What is a Golf Scramble? (And How To Play In One!)

By Chris Moore •  Updated on 04/25/22

A golf scramble is a fun way to play the game of golf that involves each player taking shots from different parts of the course.

It’s often played in team events, and players use what’s known as “the best ball rule” which means you have to take a shot from where your previous shot landed.

Golf scrambles are often used for charity or local events, so it’s not just a great way to have some fun on the green – it’s also a great opportunity to give back to the community!

What exactly is a Golf Scramble?

A scramble format is a type of team competition in which golfers, usually pairs or foursomes, drop their ball where the previous best shot from the group ended up.

All team members hit from that spot, contributing to finishing the hole in the least amount of strokes possible, working together.

Each shot is independent of the previous one, making it a forgiving format because you’re taking the best shot from everybody’s attempt!

How to play in a Golf Scramble

When you’re starting off in a scramble group, each team member will hit their tee shot.

The group of golfers will then decide which of the tee shots ended up in the best spot, then they’ll each play their second shot within one club length of the chosen first shot.

After each golfer in the group takes their second shot, the team will again choose which of the second shots ended up in the best position.

The group continues to play all of their shots, including putts, from the group’s previous chosen shot until the ball is in the hole.

At the end of the hole, you’ll want to tally how many chosen strokes your team took, which is your score.

The group continues to play in this way on all holes for the round.

How does a Golf Scramble work?

Here is an example of a typical golf scramble hole with two golfers:

Scramble Variations

There are a few different variations of a golf scramble we’ll cover.

These formats keep scramble tournaments more interesting and competitive since the “ringer” has less impact than traditional scramble formats.

It should also be known some people think best ball and scramble are the same, although they have quite a few differences.

Forming the right Golf Scramble team

While golf scrambles are typically for fun, each of your members should fall into one of these categories.

Long Hitter

A long hitter is useful in scrambles since they can give the team an advantage on holes where they can reach the green in fewer shots.

Consistent Player

Having a consistent golfer on your team will help the team score better. It will take a lot of pressure off the other team members.

Great Putter

A scramble is all about giving your group the best chance to make par or better on each hole.

This is why you want at least one golfer who is a good putter, as they’ll be able to save strokes when your approach shot isn’t ideal.

Final Thoughts

Playing in a golf scramble is fun and competitive, making it the best of both worlds.

Since it’s one of the more common formats for local and charity tournaments, it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into.

And by following the tips above, you’ll be on your way to understanding and excelling in this great scoring format.

Chris Moore

Hi, I'm Chris Moore and I'm the guy behind As an avid golfer since 2010, I decided to create this blog to share everything I've learned over the years. Whether it's golf equipment, swing tips, or anything in-between, I want to make sure you have everything you need to become a better golfer.