How to Play Scramble in Golf

By Michael Joseph

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A scramble involves four golfers playing as a team. Each player tees off and the team selects the best shot. Players then take their next shots fom there. This continues until a ball is sunk. All holes are played this way. A scramble speeds up pace of play and allows players of all levels to compete with each other.


Difficulty: Easy
  1. Let the shorter or more accurate drivers go first. Ideally, they will hit the fairway and allow the long hitters to try to crush the ball. If no one hits a safe shot, one golfer should hit a safe shot to the fairway with an iron.
  2. On par-3 holes, the less accurate players should begin and aim for the center or fat part of the green. If one reaches it, the others should go pin-seeking.
  3. Do the same for approach shots. Let two players try to hit safe shots, then the other two can be more aggressive.
  4. The best putter should go last at the hole. With luck, he won't even need to putt. But if he does, he will have had the chance to watch three others putt and get a better idea of the green's speed and breaks.
  5. Most scrambles require a certain number of drives, approach shots, or putts. It's easy to play the best shots over and forget about quotas. You don't want to get to the last few holes and have to use only the shots of the highest handicap golfer. Plus, it adds unneeded pressure for less experienced golfers. If they hit decent shots early in the round that won't hurt your chances at par, take them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Having four golfers for a scramble is best, especially if they have varied handicaps and abilities. You can also play with two or three, though handicaps may apply.
  • Most scrambles are set up to be played by "A,B,C,D" players: "A" players are the best and "D" players have the highest handicaps. Groups are paired by handicaps to ensures fairness.

About the Author

Michael Joseph is a golf industry professional in New Jersey. He has worked as a golf professional, instructor, and clubmaker. Joseph's education includes a degree in golf operations management and a certification in club-fitting from The Golf Academy of America (formally the San Diego Golf Academy). Joseph shares his golf experience and knowledge with others by writing articles for Demand Media Studios and