What Is a Golf Scramble? Here’s What You Need to Know


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What Is a Golf Scramble?

Golf Scramble

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Simply put, golf scramble is is a tournament format that involves team play in which each golfer on the team takes a tee shot. From there the teams select the shot they like best. Then each golfer plays from within one club length of the chosen spot.


The advantage of the club length rule is that players don't have to play in others teammates' divots. Once each teammate has played from that spot, the team again decides the shot they like best and plays from there (within a club's length as before.) Players continue this pattern until the entire team holes out.


Tournament set ups vary or course. Either the organizers will arrange the teams or players can choose their own teammates in advance. This will determine how the play and strategy goes.

How Is It Different From Traditional Golf?

Traditional Golf

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In contrast with golf scramble, traditional golf pits every player against the field. The individual golfer's scorecard is what counts at the end. The golf scramble variation is defined by overall teamwork.


Working from the tee, players get to play their way to the cup piggybacking on the best shot among his or her teammates. Players pick up their ball and move to the spot that the consensus agrees on. The golfers then play their own individual ball from one club length of that spot. This rule allow everyone to play and keep the game moving.


This is particularly helpful as any given golfer may have a high handicap. When playing with better performing teammates, these high handicap players can never truly enjoy a competitive game. There's always mixed skill and strength within any group. Golf scramble levels the playing field.


Odds are that at least one player on the respective teams will have a good shot on every rotation. This will move the pace of play along by helping remediate the players who didn't shoot so well. In this case the whole team can benefit from each individual golfers' strength. Does the team have a mix of good chip shooters, putters, and tee shooter? The wealth gets spread around. Every player's strength is the strength of the whole team. What is a golf scramble? It's a way to play team golf that gives everyone a chance to shine.

Breakdown of the Game

In order to answer the question “what is a golf scramble?” there are a few things that we should highlight. We'll consider the contexts in which it is a popular format, points/rules of game play, and strategies for play.

Where Is It Most Popular?


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This is a popular format for many situations. Charity organizations and fundraising events often choose the golf scramble. This tournament format is well suited for beginners and high handicap players. Scrambles are very popular for corporate events.

Finer Points of the Game

PLaying Golf

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Several rules have already been mentioned in passing as we consider "what is a golf scramble." We're are going to examine a few of these in greater depth. The rules may seem to allow for gaming the system, but when we look at them more closely, it becomes obvious that this is not the case.

Play On the Cup

Improving the Lie and Advancing the Ball

Basic Strategies

Basic Strategies

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In order to understand “What is a golf scramble,” one of most important matters to understand is the strategy. Strategy is everything in a scramble. Any strategy must take into account the variety of skill among the teammates. These are some things that will help everyone understand golf scramble.

Player Line Up

Aggression of Play

Long Game Strategy

Short Game and the Putting Green:

Variations on the Format

Variations on the Format

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In order to answer the question, “what is a golf scramble?” you will first have to answer the question, “which version of the golf scramble do you mean?” There are several versions, all with distinct rules. Here is a brief rundown of each version of golf scramble.

  • Fort Lauderdale: standard scramble format
  • Miami scramble: the golfer whose drive is selected is required to sit out when the rest of the team reaches the green
  • Ambrose: scramble version takes the net score using a team handicap
  • Las Vegas scramble: players need a six-sided die to determine the progress of the game
  • Florida scramble: after each stroke, if a golfer's shot is selected to represent the team, that player must sit out the following stroke
  • Step Aside/Drop Out/Stand Aside/or Stand Out Scramble: alternate names for Florida Scramble
  • Bramble: a scramble off the tee with standard golf rules thereafter
  • Shamble: the same as Bramble#
  • Texas scramble: teams must select a minimum of four drives from each team during the round
  • Bloodsome: this is played by using the worst ball after each stroke
  • Reverse scramble: the same as Bloodsome
  • Powerball scramble: on given holes, teams select a given player who will tee off from the forward tees

Each of these have a unique appeal. Tournament organizers may find that one of the other fits their purpose best.


Golf Scramble is a very inclusive and inviting tournament set up. Players that ordinarily wouldn't belong on the same course together are now teammates and competitors. The slumps, slices, hooks, and weak spots of one player can be complemented by another teammate. The whole setup takes the stress off individual players. This fast paced golf format is a stress free team game for everyone to enjoy.


Organize a tournament to raise funds, charity purposes, or for strictly competitive purposes. Bring together a field to make the play both exciting and fun. With the overall game format, the day will move along quickly. Players and spectators alike will appreciate that.


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