NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a Texas Scramble?

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This might sound like its something a resident of the Lone Star State might fling on a barbeque but if you’ve never played in Texas Scramble before you don’t know what you are missing.

In my humble opinion, this is one of golf’s best team events.

Word of the week: Texas Scramble

Charity events, pro-ams, Bank Holiday meetings – all are favourites of the Texas Scramble.

There are some variations but, in its simplest form, a Texas Scramble consists of a four-person team.

Each player drives off and the ‘best’ tee shot is chosen.

Once that nominated player has struck a second shot, each player hits from the same spot, the best is taken again and so on until the ball falls into the hole.

Scrambles are great because they reward a mix of abilities. It is often highly advantageous to have both a low and high handicapper in your team.

Why this is?

Well, in a competition scramble, the handicaps of the four players are added up and then divided by 10.

So, a team with players off 1, 8, 15 and 28 would deduct 5.2 from their final score (1+8+15+28 = 52/10 = 5.2).

A team of four low handicappers would naturally be better players but they would receive far fewer shots.

There’s also less pressure on each player in the team.

With everyone taking a shot from the same spot, you are only picking the best. It doesn’t matter if one goes in the water or finds the rough.

Where Texas Scrambles do become tactical happens in variations where each player must take a certain number of drives.

I play in a format where each team member must record four nominated drives.

It can be quite a squeeze standing on the 18th with your highest handicapper needing to nail a shot over water.

It’s a great format where everyone is always involved, right until the final putt is dropped.

Origin

This game was originally called Captain’s Choice. It was the leading player in each group who made the decision which shot to take.

The format became well known as the Texas Scramble, taking off in the American state during the depression years of the 1930s.

It became one of the games of choice in Las Vegas 20 years later and is still played all over the world today.

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