Golf Scrambles: Rules, Set Up, and How to Win

A golf scramble is a tournament in which the player who hits the ball from the tee with his or her first shot tees off on every hole, and players are paired up for each hole by drawing balls out of a hat.

A golf scramble can be described as chaotic yet fun.

In this article we will go through how to prepare for one, where they happen most often, and tips on winning!

What is a Golf Scramble?

A golf scramble, sometimes called a "team scramble" or "best ball", is a unique golf tournament that involves a player hitting the ball from every one of tee boxes on every hole.

The teams are determined randomly by drawing out players' names and finding their partners based off of those names.

An example is if there were two groups :

Group 1: Player A, B, C, and D

Group 2: Player E, F, G, and H

If the ball is hit from tee box 1 by player B in group one then his partner (C) hits the next shot.

The team that gets closest to the pin wins a point. If there is a tie, then it goes to the team that got closest second.

The first hole is worth 1 point and every hole after that is worth 2 points. The points add up on the score card just like in regular tennis scoring. So if group one beats group two by 8 strokes (8 points), they get an 8 under par in their score card for the round.

How to Play a golf scramble

It is usually best to have an odd number of players (3-5) for your scramble.

If you are playing with 4 people, you will need one more person for a total of 5 people to make the scramble fair if there were two groups (4 in each group). This extra person would be considered part of both groups and would hit from the first tee box for group 1 and then go to second tee box for group 2.

The number of balls needed is based on the number of people in your scramble. A 4-man scramble will need 8 golf balls, 3-man needs 6...

1) Setup a marker at each tee box with an equal number of golf balls.

2) Each golfer in the scramble takes their drive, but all drives must start at the same time. (pull up on a line behind the marker if you have to.

3) Go to the next tee box to hit your second shot and repeat this process until both groups are back near where they started.

4) Once both groups are back near where they started, the scramble is over!

The player with the lowest score wins and the other players lose. It's as easy as that. No handicapping, no out-of-bounds, nothing but scoring your best shots on each hole to get the LOWEST SCORE!!!

Also, if you are playing with 4 people, there will be 4 winners. In a 3-man scramble the low score wins and plays off against one of the players for second place.

Do not use a marker when golfing with 5 players! Just spread out to make sure nobody is completing their game ahead of anyone else. You can also use the marker as a target to hit, but try not to get your golf ball closer than 6-feet away from the flag.

If you play with more than 5 players a foursome and a three-man scramble are created. In any other combination of players like 4 player scramble or 6/5 player scramble, record the difference between each players score and the winner's score. (For example: 2nd - 21 points, 3rd - 25 pts, 4th = 28 pts) The player with the highest difference is considered to be next in line for a win. If you play another round and tie or have a new winner then it continues from there on out.

If you are playing with more than 6 people, draw names and alternate shot to the cup. Try to not use a marker when golfing with 7 or 8 players!

How to Win a Golf Scramble

Here are some tips to help you win your scramble.  You may want to think twice about who you partner up with, as a bad partner can hurt your chances of winning. Here is an example:

Player A - Has a bad back so he tends to lay down his club after every swing or just walks off at times.       

Player B - Plays with a putter and only hits it straight. Has a short drive so he wont be able to get up and down on any green in regulation (GIR) shots.  

Player C - Has good length but is always hitting from the rough, usually out of bounds.    

Player D - Hits driver and 3-wood every time. Great chips and close GIRs, but always seems to be a little out of position.   

If you were in this scramble group, what's your strategy?

You would probably want to get rid of player C first since he can't even hit it on the fairway. Then, you'd probably want to go after player B. With a weak putter, he'll most likely lose the putting competition and be in last place on many holes. Player A would be last on some of the shorter shots due to his back acting up again so that leaves you with player D being your partner for second place.  

This is just a sample scramble scenario, but you should always keep it in mind when choosing partners. The point of the game is to have fun!


The nice thing about a scramble is it doesn't cost much to play, you can use any set of clubs or balls and there is no need to keep score on every single hole.  In this game, it's just as important to have fun as it is to win.

When leading your group in scoring holes you should consider having others throw from the fringe or even letting them hit first so you can hit second and get a better view of the green. This way, your group will be closer to beating the other team if they keep shooting lower scores than you.

In some cases, there may not be an obvious leader for a hole. In this case, it's always a good idea to have a few people count up their scores and choose the lowest as the winner.

It is also nice to keep track of how many holes each person has won even if it's just for bragging rights at the end of the day.  This way, you'll know who got most wins out of your group but remember not to be a sore loser if you happen to lose.

This is just one of the many ways to play a scramble. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy what probably will be your last warm weather golf game for the year. 


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