How To Play a Scramble

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Golf is not an easy sport, we all know that, thankfully, if you don’t feel ready enough to play in a tournament, there are“Scramble” competitions that welcome all levels of golfer! They’re built around teams and set up to take the pressure off the individual player. If you hit a poor shot, you can discard it and use one of your teammates’ shots instead. The Scramble is a very popular competition format at golf courses across the world, because it’s collaborative, fun and fast. Here’s how it works.

The Basic Scramble

The main premise of a Scramble is that you’re constantly choosing the best shot hit by your team and then everybody on the team plays the next shot from there. So in a four-player-team scramble, all four players tee off, and the team chooses the shot they like the best (typically, the shot that went the farthest and is in a good position in the fairway). The spot where that ball has come to rest is now the place from which all four players hit their second shot. (Most scrambles allow players to place their ball within a club length of where the “best” shot had stopped.)

After every team member hits their second shot, you go through the same routine: the ball in the best position for the third shot is selected, and everyone hits again from that point. All four players hit again, and this process continues until the hole is finished (even on the green). The team’s score on the hole is the total of each “best” shot.

The Step-Aside Scramble

To mix things up and prevent a team’s ability to choose the same player’s shot every time, your tournament committee might opt to stage a “Step-Aside Scramble.” For this popular version of the format, the player whose ball was chosen on the last shot must step aside (not hit) on the next shot. So no player’s shot can ever be used back to back on the same hole.

The Step-Aside Scramble moves faster than the regular Scramble because only three players are hitting from each position.

Tip

If you are selecting a scramble team, try to include at least one player who can hit good tee shots with the driver. Good tee shots will put your team in a good position for its second shot. Having a player who has good short-game skills also helps, especially putting.

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