Golf Scramble Format: Rules, Variations & How To Play

The golf scramble is an enjoyable and relatively easy four-person golf game. It presents a great way for new players to learn the game and experienced golfers looking to have fun on different courses with friends or colleagues. With its modified rules, everyone who heads out onto the course can participate in the challenge while having a great time socializing between shots.

The scramble in golf has quickly become a popular pastime among all types of players across all levels of experience, so if you’re looking to increase your golfing expertise and have fun choosing which hole looks like the best choice for you and your team along the way, then read on for our comprehensive guide for playing a successful round!

Read more: Golf Scoring Term: Par, Bogey, Birdie, Eagle and More

What Is A Golf Scramble?

The scramble in golf is a game that involves teams of two to four golfers hitting a shot from the same spot. After every shot, the team selects the best ball, and all players take their next shot from the chosen spot. This process is repeated until the ball reaches the hole.

The scramble format is especially popular for charity tournaments and corporate golf events, as it is a great way to introduce new players to the game and provide a fun experience for all involved. It’s also a great way to incorporate some friendly competition into an otherwise relaxed and casual round of golf.


What Are The Different Variations Of Golf Scramble?

Las Vegas Scramble

This particular variation involves four teams going head-to-head, each with talented members. The twist comes in the form of a 6-sided die, which is rolled at the start of each hole. This determines which team member’s drive will be used on that hole. It adds an element of luck and unpredictability to the game while keeping things entertaining and engaging throughout the round. 

Florida Scramble

Each team member takes turns playing their ball in this version, but there’s a catch. The ball selected after each stroke has to sit out the next one. This adds a strategic element to the game, as you must think carefully about which ball to choose on each turn. And during drives, all players get to participate, so it’s not just one person taking center stage. 

Texas Scramble

Handicap Calculation in Texas Scramble Format
Handicap Calculation in Texas Scramble Format

This variation of scramble fold brings a new level of strategy to the course, as each team member must contribute at least four drives throughout the game. With four team members and similar rules to the regular format, the Texas scramble offers an exciting twist to your typical golf outing. 


Ambrose is an exciting golf format that combines the elements of scramble and team handicap. In this game, the players aim to achieve the lowest net score possible by factoring in their handicap. 


This variation combines Scramble and best ball; this game is not for the faint-hearted. The game begins with each team working together to complete a scramble off the tee, but after that, it’s every player for themselves. This means that each golfer will play their ball from that point on, adding an extra layer of competition. 


What Are The Rules When Playing Golf Scramble?

The United States Golf Association has dedicated itself to ensuring that all players follow the correct stroke and match play procedures. However, things can get a little murky when it comes to scrambles. While USGA rules regarding hazards and bunkers still apply, the event organizer will often establish their own rules to ensure a fun and engaging experience for all participants.

To ensure fairness, there are some common rules that teams should follow. One of the most important is the rule of picking the best ball and playing all of their shots from that spot. Additionally, for shots off the green, players must stay within a scorecard of where the ball came to rest, although some events allow a club length instead. And for shots on the green, each player must play within a putter’s head of where the ball stopped. To help teams keep track of where the ball stopped, an identifying mark is usually left close by.


How To Play A Golf Scramble?

Golf Scramble Format
How To Play A Golf Scramble

A golf scramble is a great way to have fun and enjoy golf, regardless of your skill level. Whether you’re an experienced golfer or just starting, the modified rules make golf scramble a game that everyone can participate in.

To start a golf scramble, all team members take turns hitting from the tee when playing in a tournament. The captain will decide the best and mark it so everyone can see it.

Each golfer will then hit their ball from the same spot. They will keep doing this until someone gets the lowest score for that hole. Then, they will start all over on the next hole and do this until they finish with a score based on how many holes they hit.

For each hole, only one ball and score count for each team. Add up the best scores for each hole to get a total score. The team with the lowest total score wins the tournament.

If teams score similarly in a scramble golf tournament, the organizers will draw a number. That number will be the hole they check to see which team had the lowest score. If it’s still tied, they keep checking until one team has a lower score. Players can play faster by trying to get Bogey (one stroke over par).

A scramble is an enjoyable form of golf that can be played with four golfers or more. It allows golfers of all skill levels to enjoy golf in a friendly, competitive environment.


Scoring In The Scramble Golf

In a scramble tournament, scoring is everything. It’s what sets this type of golf apart from traditional play. As a team, you’ll need to rely on one another to come out on top. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an amateur just starting out, this style of play requires a different kind of strategy.

Unlike the individual play, the focus isn’t just on your own performance. Instead, you’ll need to think about how you can work together to get the best score possible. Even if one player struggles with a shot, there’s always a chance to make up for it with the help of your teammates. This sense of camaraderie makes scramble tournaments so unique and exciting.


Common Mistakes Made In Golf Scrambles 

The golf scramble is a great format, but golfers can still make mistakes when playing. The most common mistake golfers make in golf scramble is taking too long to choose shots or hit them. In golf scramble, golfers need to move quickly between shots so that the pace of play remains consistent.

Another common scramble mistake golfers make is not properly selecting the best golf ball for each shot. Though golf scrambles are designed to be fun, golfers should still take the time to carefully choose their shots and use the golf ball that would yield the lowest score overall.

Finally, golfers can also make mistakes when playing golf scramble by not keeping track of their score. As golfers progress through the golf course, it’s important to keep track of each golfer’s score for each hole so that the team can accurately assess their total golf scramble score at the end.


Tips For Winning The Golf Scramble

The golf scramble is a fun format, but golfers can still compete against each other for the best score. Here are a few tips golfers should keep in mind when playing golf scramble:

  • Select the best golf ball for each shot – Carefully analyzing which golf ball will yield the lowest score on any given hole is one of the most important strategies golfers can use to win a golf scramble.
  • Play quickly – With golf scramble, golfers must move quickly between shots so the team can promptly make it around the golf course.
  • Keep track of scores – Golfers should keep an up-to-date tally of each golfer’s score for each hole so that the team can easily assess their golf scramble score at the end.

The golf scramble is an enjoyable format that offers golfers of all levels the opportunity to have a good time while still enjoying golf in a competitive environment. Use these tips to help you maximize your golf scramble experience and have more success in golf scrambles.


The golf scramble format is an enjoyable and relaxed way to play golf with friends. Depending on how you want to play, you can modify it for a competitive or non-competitive game. If the basic rules become stale, you can use several variations to liven things up. However, the core element remains the same: have fun!

Scramble games provide a great opportunity for amateur players to get better and experienced players to keep their skills sharp. Whether you’re playing with even teams of four or managing uneven teams of two, three or more players, everyone will appreciate the hidden gems on each course and the potential prizes at stake in this lively and spirited format.

So gather your comrades, slap your baseball hats on, and hit those fairways – after all, there’s no such thing as competition without some friendly rivalry!


What are The Different Between Scramble vs Shamble In Golf?

Simply put, a scramble involves a team of golfers working together to achieve the lowest score possible. Each team member hits a shot from the tee, and then they choose which shot is the best and play from there. On the other hand, a shamble is a combination of scramble and stroke play. Each player tees off, chooses the best shot, and then plays their own ball from that point forward. While both scramble and shamble have similarities, they also have significant differences that will challenge golfers of all skill levels.

How Does A 3 Man Scramble Work?

The rules of the game are simple: each team of three golfers plays in a group, and each player tees off on every hole. After the tee shots, the team chooses the best ball and each player then hits their next shot from that spot. This process is repeated until the ball is holed out. The goal is to have the lowest score at the end of the round, and to enjoy the camaraderie and shared strategy of playing with teammates.

Does Golf Scramble Use Handicaps?

Handicaps are a way of leveling the playing field by giving weaker players an advantage. While not mandatory, many golf scrambles use handicaps to even the playing field. Without handicaps, stronger players would dominate the game, leaving little or no chance for the others to compete. Handicaps make the game more inclusive, and most players appreciate the system’s fairness.

How Long Do Golf Scrambles Usually Take?

The length of the golf scramble depends on several factors, such as the golfers’ skill level, the golf course size, and how quickly golfers move between shots. Generally speaking, depending on these variables, a golf scramble can take anywhere from two to four hours to complete.

How Many Holes Are In A Scramble? 

Most golf scrambles are played over the same number of holes as a regular golf round, which is typically 18 holes. However, golf scrambles can also be played over fewer holes if golfers wish to shorten the game or golf course conditions only permit golfers to play some 18 holes.




  • Alvin Daniel

    Hello everyone, I'm Alvin Daniel. I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when I was 16 years old. I started playing golf at that age and have loved it ever since. I turned professional when I was 21 and have been working as a golf instructor and guide ever since. My goal is to help everyone know more about this great game of golf. And, hopefully, through my instruction, they can improve their skills and enjoy the game even more.

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