What Is a 6-6-6 Golf Tournament: How Is It Played?

Colin McCarthy

What Is A 6 6 6 Golf Tournament

Golf, a sport rooted in tradition, often introduces innovative formats to challenge players and captivate enthusiasts.

One such intriguing variation is the 6-6-6 golf tournament—a format that adds a layer of complexity and excitement to the familiar greens. So, what is a 6 6 6 golf tournament?

In this unique event, teams of two navigate the course in sets of six holes, each played under a distinct format. The magic lies in the diversity: six holes played in best ball, six in alternate shot, and the final six in a scramble. 

As golfers switch gears and strategies, the 6-6-6 format demands skill, communication, and adaptability. Join us as we unravel the intricacies of this captivating tournament structure, exploring its origin and rules. 

Discover why the 6-6-6 golf tournament is more than just numbers—it’s a symphony of teamwork and precision that resonates across the golfing landscape.

What Is A 6-6-6 Golf Tournament?

The “6-6-6” designation refers to the three different formats used in the tournament. The first six holes are played using a best ball format, where each player plays their own ball, and the team records the lower score on each hole. 

The next six holes switch to a modified alternate shot, where teammates take turns playing the same ball until it is holed. Finally, the last six holes transition to a scramble format, where both players hit from the chosen best position after each shot.

Strategies in Best Ball

During the best ball segment, players strategize to capitalize on each other’s strengths. The focus is on maximizing the team’s overall score by selecting the best-performing shots. 

Communication and coordination become crucial as teammates decide whose shot to use on each hole.

Navigating Modified Alternate Shot

The modified alternate shot format introduces a unique challenge as players alternate shots on each hole. This requires not only individual skill but also synchronization between teammates to navigate the course efficiently. 

Decision-making becomes crucial in determining the order of shots to optimize performance.

Thrills of the Scramble Format

The scramble format in the final six holes injects an element of excitement, allowing players to work together to overcome obstacles. 

With both teammates contributing to each shot, the pressure is on to choose the best positions strategically. This segment often results in thrilling moments and unexpected turnarounds.

Scoring System

Scoring in a 6-6-6 golf tournament is based on the cumulative score over the 18 holes. The team with the lowest total score emerges victorious. Each format contributes to the final score, making consistency across all three segments essential for success.

Appeal and Social Aspect

The 6-6-6 format is popular not only for its competitive nature but also for its social appeal. Teams can enjoy a diverse range of golf experiences within a single round, fostering camaraderie and teamwork. 

The variety in formats keeps players engaged and adds an element of unpredictability to the outcome.

Historical Context

The origin of the 6-6-6 format can be traced to golf club events and friendly competitions where organizers sought to introduce a dynamic twist to the traditional game. 

Over time, its popularity has grown, and many golf enthusiasts appreciate the blend of skill and strategy it demands.

Challenges Faced by Players

While the 6-6-6 format adds an exciting dimension to golf, it also presents challenges for players. 

Adapting to different formats within the same round requires versatility, and teams must be prepared for a shift in strategy every six holes. This diversity makes the tournament mentally and physically demanding.

What Are the Different Formats for Playing a 6-6-6 Golf Tournament?

What Are the Different Formats for Playing a 6-6-6 Golf Tournament

A 6-6-6 golf tournament introduces a captivating twist to the traditional game, incorporating three distinct formats across its 18 holes. Each format adds its own challenges and strategic elements, creating a dynamic and engaging experience for players.

Best Ball (Holes 1-6)

The opening segment of a 6-6-6 golf tournament typically features the Best Ball format for the first six holes. In this format, each player on a team plays their own ball throughout the hole, and the team records the lower of the two scores. 

This encourages players to showcase their individual skills while emphasizing collaboration to achieve the best overall team performance.

Teams strategize to optimize their combined score by selecting the best-performing shots from each player. Communication is key, as teammates decide whose ball to use based on factors like distance from the hole, accuracy, and putting proficiency.

Best Ball sets the tone for the tournament, requiring a balance between individual excellence and cohesive teamwork.

Modified Alternate Shot (Holes 7-12)

The tournament transitions to the Modified Alternate Shot format for the next six holes. In this format, teammates take turns hitting the same ball until it is holed.

The challenge lies in alternating shots effectively, considering each player’s strengths and weaknesses. This format introduces an additional layer of strategy and coordination as teams navigate the course together.

Players must decide on the order of shots, considering factors such as preferred lie, distance, and the specific skills of each teammate. Effective communication and understanding between partners become crucial to ensure a smooth flow and minimize mistakes. 

Scramble (Holes 13-18)

The final six holes of the 6-6-6 golf tournament feature the Scramble format. In a Scramble, both players on a team hit shots from the same location after each stroke, choosing the best position for the subsequent shot. 

This format encourages collaboration and creativity, allowing teams to strategize collectively to overcome challenges on the course.

Scramble often leads to exciting moments, as teammates work together to produce the best possible outcome. The pressure is on to capitalize on each player’s strengths, selecting optimal positions for subsequent shots. 

The fast-paced nature of the Scramble format adds an element of intensity to the closing holes, making it a thrilling conclusion to the tournament.

Texas Scramble

In this variation of the Scramble format, all team members tee off, and then the team selects the best tee shot. From that point, all team members play their own balls into the hole from the chosen location. 

This format maintains the collaborative nature of Scramble while incorporating the challenge of individual play for each shot.


Similar to Modified Alternate Shot, Greensomes involves both players teeing off, and then they choose the best tee shot. 

From there, they alternate shots into the hole. This format combines elements of Best Ball and Alternate Shot, requiring players to strategize effectively.

Chapman System

Also known as Pinehurst System, in this format, teammates both tee off and then swap balls for their second shots. After the second shots, they choose the best ball and play alternate shots into the hole. 

The Chapman System combines elements of Best Ball, Alternate Shot, and Scramble, providing a unique and challenging experience.


A combination of Best Ball and Scramble, the Shamble format involves all team members teeing off, selecting the best tee shot, and then playing their own balls into the hole from that point. 

This format allows for individual performance while incorporating the collaborative aspect of choosing the best initial shot.

3-3-3 Format

A variation of the 6-6-6 concept, the 3-3-3 format divides the 18 holes into three sets of six holes each. However, instead of rotating through three different formats, teams may choose any three formats (e.g., Best Ball, Alternate Shot, Scramble) and play them in any order during each set of six holes.

Cumulative Scoring

Throughout the 6-6-6 golf tournament, teams accumulate scores from each format to determine the overall winner. The team with the lowest total score at the end of the 18 holes emerges victorious. 

The cumulative scoring system ensures that performance across all three formats is essential for success, emphasizing consistency and adaptability.

Variations and Customizations

While the Best Ball, Modified Alternate Shot, and Scramble formats form the core structure of a 6-6-6 tournament, organizers and players may introduce variations or customizations to enhance the experience. 

Some tournaments may include additional challenges, unique rules for specific holes, or creative twists to keep participants engaged and entertained.

Team Dynamics and Communication

A key aspect of success in a 6-6-6 golf tournament is effective team dynamics and communication. Players must understand each other’s strengths, preferences, and playing styles to make informed decisions during each format. 

Strong teamwork contributes significantly to a team’s overall performance and enjoyment of the tournament.


What is a 6-6-6 golf tournament?

A 6-6-6 golf tournament is a unique golf format where teams of two players rotate through three different formats over 18 holes. The formats include Best Ball, Modified Alternate Shot, and Scramble, each lasting for six holes. 

How is scoring done in a 6-6-6 golf tournament?

Scoring in a 6-6-6 golf tournament is cumulative across all three formats. Teams record their scores for each segment (Best Ball, Modified Alternate Shot, and Scramble) over the 18 holes. The team with the lowest total score at the end of the tournament is declared the winner.

What strategies are important in a Best Ball segment?

In the Best Ball format, teammates aim to record the lower score on each hole. Effective communication and coordination are crucial as players decide whose shot to use based on factors like distance, accuracy, and putting proficiency. 

How does the Modified Alternate Shot format work?

In the Modified Alternate Shot format, teammates take turns hitting the same ball until it is holed. Players must strategically decide the order of shots, considering each other’s strengths and the specific requirements of each hole. 

What makes the Scramble format exciting in a 6-6-6 tournament?

The Scramble format is known for its excitement as both teammates hit from the same location after each stroke, choosing the best position for the next shot. This encourages collaboration, creativity, and the potential for thrilling moments on the course. 


The 6-6-6 golf tournament stands as a testament to golf’s ever-evolving nature and its ability to embrace innovative challenges.

As players engage in this dynamic format, they not only showcase their individual skills but also forge a unique partnership with their teammates. 

The fusion of best ball, alternate shot, and scramble injects a refreshing unpredictability into the game, ensuring that every stroke counts.

Beyond the scorecard, the tournament fosters camaraderie and strategic collaboration, adding a social dimension to the sport. 

Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a casual enthusiast, the 6-6-6 format promises an exhilarating experience for you that transcends the ordinary. 

So, the next time you hear about a 6-6-6 golf tournament, you’ll understand that it’s more than just numbers—it’s a symphony of strategy, teamwork, and the enduring spirit of golf that continues to captivate players and fans alike.

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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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