There are many different formats available to golf tournament organizers besides playing under the traditional rules of golf followed by the PGA. Many of these formats add rules or handicaps to players or teams of two to four players. Other fun additions to a tournament, outside of adjusting the rules of play, may include closest to the hole awards, worst score prize and hole-in-one contests.

One of the most common variations of rules for four-man golf tournaments is a "scramble" event. This type of event has all four members of a team teeing off. The best shot is selected, and the other three golf balls are picked up. Each player then hits a shot from the location of the selected shot within a club length of the ball but no closer to the hole.

Another popular version is the "best ball" tournament format. All four players on a team play as they normally would, keeping individual scores. At the end of each hole, the team score is selected from the lowest score of the four players for that hole, or the "best ball." Many golf tournaments will include individual games on certain holes, such as a hole-in-one for a large prize or even a longest drive contest on a long par-five hole.