Scramble: Definition, rules and techniques of the game


If you are one of those people who think that golf is a purely individual sport, you should know that this is a wrong statement. Within golf there are different modalities that make this sport a dynamic and precise game. Where individuality or teamwork will make you enjoy the ins and out of the swing. Pay attention because we are going to explain you one of the modalities of our favourite sport: the scramble. 

Description of the modality

Scramble is a different way of playing golf because it is a team competition. The minimum number of participants in each group is two and it is possible to have up to four players in the same group. 

In fact, it is particularly recommended for beginners, because it gives these new players the opportunity to practice with an experienced partner in the world of golf. In this way, it is normal that the more experienced player acts as team captain and explains how to behave on the course, as stipulated in the Rules of Etiquette  and the Basic Rules.

It is important to note that scramble is not a valid modality, therefore it does not affect the handicap of the player who uses it, either to raise or lower our score. Also, you need to know that it is a challenge whose handicap will vary according to the number of members in each team. For a team of 2 participants, 30% of the sum of the handicaps is considered. For a group of 3 and 4 players, 15% and 10% are taken into account, respectively.

Scramble rules

Playing golf in scramble mode has rules of play that distinguish it from the traditional way of the sport itself. If you are thinking of practising this very competitive discipline to improve your handicap pay attention to the following rules that we now explain to you.

First of all, we must establish how many players in our team are going to participate. Once we know how many participants are ready to start the round, you must bear in mind that each player plays and starts on each hole with his own ball.

Scramble techniques

After the first shot of each hole has been taken, the team captain will choose the spot for the next shot according to each of the balls played. There are several situations where the ball can be played and depending on the environment certain techniques must be bear in mind. 

  • Ball in the fairway. If the chosen ball is in the fairway, all players must take the next shot by placing the ball no further than one card away without approaching the hole from the place where the ball with the best-chosen location was resting. 
  • Ball in water hazard. There is the possibility of the ball being near or in a water hazard. In this situation, at the choice of the players, either act in accordance with Rule 26 of the Rules of Golf or play the ball from the hazard. If it is decided to continue play from the hazard, the other players shall drop the remaining balls at the point nearest to where the chosen ball was located. 
  • Ball in the bunker. In this case, the bunker is an area of the course that can be hit despite its difficulty in getting the ball out of the bunker. The ball will be played where it lands, placing the other balls of the other participants at the closest point to where the first ball was placed. Remember, after each stroke in a bunker you must leave the pitch as accessible as possible so that the next partner can hit from the same position.
  • Ball in the rough. In this case, the ball shall be played where it is left. The next player must drop the ball in the closest spot where the first ball rested without being damaged by the track of the previous player’s stroke. If this is not possible, you must re-drop in order to obtain an accessible and comfortable shot.
  • Ball on the green. Once you have chosen the ball with the best projection to the flag, the remaining balls should be placed as close as possible to where the original ball was. Stay focused and hit the perfect shot to put your ball in first, making your number of strokes the one you choose to put on your scorecard. 


Now that you know the rules and techniques of scramble, are you ready to play scramble? Find a mentor to act as captain and teach you how to hit better. You can also get a few friends together with whom you can test your level of play. Scramble is one of the best ways to improve your level if you are a beginner. In Lanzarote Golf we offer you all kinds of services to develop your practice. You will find and meet golfers of all levels with whom you will be able to share an exceptional round in a course with sea views and excellent services. We are looking forward to seeing you soon!