In a scramble tournament, players split into two- to four-person teams then select the best of their tee shots to shoot from. The second shot is played from the best tee shot, and so on. Because of the variability of players' skill levels and play styles, several variations of the scramble format have evolved, providing unique challenges, handicaps and game play for the pro as well as the novice.
Las Vegas Scramble
To add an element of luck and the spirit of Vegas to your tournament play, the Las Vegas Scramble incorporates a D6 die to determine the fate of your team's shots. After teams have been decided, assign each teammate a number from 1 to 4. Each player will take his tee shot, but instead of choosing the best ball of the four, roll the D6 to determine which of the four players' balls will be used to play the next drive. If you roll a 5 or 6, your team may choose the best of the four balls to play.
The Florida scramble adds a twist to the typical scramble format by limiting who can play each hole. To play a Florida scramble, tee off as usual with each of the four teammates and select the best ball to play the next drive from. The player owning the best shot sits out from the next drive, while the remaining three players play on. This cycle continues, forcing one player to sit out each shot until the ball is holed. While this method forces one teammate to sit out each shot, it creates variance among a team's best shots.
Even within a scramble format, the potential for one or two players to dominate the course still exists. The Texas scramble format prevents any one player's shots from being consistently chosen by requiring that each round consist of at least four drives from each player. By following the Texas scramble format, even the weakest player on a team will receive equal representation in the tournament.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and a reverse scramble team is only as strong as its weakest teammate. While a scramble format typically allows your team to choose from the best of the shots played, a reverse scramble gives your competing team the power to choose where your next ball will be played from. You should expect that your shot count and play time will increase greatly when compared to a standard scramble tournament because you are playing from the weakest of all shots each round. A reverse scramble can allow your team a unique perspective to practice from when preparing for a scramble tournament by identifying the team's weak points.
Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.