Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Jim:

I have seen solutions for other combinations of setting up a golf trip but I haven't seen one for my group. We have 16 golfers playing one round of golf on each of four days. Is there a way for all of them to play in foursomes so that everyone gets to play with everyone else? Thanks for your consideration.


What you want is easily seen to be impossible: any one person plays with three others in a foursome, so that FIVE foursomes would be required for that person to play with all 15 other golfers. Happily, a symmetric arrangement can be organized for five rounds. We have a description of that arrangement in our archives:

For your golf trip, you just use the first four rounds from the table. In fact, for whichever of the four rounds you use, each golfer will play one time with each of 12 others.



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