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Scramble Tournament: What It Is, How to Play It

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Putting in a golf scramble tournament

Why are those three golfers waiting behind the one who is putting? Because they are teammates and they'll be putting from the same spot. It's a scramble tournament.

Tom Grizzle/Getty Images

Definition: The Scramble is one of the primary forms of tournament play for golf associations, charity events and the like. A scramble is usually played with 4-person teams, but 2-person scrambles are popular, too. At a 2-person scramble, handicaps are usually applied; at a 4-person scramble, handicaps are usually not applied - unless it is an Ambrose-style scramble.

In a scramble, each player tees off on each hole. The best of the tee shots is selected and all players play their second shots from that spot. The best of the second shots is determined, then all play their third shots from that spot, and so on until the ball is holed.

When played as a foursome, teams are usually constructed with an A player, B player, C player and D player, with those players designated based on handicaps. The A player would the low-handicapper, the D player the high-handicapper.

A scramble might require A and B players to tee off from the back tees and C and D players from the middle tees; or A's from the back, B's and C's from the middle and D's from the front; or the tournament organizers might specify that all players play from the same set of tees.

There are many variations on the basic scramble golf tournament format. Some of those include:

Video: Watch a demonstration of scramble play

Related Video
What Is a Scramble?
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