How to Set Up a Golf Scramble Using Handicaps

By Jackson Lewis

The golf scramble is one of the most popular formats for tournament play involving teams. Charities and nonprofit groups commonly use a golf scramble to raise funds for their organization. A common problem that arises with scrambles, however, is that the team with the largest number of low handicap players typically wins the event. A great way to level the playing field in a scramble tournament is to use a handicapping system.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Decide if leveling your playing field is more important than allowing friends to play together in the tournament. If it is, then you will need to split the players into four groups--A, B, C and D--based on their handicap or approximation of handicap. An A player would be a golfer with a handicap less than 10; a B player between 10 and 15; C players between 15 and 20; and D players would be beginners or those with handicaps in excess of 20.
Step 2
Randomly pair the tournament's foursomes into equal groupings of A, B, C and D players.
Step 3
Calculate each team's handicap by adding their individual handicaps and dividing by five or eight, depending on how much credit you want to give to the handicap when calculating their overall score.
Step 4
If you have prioritized allowing friends to team up over making your scramble teams more even in skill level, choose a percentage of each team's best player's handicap to use as the team handicap. Typically, a low percentage--about 35 percent--will help level the playing field for uneven skill levels in a scramble format.
Step 5
Print your tournament scramble rules out for players to pick up at the tournament registration desk. This will minimize any confusion among your tournament players when keeping score.


About The Author

Based in Memphis, Jackson Lewis has been writing on technology-related material for 10 years with a recent emphasis on golf and other sports. He has been freelance writing for Demand Media since 2008. Lewis holds a Master of Science in computer science from the United States Naval Postgraduate School.

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