What is Scrambling in Golf?

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Jake was a competitive golfer for over a decade dating back to the days of being the Captain of his high school golf team. He has played more than 200 courses across 32 different states in the US. Now semi-retired, Jake continues to golf 3-4 days a week with a current 2 handicap, gives golf lessons to his friends and family, and provides a wealth of knowledge to Golf Circuit from his competitive playing days. Jake combines practical expertise with technical knowledge to create golfing strategies and training techniques for both beginners and scratch golfers.

Scrambling in golf is a statistic that assesses and calculates a golf player’s short game performance. A successful scramble requires that a golfer has a chip or putt from less than 50 yards, requiring only one putt or less on the green. The statistic is formed from this calculation:

Successful scrambles divided by missed greens

So, for example, if one has 300 successful scrambles and 415 missed greens, their scrambling statistic would be 72% (300/415.)

This would be a remarkable average since the PGA Tour average scrambling statistic for 2021 is 58%

The History of Scrambling 

The Scrambling stat was built to compute a golfer’s capabilities to avoid a bogey after they’ve missed the green with their approaching shot. The collection of scrambling stats began with the PGA during 1992’s golf season. However, even though this statistic is a fair indication of a player’s short game, it doesn’t acknowledge putting. Therefore this makes the stat considerably unreliable. 

What is a Texas Scramble?

Hearing the word “scramble” in golf usually reminds amateur players of a method of play rather than a statistic.

A Texas scramble is a method for playing golf frequented for charity events or amateur tournaments. It is often played in teams containing 3 to 4 players. The drives are selected for the next shot, and then each member of the team places their balls wherever the drive lands. They’ll then take another shot from this newly chosen spot.

One of the reasons the Texas Scramble is preferred is because amateur golfers can join and try their hand with no concern of being embarrassed.

Read More: Average Golf Score By Age

They also don’t have to worry about burdening their other team members. Simply put, high handicapped individuals or those relatively new to the world of golf can perform and contribute to their team with no worries.

There are other variations of scrambling golf as well. They are:

1. Texas Scramble – here, team members must partake in four drives throughout the game.

2. Florida Scramble – This method has the golfer’s ball selected after each stroke. 

3. Las Vegas Scramble – This asks the team to be in a four-team format and necessitate a six-sided die. Each die is then used on each roll. During the round, the dice are used on all the holes so that the member’s drive can be utilized.

4. Bramble – Bramble is a combination of Scramble and something that is called Best Ball. The game begins with golfers playing scrambles of the team. From then on, everyone player s in it for himself.

5. Bloodsome – The team plays using the worst team member’s ball after every stroke. This is a rare scramble to play because of its’ extensive gameplay.

6. Powerball scramble – Randomly, the team will select one of its members to tee off from forwarding tees on some of the holes.

7. Shamble – the best ball off the tee is selected, and everyone else plays regular golf afterward until they get to the hole. 

8. Best Ball – Each player plays by focusing on getting their ball into the holes throughout the game. The overall score for the team is based on the lowest score shot by a member on any hole.

Texas Scramble Handicap Allowance

Texas Scrambles allow for Handicap playing. A commonly followed guideline for handicap allowance is set to 10% of the three or four players on the team. Since the World Handicap system changed over time, this guideline has changed, and now rather than a percentage, there is an exact recommended number of players in each team that is allowed handicap.

Texas Scramble vs. Regular Scrambling – Similarities

These two forms of Scrambling are virtually the same. A basic scramble requires teams of 4 golf players. It is also acceptable to have groups of 2s or 3s as well. However, Texas Scrambles usually involve a four-person team. The members of the Scramble play their golf balls during the Scramble. 

Every time a stroke is played, the team members compare their results before selecting their best shot. Once the trial is set, all other teammates will move their balls to the following location and continue to play. This process will keep repeating until the golf ball lands in the hole. 

Texas Scramble vs. Regular Scrambling – Differences

The sole difference between a regular scramble and a Texas Scramble is the driving requisite. Each team member must participate and contribute four drives minimum in the rounds they are playing in. So in an 18-hole match, the team has to choose at least four of a player’s drives to be the team’s drive. This goes on for each player on the team until all player’s drives have been chosen. 

But in a regular scramble, an excellent driver would have their tee ball used on every hole. Unfortunately, a weak driver may not have a driver and may not have any of their drives used by their team. A Texas Scramble cuts off that possibility and will allow anyone to play or get on the team and start playing. 

The History of a Texas Scramble

The Texas Scramble is known as the Captain’s Choice as well. However, the Texas Scramble became a more popular name due to this particular format growing in Texas during the 1950s. During the Depression, this format flourished and gained striking popularity in Las Vegas. 

It was formerly regarded as the Captain’s Choice because the lead player in each team made the shot selection themselves. Nowadays, the Texas Scramble is extremely popular in charity events and pro-am tournaments because it is informal and relaxed. 

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