When starting a hole, generally the player with the lowest score on the previous hole plays first. After starting a hole, the ball farthest from the hole is usually played first. However, the Rules encourage “ready golf” to help improve pace of play as long as it is done in a safe and responsible manner.
In four-ball play, you and your partner can play in whatever order you think is best when it is your side’s turn to play.
Playing Out of Turn to Save Time
Q.Can I play out of turn to save time?
A.The answer depends on the form of play. In stroke play, you may play ready golf in a safe and reliable way. In match play, you and your opponent may agree that one of you will play out of turn for a particular stroke to save time (see Rule 5.6b(2)).
Player and Partner May Play in Any Order
Q.Can my partner and I play in whatever order we choose?
A.Yes. In four-ball play, partners may play in whichever order they see fit (see Rule 23.6).