Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How To Win Your Next Scramble

First let me qualify the following by admitting that winning a golf scramble is a crapshoot. Sandbagged handicaps are the main culprit and the subject of another article. Still, there a few things that can be done to increase your odds of taking home the trophy, most likely a beer logo-ed golf bag and a sleeve of RockFlites. I'm working under the Average Golfer's scramble scenario, meaning a team handicap at 36 to 40+. So, kill the TV and pay attention. I'm only going to say this once.

Putting Wins Scrambles. Most scramble teams get it around pretty good from tee to green. Most make their putts from inside 6 or so feet. The difference between a -8 and -12 final score is the seven to sixteen footers that the winners drain. Pros don't make half of these. Your team needs to make most of them. The 50 ft. snakes are pure luck, even with four whacks at it. Save that for the only skin, which is the only real money in a scramble anyway. Make sure your team has at least two very good putters and have them putt last, unless of course anyone putting ahead of them is so bad that you don't want their putt witnessed.

Take Short Game Over Long Game. Similar to putting  strategy in scrambles, short shots are mucho importanto. Even at 40+ your team should be on nearly every green in regulation or just off. An eagle chip-in shaves strokes in a hurry. In a word, just be sure every team member is adequate in the short game. Four decent chances from just off the green is all you want here.

Women And Seniors Welcome. A woman or a senior that can tattoo the ball from their respective tees is invaluable. Nuff' said. (If they can chip or putt make them the captain).

Yes, Having A Hitting Order Helps. Differing theories abound on this one. Does Dr. Pressure hit 1st to ease the vise? Should the best putter go 1st to show the line to the remaining three? Hard to say. The dynamics of four golfers with divergent personalities and styles is tough to pigeon hole. I would assume that all members of the group are well acquainted, friends even. Therefore, y'all are probably familiar with each other's tendencies and habits. My solution is to pick a captain and have him/her make all relevant decisions, i.e. hitting order. People like to know their roles in a group. Give 'em one.   

Get Those Mandatory Drives Out Of The Way. Sure his/her drive was 40 yards shorter than everyone else's, but, if you can advance it, play it. Nothing kills a good scramble score than having to use the 25 handicapper's drives on the last two holes. Exception, par fives, where length matters. 

The Tour's Not Calling. In my town one could play in a scramble of some type virtually every day of the week. Often it's the only tournament setting that the weekend warrior will find himself in. Resist the urge to take yourself or the event too seriously. I've got that part handled by remembering that the last scramble my team placed in I took home a new golf towel and got to see my name misspelled in the local paper. I limit my scramble tourneys to charities I favor or events that have been particularly fun in the past.

Now I realize I've just scratched the surface here. Please add your scramble tips and perhaps we'll have a definitive guide.....

Don't sweat it, they'll make more.


  1. Thanks for this awesome article on Golf. Golf is one of my favorite sports to play and I took Golf Courses in Las Vegas, where I learned most of my knowledge on the sport. I think many should go to Las Vegas for Golf because it is truly a great scene to play in and you feel at home as well.

  2. If your foursome has three poor putters and needs to sink a very difficult putt the good putter should go first to provide the others better information and increase their chances of getting lucky.

  3. ^ %100 wrong.

    Best putter goes last. ALWAYS. Have the others give the line.

  4. Wait til' your team makes a putt and stick with that.