When it comes to golf formats, there are more than enough to go around, and choosing which is best for your event can be a daunting task. You’ve got formats such as the shotgun start, staggered tee times, and the scramble.
Today we’ll be taking a deep dive into the scramble format. What is the scramble? And no, we’re not talking about eggs.
What Is The Scramble Golf Format?
The scramble format in golf sounds quite complicated, but, in essence, it’s actually pretty straightforward. A team of four players is formed, and a captain is selected. Once the captain is selected, all four players tee off. The captain then chooses the best ball from the four shots.
The other three players can pick up and clean their golf balls and bring them to the spot the captain has chosen. The four players then play from the same spot, repeating the process. The scramble format continues like this for the full 18 holes, and the best score of each group is tallied up.
Similar to the shotgun format, the scramble format is popular when hosting charity and fundraising events because it helps to relax the rules and the participants along with it. The scramble format does not have an official designation in the USGA or R&A rule book, meaning it cannot be used for tournament play.
The Rules Of The Scramble Golf Format
Players are permitted to move their ball up to one club length to improve their lie. The only cases in which the one club rule length does not apply is when the ball is either in a water hazard or in the bunker. In these cases, players must play the ball from where it lies, just as they would in regular play.
As I stated, all four players tee off, and generally, the captain chooses the best ball, but in reality, this never happens. Most groups chat about which ball is the best, and once a consensus is made, play continues from that spot and is repeated until the hole is finished.
After the captain or team has chosen the ball they are playing, a marker must be placed in the fairway to designate where the team is playing from. Generally speaking, the longest ball off the tee is often chosen, but on occasion, it might be better to choose a ball that is further back but still in the fairway.
The scramble format is a lot of fun and allows golfers of all levels to play together, which makes a nice change from the traditional formats used in preparation for tournament golf. However, although four golf balls are played on every shot, it’s important to note that only one ball counts toward the score for each hole and, subsequently, the 18 holes.
The team that posts the lowest score wins the day, but in the case of a tie, the organizers will draw a random hole for the two teams to continue playing until a winner is determined. A tie is generally accepted if a winning group cannot be determined.