Golf is one of the most popular sports. And owing to its popularity, many new formats come up every few days. While some become a success, others may not be liked so much and get discarded.
However, one format — the golf scramble — has become quite popular, so much so that it is the most used format for tournaments, especially fundraisers and charity events. If you want to know more about the sport, how it is played, and golf scramble rules, keep reading.
What’s Golf Scramble?
Golf scramble is a format used in golf tournaments. It is very common to use golf scrambles for fundraisers and charity events due to its relaxed vibe and reduced pressure on single individuals for scores. It is a fun game rather than a competitive sport.
Golf scramble is played between multiple teams, with two or more players making a team. It starts with each player of a team hitting the tee shot. Now, the players will not continue with the spots where their balls have landed but will play from the spot with the best shot.
Say a team is made up of two players. Both players will take their tee shots. Now, which ball has landed at an advantageous spot will be determined, and both players will take their next shot from that spot.
So, it is essentially a best ball format, and the team will repeatedly keep selecting the best ball till one of the players hits the hole. The game is very chilled and relaxed as players are not pressurized since they have a backup. Also, hits from woods and penalty shots are essentially eliminated as at least one team member will strike the ball into a good position.
Only one ball is counted per hole for each team, and so, each team has only one score per hole. The team that gets the ball quickest in the hole will have the lowest score and will win the round. The teams keep competing till all the holes are covered.
The score of each hole is added, and the team with the lowest score wins the tournament.
However, if there is a tie, the organizers will draw a random whole number and the team that won that round wins the tournament.
So, consider an example where the card drawn had the number 8. Now, the team with the lowest score for hole 8 wins. But, if it is still a tie on this hole as well, another card will have to be drawn till the tie is broken.
While there is no limit to the number of players making a team, three or four-player teams are the norm, so the rounds are quicker and participation is higher.
For a three-player game, each team has three players, and often, two teams compete in a tournament. However, a four-player scramble does not involve an opponent team. The players compete against each other and play from the same spot. The rounds are much faster than when four players play stroke play format.
Golf Scramble Rules: How To Play Golf Scramble
Being played mainly for charity events, the rules for scramble are informal, and the organizer often customizes them. The United States Golf Association does not recognize Scramble, and it generally follows USGA rules for bunkers, hazards, and other similar regulations.
Some common rules are:
• All the players play the tee shot.
• The team and the captain pick the best ball, and all the players play from that spot (the best ball is motley the one that has the longest drive on the fairway, or it could be a shot in the rough, off the fairway if it offers a decent lie).
• The second stroke is marked, and all the players play from a club length from the marked spot. However, the spot must not be near the hole.
• However, if the ball falls in the hazard zone like water or sand, or out of bounds or in the rough, the players have to play from that exact location without taking advantage of the one club length rule.
• Putts cannot be marked at one club length but can only be made from three inches from the marked spot (not nearer to the goal).
• Continue to take shots until one player put the ball in the hole
• Women tee off from the red tees, while men tee off from the white tees.
• In a team of three, players are allowed to take the fourth shot, however, they have to take turns so that no person gets to take two consecutive extra shots. For example: For hole one, shot 1 is taken by players A,B,C, and extra shot is taken by A. So shot 1- ABCA; similarly, shot 2 – BCAB, shot 3 – CABC, and so on.
• In a team of five players, only four can take tee off and play consecutive shots. So, at every hole, one player will have to stay out. So, in a five player team ABCDE, A will stay out of 5, 10, 15, and so on, and B will stay out of 4, 9, 14, and so on. Similarly, all the players will stay out.
Organizers may incorporate their own rules. Some of the commonly used ones are:
• Each player’s tee shot must be selected at least twice throughout the tournament (when it is an 18 hole competition).
• Players do not have to necessarily use a driver for their tee shot and can use any golf club of their choice.
• Many organizers offer Mulligans for sale before rounds. Players can use a Mulligan for additional shots when the team agrees that none of their shots offered favorable results.
How To Build A Successful Team
As the best shot is selected from all the shots, selecting players with different areas of expertise helps build a good team. Your team must have a big bomber, an accurate player, and a good putter.
The order in which the players play is also very important. Accurate players must take the strike first when aiming from the tee or fairway. If the first player gets a good shot, the other players will be more aggressive and aim for a better shot.
When aiming from the tee, make sure that your longest hitter comes in last. If one of the balls is indeed on the freeway, the longest hitter can take a pressure-free shot and probably get the best position on the freeway.