Golf Scramble Tournament: Basics, Strategies, And Variations

A golfer has hit a shot and other golfers are watching his hot on the golf course.

A golf scramble is a great way for teammates to play the course together in the direction of winning. From understanding the rules to coming up with strategies to maximize your team’s success, we’ll have everything you need to know to make the most of your game!

Golf is an increasingly popular sport. It has inspired the emergence of many modified formats. But one form that has achieved fame from coast-to-coast is golf scramble! 

If you’re not familiar with this game yet, here’s a detailed overview to help you up.

What is a golf scramble?

The golf scramble is a fun and dynamic way of playing a round of golf. It allows players of different skill levels and ages to play together to achieve their best possible score. 

Most tournaments usually have teams of three or four people; however, solo scrambles also occur. While you can play this format outside official tournaments, this format tends to be more popular in organized events.

In the scramble, simultaneous shots are taken from the same spot, and the team members choose and hit their best ball for each shot. This process continues until they finish the hole. 

This type of format eliminates any need for penalty strokes or hits in areas such as trees and bunkers since one team member generally puts it into a better position than before.

How to play a scramble in golf?

Playing the scramble in golf can be very enjoyable for novice and advanced players. You need to know the format and rules to play scramble better and enjoy the game.

Golf scramble format

A golf scramble typically involves teams of four players. Each team plays its own ball throughout the round, but the team chooses the best shot of the four, and all players hit their second shots from that spot. 

The team continues in this fashion until the hole is completed. The team with the lowest score on each hole wins the hole and is said to have “won the scramble.” 

Golf scramble rules

As per the USGA, the following rules must be considered unless any local course rules or intramural sports modifications take place:

  • The competition will take place between four players. Teams of four may create their own group or, if entering as an individual, will be matched with a scramble team.

Note: You need to ensure that you are at the course and ready to begin the game at least 30 minutes before the start time.

  • At the tournament, each team plays by striking a tee-off on every hole. Afterward, they decide which shot is optimal through deliberation and discussion. Often, the captain chooses their best stroke, most commonly the one with long reach in the fairway. Once the spot is identified, the second shot is played from there.
  • This same process is repeated for every hole until the lowest score of that particular hole is achieved before continuing to the next hole. At the end of 18 holes, whoever has done best in terms of successful putts and hits within par range wins!
  • Golfers are allowed to improve their lie by one club length across the green except in the hazards. 
  • When the team’s best shot falls on a hazard such as sand or water, they are made to play from that exact position as it lies. This rule applies even when players use this same technique for other shots on the course – hazards remain an exception with no leeway granted.
  • Out-of-bounds are marked.
  • All putts must be holed out. No gimmies.
  • Each member of the team must use his/her tee shot once. No mulligans are allowed.

Different types of golf scramble

Playing the scramble in golf can be very enjoyable for novice and advanced players. You need to know the format and rules to play scramble better and enjoy the game.

In some cases, the team may have to decide to play a scramble golf variation that speeds up the pace of play. Some of the common variations are mentioned below.

1. Texas scramble

Texas scramble is quite similar to the conventional scramble fold format, which includes four team members and standard rules. However, the Texas scramble has minor differences in some parts, such as every player must contribute at least four drives throughout the duration of play.

2. Florida Scramble

For this variation of golf, one team member will be chosen randomly after each stroke to take the next off. This means that every player takes alternating strokes throughout the entire round, except for their drive on each hole.

3. Las Vegas scramble

This variation enables four teams to compete, making use of 6-sided dice. You can roll the dice on each hole during the round and decide which member’s drive will be used for that particular hole. An enjoyable game with exciting surprises waiting!

4. Ambrose

Combine a scramble with a team handicap, and you will play golf using net scores based on everyone’s handicaps. This variation is perfect for groups with players at different levels!

5. Bramble

This scramble variation brings together the best of both worlds, scramble and best ball. Players begin by forming a team to play a scramble off the tee. After that, every golfer is on their own until they make it into the hole!

Strategies to help win at scramble golf

It is crucial to pick the correct order of play for scramble golf to succeed.  The best player is not necessarily the best in every aspect, a player can create an order to play, which helps achieve the best results. 

The strategy for winning the golf scrambles is to let stronger players hit the first putts, and the best putters play the most at each green. This way, the team still has an improved putter to play last, even with the first two missed. 

When selecting a target for a golf shot, always choose the one that has a better position on the hole. 

Scramble vs. best ball

Scrambling or best ball are both format forms in recreational golf matches. This format is not used for professional play but is commonly used at recreational tournaments and international events, such as the Ryder Cup and President’s Cup.

Scrambling involves deciding on the best shot and then playing from the same shot. The most efficient ball occurs when everyone is playing one ball throughout the hole with the greatest scoring. Golf can often be a single sport, but playing with a team and combining these activities with scramble formats can be a great way.


A golf scramble is a great way to bring a group of friends together to enjoy a fun and competitive round of golf. It encourages collaboration, risk-taking, and friendly competition and can be a great way to build team spirit.

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