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How to play in a "Texas Scramble"

A Texas Scramble has nothing to do with US states, cattle or eggs. Its a team format for teams of 2 to 4 players and is one of the more fun formats in golf.

The basics

So each member of the team tees off with their own ball and once you have all tee'd off you survey the results and select the one ball you all want to play for your 2nd shot - normally the best tee shot (but not always - see below).

The player that played the selected tee shot then marks the position of the ball and plays their 2nd shot. The other team members (having lifted their original tee shots) then play their 2nd shots from that same marked position (dropping their ball as close as possible to the mark unless on the green when it is placed). You then repeat the process, selecting the best 2nd shot and each member of the team then plays their 3rd shot from that same position. This goes on until the hole is complete.


Why is it a fun format ?

You're in a team so most of the time if you play a terrible shot it doesn't matter as one of your team mates will normally bail you out. And if your team mate has played a semi-decent shot before you, then you can really "go for it" and if the outcome is dire then you fall back on your team mate's shot. The 7th hole is a great example - if your one of your team has successfully placed a tee shot safely in the middle of the fairway near the marker then you can go for the green with no consequences if you miss - a shot you would rarely attempt in a medal.

Most of the time there is less pressure on you than other formats so you can relax and often your golf improves. The exception of course is if all your team mates have played terrible shots and you are last to play - then the pressure is on!!


The finer detail

Normally, the competition rules dictate that each team member must play a minimum number of tee shots. For example in a 2 man team often it might be 7 shots, in a 4 man team it might be 3 or 4. In an ideal scenario you want to use each player's tee shots at the same rate such that for the last few holes you can choose whatever tee shot you wish. But quite often what you'll find in the closing holes is that you havn't used up the requisite number of tee shots for one poor member of the team and you are forced to take their tee shot, no matter how bad. Even if its a lost ball or out of bounds then you are all forced to play that shot so think carefully in the early holes when selecting the tee shot to play - best is not always the one you should take!!

When putting, it is normally tempting to just knock in a putt if you miss and have left a sitter. Don't do this in a Texas Scramble because as soon as you do that, the hole is over and you deny your team mates an opportunity to try the same putt you have just missed and who knows, one of them may make it reducing your score by one.

The handicap calculation can vary so check the competition rules. Normally its the total of all team members' handicaps divided by some number, for example 4. Unlike other game formats, the resulting handicap is not then rounded up or down - its the absolute number including decimals.


This is a really fun format and if you want to play in competitions but are not quite ready to play in a medal then this is the format to go for. Across a team of players, the good and bad shots tend to average themselves out and every player will at some point in the round play a fantastic shot that all will remember. But that does mean that competition can be fierce and quite often its those decimal points in the handicap which separates teams. Give it a try, there are a number of opportunities in 2022 at Aberfoyle :

  • Sunday 10 April - 2 player Texas Scramble

  • Saturday 14 May - 2 player Texas Scramble - Charity

  • Sunday 31 July - McGilvray Trophy - 2 player Texas Scramble

  • Sunday 28 August - Open 3 player Texas Scramble

  • Sunday 25 September - 2 player Texas Scramble

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