6 format presents unique strategic considerations. Best Ball rewards individual performance, as the team’s score is determined by the lowest score on each hole.

Alternate Shot requires partners to coordinate their shots carefully, while Scramble encourages risk-taking and creative shot selection.

Key Similarities:

Competitive Element

Like other golf formats, the 6-6-6 format is inherently competitive. Players strive to achieve the lowest score possible within each format and ultimately win the round.

Whether playing stroke play, match play, Stableford, or the 6-6-6 format, the competitive spirit of golf remains a central aspect of the game.

Focus on Skill and Performance

Regardless of the format, golf requires skill, technique, and mental focus. Players must execute shots accurately, navigate the course strategically, and manage their emotions under pressure. This aspect of the game is consistent across different formats, including the 6-6-6 format.

Enjoyment and Social Interaction

Golf is often enjoyed for its social aspects as much as its competitive nature. Whether playing as individuals or in teams, golfers have the opportunity to interact with friends, enjoy the outdoors, and share memorable experiences on the course.

This sense of camaraderie and enjoyment is present in all types of golf games, including the 6-6-6 format.

Choosing the Right Format for Your Game

Choosing the right golf format for your game depends on several factors, including your skill level, preferences, the number of players, and the purpose of the round (competitive play, casual outing, etc.).

Here’s a guide to help you make the best choice:

Consider Skill Levels

If you’re playing with golfers of varying skill levels, you may want to choose a format that accommodates everyone.

For example, formats like Best Ball or Scramble can help level the playing field by allowing weaker players to contribute to the team’s success.

Number of Players

Some formats are better suited for certain numbers of players. For example, Best Ball and Alternate Shot are ideal for teams of two, while Scramble can accommodate larger groups. Consider the number of players participating and choose a format that works well for the group size.

Competitive vs. Casual Play

Determine whether the round is primarily for competition or casual enjoyment. Match play and stroke play are traditional competitive formats, while formats like Scramble and Best Ball can be more relaxed and social. Choose a format that matches the group’s preferences and the overall atmosphere you want to create.

Time Constraints

If you have limited time for your round, consider choosing a format that allows for faster play. Scramble, for example, tends to be quicker than stroke play or match play because all players are hitting from the same spot. This can help speed up the pace of play and ensure you finish within your time frame.

Course Conditions and Difficulty

Consider the difficulty of the course you’ll be playing and how it might impact the chosen format. For example, if the course has challenging greens or tight fairways, a format like Scramble might be more forgiving and enjoyable for all players.

Group Consensus

Ultimately, the best way to choose the right format is to discuss it with your playing partners and reach a consensus. Consider everyone’s preferences, skill levels, and any specific goals or objectives for the round.

By involving everyone in the decision-making process, you can ensure that the chosen format will be enjoyable for all.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 6 6 6 golf format and how does it work?

The 6 6 6 golf format, also known as the 666 golf format, involves changing the playing style every six holes in an 18-hole round. Players rotate through three different formats: Scramble, Best Ball, and Alternate Shot.

How do pairings work in the 666 golf format?

Pairings in the 666 golf format rotate every six holes. In a four-player game, each player partners with everyone else at some point. This rotation ensures variety and allows players to experience different dynamics and strategies with each partner.

Why is the 6 6 6 golf format popular?

The 6 6 6 golf format is popular because it adds excitement and variety to a round of golf. The changing formats every six holes keep players engaged and require adaptability and strategic thinking. It’s also a great way for players of varying skill levels to enjoy the game together.

How does the 666 golf format compare to traditional golf formats?

Unlike traditional formats that focus on consistency, the 666 golf format emphasizes strategy shifts and adaptability. It combines elements of stroke play, match play, and team formats like Four-Ball and Foursomes, offering a balanced mix of playing styles suitable for various abilities.

Is the 6 6 6 golf format suitable for all skill levels?

Yes, the 6 6 6 golf format is suitable for all skill levels.


The 6 6 6 golf format offers a refreshing twist to your traditional round of golf. By rotating playing styles every six holes, you get to experience different challenges and keep the game engaging.

This format not only tests your versatility but also encourages strategic thinking and teamwork. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a newcomer, the 6 6 6 format provides a balanced mix of competitive and collaborative play.

So next time you’re on the course, consider giving this dynamic format a try for a fun and memorable golfing experience.

Not only does it break the monotony, but it also helps in honing various skills as each segment demands a unique approach. Embrace the 6 6 6 format to elevate your enjoyment and sharpen your golfing prowess.

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Colin McCarthy

Golf is about mastering your misses and learning from them. I seek answers on the how and why of the golf swing, gaining experience even when answers elude me. With over 11,000 hours of teaching and a hunger for learning, I welcome any questions. My goal is to introduce golf to as many as possible, simplifying the game for all to enjoy. Passionate, eager, and ambitious, I'm here to teach, listen, and learn. LinkedIn

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