A Fivesome

A reader of Golf Basics for Women wants to know if a fivesome is permissable.

Can a flight have 5 players?

The number of players is determined by the format that is being played, traditionally 2, 3 or 4.

For example:

  • 2 players for stroke or match play
  • 3 players for threesomes
  • 4 players for foursomes or best ball
The only format that accommodates 5 players is stroke play. Where the Rules of Golf don't state a limit on the number of players as such, the issue is not only governed by the format, but also by "the spirit of the game". Pace of play is very important to keep a round of golf enjoyable for everybody on the course.

It is a group's responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If a group is delaying the group behind, it should invite the group behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group.

Most 5-somes are slower than the groups following them and end up having to let several groups play through, slowing down their pace even more. That is why most courses don't allow 5-somes out.

Since it is not specified in the Rules of Golf, the Rules provide that the Committee has the deciding authority on this issue.

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