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Best Ball


A Waltz is a form of best-ball competition for 3 or more competitors, in which the number of balls to be scored is based on par:

Waltz Scoring
par-5 holes 1 best ball
par-4 holes 2 best balls
par 3 holes 3 best balls

A Modified Waltz is sometimes used for 3-person teams or high handicap players:

Modified Waltz Scoring
par-5 holes 1 best ball
par-4 holes 2 best balls
par 3 holes 2 best balls

Handicap allowances for a Waltz are typically calculated like a "2 Best-Balls of Four" competition, using a handicap allowance of 90% of Course Handicap for men and 95% of Course Handicap for women.

In some circumstances, it may be preferred to calculate handicap allowances for a Waltz as a "1 Best-Ball of Four" competition - 80% of Course Handicap for men and 90% of Course Handicap for women.

In four-ball play, the USGA recommends reducing the Course Handicaps of higher-handicapped partners to a limit of 8 strokes greater than the lower-handicapped teammate, or reducing the Course Handicaps of all the teammates by 10% on teams with handicap disparities greater than 8 strokes. This adjustment makes for fairer play, but is not required.

Waltz team scorecard

Scorecard with 4 players and their Waltz team score

In this illustration, the scorecard includes the individual scores of all the players and their calculated Waltz team score. It's not required that all players return a score at each hole, unless the scores will be recorded for calculating a handicap.

Note on this scorecard that Mary's Handicap Index has been overridden to limit it to 40.4, the maximum non-local index for women. She has also recorded an "X" - disqualified or estimated score - on the 5th hole.

Net Waltz results

Net Waltz scores using 90% & 95% handicap allowances

Illustrated here are the details of the net Waltz team score. Note that on the 5th hole, a par 4, because Mary recorded an "X" score - disqualified or estimated, her score was not used to calculate the team's total.