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What is Scrambling in Golf? Golf Rules for Scramble

What is Scrambling in Golf?
Golf Rules for Scramble

If you’re a novice golf player, you’re probably discouraged by all the new terms you’re bombarded with.

Bogey, ace, put, mulligan, even scramble…

So, what is scrambling in golf and how important is it?

Scramble is one of the essential perks every golfer needs to know. Without scramble, it can be challenging or even impossible to get near a single-figure handicap.

Sure, this likely sounds confusing, but be patient – this article will explain everything.

If you’d like to know what scrambling percentage is in golf, why scramble is important, and much other important information, you’re in the right place.

Here’s everything that might interest you:

What Is Scrambling in Golf?

Since you’re here, the main question you’re wondering is what is scrambling in golf.

A scramble is a common format used in numerous golf tournaments. To play a scramble, you need a team of four players, with each player hitting the ball through the course of the match.

The team will look at the first shot from every player and then use the same spot for each team member.

Once the first shot is completed, each team member will select a location and make another stroke from there. This process is continued until the team completes every hole.

As such, the scramble format is much more relaxed compared to other standard methods.

There is no pressure to achieve an individual score, and the rules can be modified according to the organizer’s desires.

This makes scramble a common choice for charity events, as there are no strict rules.

Scrambling is a golfer’s ability to save par after missing a GIR (green in regulation).

Many people, especially novice players, think that you should only use your wedges for a proper scramble, but this isn’t the case.

Scrambling involves your entire game and not just a few shots with a specific club.

missing a GIR

Scramble Varieties

There are a few different formats when scrambling in golf, next to the standard one I’ll talk about the most. This includes:

Texas Scramble

This is similar to a standard game of scramble, but all members are required to contribute with four drives or more throughout each series.

Las Vegas Scramble

This type of scramble uses a 6-sided die. The member whose drive will be used for a specific hole is decided upon by a roll of the dice.

Florida Scramble

During a Florida scramble, a golfer who played the ball will have to sit through the following stroke. This means that a member of the team will always skip a stroke.


During this type of scramble, a typical scramble is combined with a team handicap.


This is a combination of a standard scramble and the best ball. The game will start like a scramble, then each player will play for themselves.

What Is Modified Scramble in Golf?

Modified scramble is just another term used for Texas scramble. In this type of scramble, all players will select the best shot, place all of their balls in their area, and this will also be the moment through which they’ll play each of their strokes.

This format requires players to select the highest shot of the tee, move their balls onto that exact spot, then complete the hole during the individual strokes.

This isn’t as popular a ball format as a regular scramble, but it’s still commonly played, especially during charity tournaments.

Golf Rules for Scramble

As mentioned before, there are fewer rules to scramble than in a regular golf tournament. Still, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any rules at all.

Here are some of the main golf rules for scramble a player has to respect:

You can always look at PGA Scrambling Stats to check the average score for every tour and think of a strategy to improve your game based on that.

Useful Strategies

There are a few things that can play a game of scramble. A proper strategy is essential in winning the game.

An important thing is not to rely too much on the best player. No matter how good they are, they might not be amazing for all phases of the game.

As such, it’s a great idea to strategically think of the order in which the players should hit.

Choosing the right ball is also important. You should stick to the ball that has the best lie and view the hole.

This is because the winner of the scramble is decided by the team that manages to get to the green with as few strokes as possible.

When creating a scramble team, you should pick amazing putters, players that are good off the tee, but also the one that will be the best player in the group.

Also, make sure you have a player who is able to hit the ball accurately, but also the one that is able to hit the long ball.

In general, the player that makes accurate shots should be the one that will make the first strike and put the golf ball in the fairway.

On the other hand, the last player to make the third shot should be the one who is the longest hitter. The middle players should be those that can hit a great tee shot.

If you know who the worst putter is, they can also be the one that will take the first shot. The second-best and the third-best should be in the middle, and the best one should be the last.

Scrambling Vs Up and Down

Even players who know what is scrambling in golf might not understand the difference between golf scramble and up and downs.

Up and downs don’t have the same rules and regulations as a scramble. For example, a player isn’t required to make par or better.

Other than that, however, it seems like not all players or even golf experts can precisely agree on what up and downs are or whether they are counted towards the completed score.

For example, the PGA Tour doesn’t measure up and downs, only scrambling. This is what makes it nearly impossible to measure players’ up and down scores and percentages.

As such, it isn’t advised to look at the stats and make the conclusion about players and the type of game that should be played just according to numbers.

There are many other types of data and stats that determine a full score and who professional or amateur golfers are.

Also, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t play up and down. You simply have to stay in touch with regulations within the local tournaments you plan on playing in.

Bottom Line

Now you know what scrambling golf is. This is a rather fun and more aloof type of golf that allows you to enjoy the game without the stress of impacting your own personal score.

It is also a great way to improve teamwork and to implement various tactics so you can increase your chances of winning.

Also, just because you might play a great game doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be a successful scramble player. Find a type of game you can excel in and enjoy it.