Golf Scramble Rules: Everything You Need to Know to Plan a Scramble Golf Tournament

Golf Scramble Rules: Everything You Need to Know to Plan a Scramble Golf Tournament

There are a variety of formats to choose from when planning a charity golf tournament such as Best Ball, Bingo-Bango, Golf-a-Thon, and more. However, one of the most popular formats for a charity golf tournament is the Scramble. The Scramble is an ideal choice for charity golf tournaments for several reasons: 

  • Lower scores
  • Quicker rounds
  • Team spirit
  • Friendly competition 
  • Relaxed rules
  • Less pressure on individual’s performance 
  • Flexible rules 

If you are thinking about planning a charity golf tournament, then you should definitely consider using the Scramble as your format. It is simple enough to plan, and the players at your tournament are sure to have a fun time participating in a Scramble tournament.

How Does Golf Scramble Work? 

Typically, a golf Scramble is made up of teams with 2-4 players on them. The basic process of the Scramble is that each player on the team takes a shot from the same spot. After everyone takes a shot, the team will select the best ball to make their next shot. All of the players on the team will take another shot from the chosen spot, and then they’ll choose the best ball for the next shot. This process continues until the hole is completed.

The benefits for playing in a Scramble include: 

  • Unlikely there will be a need for penalty shots
  • Unlikely there will be a need for players to take a shot from the woods or bunkers
  • Welcomes golfers of all skill levels 
  • Encourages non-golfers to participate in the charity golf tournament 

The format of the Scramble is definitely attractive to casual golfers, but really anyone can have fun playing in this type of tournament. It is the perfect choice for a charity tournament if you want everyone to be relaxed and just have a good time.  

While the Scramble is a simple process, it is important to understand the ins and outs of the game. Continue reading to learn about the following: 

  • Common rules of a golf Scramble
  • Strategies that golfers use when playing in a Scramble 
  • Various types of golf Scrambles you can choose to plan
  • Helpful tips for planning your tournament’s golf Scramble

What are Some Common Scramble Golf Rules? 

Technically, there are not any official rules for the golf Scramble since the United States Golf Association (USGA) has not published any such rules. The USGA’s official rules regarding the regulations on the course (such as hazards, bunkers, etc.) are applicable. However, the actual Scramble rules are up to the discretion of those in charge of planning the tournament. There are still some common Scramble rules that are helpful guidelines when planning your tournament’s Scramble. These are: 

  • The team chooses the best ball to use for their next shot. 
  • If the players need to make a shot off the green, then each player must make their shot within the length of a scorecard (sometimes a club length) from where the ball landed. 
  • For all other shots on the green, each player must make their shot within the length of the putter’s head from where the ball landed. 
  • Selling mulligans before the round is common - mulligans allow players to take an extra shot if the team decides it is their best strategy. 
  • The team with the lowest total score wins the tournament. 
  • A common tiebreaker is to randomly draw a hole number and the team that had the lowest score is the winner. 
  • It is common to organize the tournament around 2-player teams, 3-player teams, or 4-player teams. 
    • 2-player teams can often play with groups of two teams together. 
    • 3-player and 4-player teams often go through the course in individual groups. 

Strategies for Golfers Playing in a Scramble 

There are many strategies a team should consider when playing in a Scramble tournament. These include: 

  • Different skills needed - Form a team with players of differing skills to increase the chances of a low score. 
  • Think about the order of players - The order in which each player goes makes a difference. For example, from the tee, the most accurate player should hit first and the longest hitter should go last. If the accurate player’s shot is a good one, then the other players on the team can take a more risky and aggressive shot. Additionally, if any of the first few players hit a good ball, then the longest hitter can take a huge swing for a pressure-free shot. 
  • Use mulligans wisely - Mulligans often provide the best advantage when used for short putts or wedge shots. All mulligans should be used as well. There isn’t any point in having a bunch of leftover mulligans at the end of the tournament. 
  • Choosing your next shot - When choosing which ball to hit next, the team should pick the one that has the best lie and view to the hole. 

5 Types of Scramble Golf  

There are several different ways you can format the Scramble at your golf tournament. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Texas Scramble - In addition to the typical rules of a golf Scramble, this version of the Scramble includes a rule that all of the players must contribute at least four drives throughout the tournament series. 
  • Florida Scramble - In addition to the typical rules of a golf Scramble, this version of the Scramble includes a rule that requires the player whose ball is chosen after a stroke to sit out the next stroke. 
  • Las Vegas Scramble - In addition to the typical rules of a golf Scramble, this variation involves an element of chance. The team will use a 6-sided die on each hole to decide which player's drive will be used. 
  • Bramble - This variation is a combination of the regular Scramble and Best Ball. That means that the team tees off using the Scramble format. Once the best ball is chosen, the members finish the hole on their own from that spot.  
  • Ambrose - This variation combines the regular scramble with a team handicap. This means the team plays using a net score based on the team’s handicap.

Tips for Organizing a Scramble Tournament 

Here are several tips that might help as you plan your next Scramble tournament. 

  • Team size restrictions - Keep in mind that some golf courses will limit the team’s size in a Scramble to five players. While a Scramble is usually best with teams of less than five players, if you do want to have large teams at your Scramble, then you should contact the course you are planning to use. 
  • Team member’s skills - It is important to make sure each team is made up of players with different skills and abilities so that the tournament is competitive and everyone has a good time. If each team has at least one good golfer, then that should keep the team in the game for the duration of the tournament. 
  • 2-player teams - If your tournament has 2-player teams, then you can have two teams play in the same group, which creates a friendly and competitive environment. If you choose to format the Scramble this way, then you will want to establish if the teams can have mulligans and whether or not you need any other special rules. 
  • 3-player and 4-player teams - If you choose to host larger teams at your Scramble, then each group will play individually, which means you will need to allow for separate tee times in the schedule. At the end of the tournament, the team with the lowest score wins. 
  • Include a prize - All charity tournaments are more fun for the participants when prizes are involved. A good idea for a prize is our compact songBirdie golf ball speaker
  • Don’t hesitate to plan a Scramble - While a Scramble tournament might appeal to less skilled golfers, golfers of all levels will typically agree to join a Scramble.The format is a welcome change from the standard golf tournament.  
  • Be creative - Again, since there are no official rules for a Scramble tournament, you have flexibility in the planning process. If there is a rule that would uniquely work for your tournament, then don’t hesitate to incorporate it. 

Start Planning a Hole-In-One Scramble Golf Tournament 

Running a charity golf tournament is quite an undertaking, but with the right planning it is sure to be rewarding. If you are just starting the planning process, check out the blog post 20 Steps to Successfully Organizing a Charity Golf Tournament for helpful information. 

If you are trying to decide the best format for your charity golf tournament, then you should consider a golf Scramble. It is one of the most inclusive styles of golf tournaments and will appeal to a wide group of potential participants. Once you’ve decided to plan a Scramble, make sure you choose the type of Scramble, whether it be a regular Scramble or a variation listed above. After that, you can start planning a hole-in-one Scramble golf tournament!