Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Bill:

Hi, Hopefully you will be able to help me solve a problem we have had for many years.

We have 16 golfers. We golf for 5 days, in foursomes. It should work out that each player plays with each other player 1 time exactly.
I just can't figure it out.

Please help!

Thank you in advance!


Hi Bill,

Sixteen is a magic number. Just search the archives with the key word golf 16 and you'll find what you need




day 1: {1,2,3,4} {5,6,7,8} {9,a,b,c} {d,e,f,g}

day 2: {1,5,9,d} {2,6,a,e} {3,7,b,f} {4,8,c,g}

day 3: {1,6,c,f} {2,5,b,g} {3,8,a,d} {4,7,9,e}

day 4: {1,b,8,e} {2,c,7,d} {3,9,6,g} {4,a,5,f}

day 5: {1,7,a,g} {2,8,9,f} {3,5,c,e} {4,b,6,d}



In May of 2010 Penny sent us an Excel spreadsheet that allows you to input the names of 16 golfers and it returns the schedule in Claude's solution above. Click here to download the spreadsheet.


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