How to Play a Texas Scramble in Golf [Tips and Tricks]

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A Texas Scramble in golf is a popular tournament format designed to put you in a team while you play the sport your love. It is one of the most popular formats today. This is the ultimate Texas Scramble golf guide.

In it, we will go over the following:

  • How to play a Texas Scramble golf game

  • The Rules of a Texas Scramble and popular alternatives

  • Tips and strategies for winning money playing a Texas Scramble

Bingo Bango Bongo is more popular than golf games like Bingo Bango Bongo, Wolf, or Nassau.

If you have played the Texas Scramble golf game, let us know below!

What is the Texas Scramble Golf Game?

texas scramble golf game

Texas Scramble is a team format of golf played in groups of three or four players. Each player from your team tees off on each hole, and the team then decides which shot is in the best position for the second shot.

Once decided, all players put a golf ball down and play from that spot, and this process repeats until the ball is in the hole.

Only one team score is returned per hole. In a tournament, the lowest total score at the end of the round wins.

The Origins of the Texas Scramble

The Texas Scramble game was initially called Captain’s Choice. There was a leading player in the group who would decide which team member’s shot they would take for each stroke.

This format became very popular in Texas during the 1930s, and the name was changed to Texas Scramble.

The Texas Scramble is now one of the most popular team golf formats played.

How is the Texas Scramble Golf Game Played?

The Rules of Texas Scramble

The rules of a Texas Scramble are straightforward to remember. You are usually placed in a group of three or four team members. Each player starts by hitting their tee shots.

Once everyone has teed off, the team must decide which ball to play for their second shot. This is generally the tee shot in the best position for your second shot.

You then place your own ball on the ground and hit your next shot. Again you must decide which shot to use after this. This continues until the ball is in the hole, then you move on to the next hole.

For the Texas Scramble format, you usually must use a certain number of drives for each team member. This makes it a great team game and brings more strategy into it.

Understanding the Team Dynamics in Texas Scramble

Understanding your team and how each member hits a golf ball is crucial during a Texas Scramble. Most golf scrambles require you to use at least four drives for each team member during the round.

You may have someone great with their driver. Using their drive on a par five will benefit you if your ball is hit far or on the fairway for a clean second shot.

Ultimately, the team chooses which shot to use after the players hit from the same spot.

Scoring in Texas Scramble

The scoring in a Texas Scramble is the same as in stroke play. However, only one score for each hole is used for the entire team.

The Texas Scramble team with the lowest score will be the winner at the end of the round.

Tips and Strategies

how to play a texas scramble in golf

Utilizing Team Strengths

During a Texas Scramble golf game, utilizing team strengths is one of the most effective strategies. This involves assembling a team of players with varying skill levels and identifying each player’s strengths and weaknesses.

For instance, if a team has one exceptionally skilled player, they can be designated as its driver for the long holes. This will allow the other players to focus on other aspects of the game, such as chipping or putting.

A lot of tournaments require you to use a certain number of each players tee shots, to eliminate this advantage.

Importance of Effective Communication

texas scramble golf game communication

Effective communication is another crucial strategy during a Texas Scramble golf game. By doing so, the team can create an effective game plan and play to each other’s strengths to improve the chances of winning the tournament.

If one team member has played the course before, they can communicate to their team about certain holes and what to expect.

Communication also helps players to make informed decisions, such as which drives to choose for certain holes and when to use certain players to make different strategic shots. Additionally, letting teammates know what shots are being hit and why can help make the best decisions for the team.

Strategic Shot Selection

Strategic shot selection is one, if not the most important, strategy for a Texas Scramble golf game. As each player hits on the hole, the team selects which shot gives them the best chance at making a low score for each hole.

The first shot is significant as this is what lays out the rest of the hole.

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an experienced golfer; hitting a good shot for that given hole puts your team in a great position going forward.

Managing Risks and Rewards

Playing a Texas Scramble differs from a regular round of golf because it gives you more opportunities to take risks that you usually wouldn’t take on the course. If a team member hits a safe drive or safe approach shot, the rest of the team can try a riskier shot to benefit more.

Managing when to take these risks is very important, and to decide if the reward at the end of the risk is worth it. This is where communication skills are essential between the four players as well.

Golf Texas Scramble Alternatives

There are a few different twists to the basic Texas Scramble format that you should know about.

Las Vegas Scramble

In a Las Vegas scramble, each team is given a 6-sided dice. After all players hit their drive off of the tee, you roll the dice in the air to determine which golfer’s drive you must use. Each golfer has a dedicated number and there are two wildcards on the dice, where you can pick the drive.

This format gives equal opportunity to your drives so that you cannot bank on one person to hold the team together.

Florida Scramble

In a Florida Scramble tournament, you have to rotate golfers that sit out each shot other than the drive. This means that only three players hit every consecutive shot after the drive.

The Florida Scramble alternative is one way to speed up the pace of play and finish the course faster.

Why You Should Try Texas Scramble

The Fun and Teamwork Element

Playing in a Texas Scramble is a fun, nice change from a regular round of golf. It still allows you to be on the golf course, but you can play in a best-ball format with three other players.

Texas Scrambles are also great for corporate events because it is an excellent way to introduce co-workers to each other and break the ice. No one cares if you are a good golfer or not. You play golf and try to get a low final score.

How Texas Scramble Can Improve Your Golf Skills

Playing in a Texas Scramble golf game can help improve your golf skills by allowing you to learn from your teammates. Since the game involves selecting the best shot among the team’s players, it encourages strategic shot selection and effective communication among teammates.

This can help you develop your decision-making skills and learn from the shot selection of more experienced players on your team.

Additionally, playing in a Texas Scramble golf game can help you improve your putting skills, as you will have multiple opportunities to practice putting from different angles and distances.

Common Mistakes in Playing Texas Scramble

Neglecting Team Members’ Abilities

Not knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses is a common mistake during a Texas Scramble. This will hinder your team’s ability to shoot the best shots for each hole.

For example, if you have someone who is an excellent putter, you would put them last on each hole instead of first. This allows them to watch each team member putt and see how the ball breaks and the line it takes toward the hole. This will give you a more optimal chance of scoring low.

Poor Course Management

Not playing the golf course correctly is one of the most common mistakes in a Texas Scramble. If you have a team member who has played the course before, it is great to have them communicate different holes and strategies they may know.

If you go into a golf course blind, you may not play every hole optimally which will not give you a lower score.

Making the Most Of Your Texas Scramble Game

Essential Skills for Texas Scramble

Outside of general golf skills, it is essential to have communication skills for a Texas Scramble. This allows you to communicate with your team on which shots to choose and which clubs to hit.

If you are a beginner golfer, it can be very beneficial to talk with an experienced golfer to see where their head is during a match. You can then bank this information for the next time you hit the course, and hopefully, it translates to a better golf game.

How to Practice for Texas Scramble

The best way to practice for a Texas Scramble is by getting out on the golf course and practicing your shots. At the end of the day, to be successful in a Texas Scramble, you must hit great shots that give you the best chance at scoring low.

Weaker players will become much better golfers by practicing. Playing in Texas Scrambles is a great way to have fun and also play some golf.

Texas Scramble Etiquette

Being a Good Sport

The great thing about a Texas Scramble is that, in most cases, it is a fun work event or a fun tournament done with friends. There is little pressure to do well, especially if many beginner golfers are involved.

You also don’t know who won until the end, so you can go through your round and try to get the best score possible. Golf isn’t meant to be stressful, and this is especially true in a scramble.

Managing Pace of Play

Golf course’s are very strict with the pace of play. It is best to leave Texas Scrambles for charity events or fun tournaments as the course is prepared for a longer day.

The event organizer will call to book a tournament to help prepare the golf course ahead of time.

If you go to a random golf course and plan a scramble with three friends, you may end up holding up other golfers, as a scramble usually takes longer than a standard round of golf.

Texas Scramble Video Guide


Frequently Asked Questions about Texas Scramble

How many players are needed for Texas Scramble?

Four golfers are usually required to play golf in a Texas Scramble tournament. You can also play with three.

What if two teams have the same score?

If two teams tie in a Texas Scramble, there are many ways to determine a winner. Usually, you count up and see which scramble team had more birdies during the round. Or, a random hole is chosen from the scorecard, and the team with the lowest score on that hole would win the tiebreaker.

How are handicaps calculated in Texas Scramble?

Generally speaking, players’ handicaps aren’t usually used in a Texas Scramble as it is a four-person best shot event. But some money tournaments have a handicap allowance that will adjust the score based on each player’s handicap.

Can you use the same player’s shot twice in a row?

It depends on the rules of that specific Texas Scramble. Some require you to use different team members’ shots in a row, and some will allow you to use the same player’s shot twice.

What happens if a player withdraws during the game?

If a player withdraws before or during the game, you can drop down and play with three golfers. You then need to rotate between members that fourth shot for every hole.

Is Texas Scramble suitable for beginner golfers?

Yes, a Texas Scramble is perfect for beginner golfers. Your skill level doesn’t matter as much because is a team game where you use the best ball after each shot. Even highest handicap players can contribute to shots during the round.

Why I Love The Texas Scramble Format

I love the Texas Scramble format for golf games because it is easy and fun to play. Golfers of any skill level can play, and you don’t have to worry about a team handicap or individual handicap.

Playing golf scramble is fun and allows for an easy atmosphere on the golf course. Texas Scrambles are an excellent way for companies to have workers meet each other and break the ice. There are prizes to be won, and everyone will have a great time.

Lastly, playing in a tournament with friends is a fun way to try and win prizes and money at the end. You may have a group of good golfers where you can depend on each other’s strengths to carry you throughout the round.

Ryan William
Ryan William

With over 25 years hands-on experience in the golfing world, Ryan is not just an avid golfer but a topical authority. His journey has had him delve deep into the nuances of the sport, from mastering the swing to understanding new golf technology. As an entrepreneur, Ryan is at the forefront of the latest golf trends, reviewing all new clubs, accessories, and training aids. His insights and expertise are backed by a prolific writing career, with over 1000 articles published across various platforms. Ryan's commitment is clear: to guide and inform the golf community with unparalleled knowledge and passion.

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