What is a Golf Scramble? Here is How to Play

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You may receive an invitation to play a scramble in golf tournaments, especially in corporate outings and charity events. I had heard this from most of my friends, and I always wondered what scramble was all about. Below is everything I found about this game.

What is a golf scramble? The golf scramble is a golf tournament format where two or more players get into a team. The goal is to have fun without focusing solely on scores. The format is not under official golf rules.

With this information, I sort to find out what rules you need to follow when playing golf scramble. Read on to find out the specifics of this game.

What is a Scramble Tournament?

What is a golf scramble? A scramble tournament has a four-person team, but you can also find a two-person or a three-person team. Sometimes handicaps may be available, but scramble tournaments mainly use gross scores.

In a two-person scramble, each player on the team hits a tee shot; the players then have to decide which shot was better. The two will play from that spot. The shot that wasn’t selected gets that person to pick the ball and move it in a one club range of the chosen spot. After selecting the spot, both players play a shot from the place and pick the one they prefer. The process continues until the hole out.

It’s essential to note that some rules apply in a two-person scramble. Players can put their ball within one club length of the area and not closer to the hole. Players can’t change which cur of grass their ball lies. You can’t place the ball in the fairway if the marker is in the rough. Players continue in the same way for each shot until they hole out.

While this method is simple, it’s best for beginners. Moreover, you need different skill sets in a scramble golf tournament, as it gives you the chance to take on risks. For example, you can take a risk and swing away if your partner hits a short drive down the middle. What’s more, you can run a longer drive.

With a basic scramble, each golfer on the team hits a drive. The results are compared, and the best is chosen. The other golfers on the team take their balls and move them to the designated area. After, the second strokes, the process repeats. You go through selecting the best ball, moving the other balls to that area and playing the third strokes. The ball needs to be holed for a team to score.

Other golfers on the team can move the golf balls to the spot of the selected shot within a club’s length of the original spot. It’s critical to note that the one-club length must not be closer to the hole. It shouldn’t improve where the original ball lies.

Each scramble team has info about the play on each stroke. For example, if golfer A hit first off the tee, golfer B is not required to hit first on the second stroke. Furthermore, if your team’s ball was selected as the best after a stroke, this doesn’t mean you should hit last or first on the next stroke. The team decides about play.

Steps to Putting the Team Together

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You need to get a long hitter off the tee. The tee shot allows you to approach close to the hole, something that makes it easier to make birdie. Also, you need to make the putt. Making the putt increases your chances of winning a scramble.

It’s also essential to find someone who can consistently hit the ball in the fairway. The person doesn’t need to be tall, but he should be accurate. With this, your power hitter is free. When nobody is in the fairway, and it gets to the power hitter, no one will freewheel it.

Some teams find having female drive forward tees advantageous. It’s a challenge on your power driver if the driver gets a 60-yard head start. Make sure that three of the four team members have a chance of hitting the green from 150 yards. One person needs to an active iron player as getting anywhere on the green doesn’t count.

Golf Scramble Playing Strategies

It’s essential to select the right playing order. For example, if you have an A player, you need to note that he may not be perfect on other phases of the game. Keep this in mind when setting up the playing order. Have one order for putts, and the other for the different shots.

Moreover, you need to ensure that the most accurate player off the tee goes first. A reliable player puts something in play period. You could delegate hitting club off the tee to this person to get the ball in the fairway. Having more balls in the fairway gives you an advantage as the long hitter goes last. He won’t have pressure if there are balls in the fairway.

Another point is to make sure the second best putter is second, and the best putter goes last. While it may seem weird at the start, you’ll soon realize that the rotation works. Worst putters should always start as they are under pressure the longer they delay to putt.

You need to keep everyone fresh by having him or her putt on all holes, even after the putt is made. Doing this helps you avoid having the best putter go for long stretches without getting the chance to putt. It’s not good to have the best putter failing to putt in six holes.

As the captain, go with the shot that everyone in the team can handle. Encourage them to be aggressive; this makes the putting to the hole a bit simpler.

Allow the weaker players to hit first. The middle and long hitters should be last. Avoid leaving the long hitters with the anchor spot as this puts them under pressure to dial back and hit the fairway. Being the third enables the long hitters to fire with freedom. Make sure that the straight hitter is consistent to handle the pressure of anchor duties.

The golfer whose drive was chosen needs to hit first on the second shot, this gives him a better chance due to the first shot.

When determining the order of play from stroke to stroke check to see, who are the lousy iron players and who the excellent drivers are. The team decides the order in which the golfers hit. Weaker players perform best in front, while the consistent ones in the back.

On par-5s, allow the short hitters to go first to lay up, the big bombers can go last to fire the green. Also, never choose a ball in the bunker like the one to play, the only case where this applies is when all golfers hit into bunkers.

Never assume that the shortest shot is the simpler one. Avoid going for the ball closest to the green. Check the hazards, lie, angles, and pin position. The same applies to putts; the shortest is not simple.

What Happens to Handicaps in Scramble Tournaments?

You won’t find any rules on how to employ handicaps in a scramble tournament. However, tournament organizers can set guidelines on how a team can handle handicaps in a scramble tournament.

Some of the commonly used handicap allowances when met scores are in use include:

Taking 35% of the A player’s course handicap and adding it to 15% of the B player’s for a two-person scramble. In a three-person scramble, you take 20% of the A player’s course handicap and 15% of the B player’s, plus 10% of the C player’s.

When handling a four-person scramble, each golfer on the team calculates his course handicap. You’ll later take 20% of a player’s handicap, 15% of the B player’s, 10% of the C player’s and 5% of the D players. Add them this will tell you the team’s scramble handicap.

Alternatively, you can take the number of team members and add the course handicaps. Divide what you have with twice the golfers in the team.

Variations on Scramble Golf Tournament

Some of the changes you may experience with the format of scramble golf tournament include:

  • Powerball scramble where a team chooses one of its players from the beginner tees on some holes.
  • Miami scramble where the golfer with the selected drive sits out till the team goes to the green
  • Reverse scramble which is similar to blood some, you use the worst ball after every stroke
  • Texas scramble where the team needs to choose four drives from each of its members during the round
  • Ambrose scramble where a player uses a team handicap in its net score
  • Florida scramble where the golfer whose ball was chosen stays out the next stroke after each stroke

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article answered your question, “What is a golf scramble?” Golf scrambles could make for a fun day on the course. Be sure to get a foursome together and hit the links soon!

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