It's one of the most popular and enjoyable formats of golf, played in teams of three or four where you decide which shot counts. Here's how it works

Originally called ‘Captain’s Choice’, given that the team’s leading player would decide which ball to play, this format flourished in the state of Texas from the 1950s and became Texas Scramble, as we know it today.

So how does it work?

A staple of charity days and pro-ams, the Texas Scramble is a great team event as it rewards all players regardless of ability.

How to play Texas Scramble

Texas Scramble is a team game in which every member of the group tees off on each hole.

The players then decide which ball is in the best position for the second shot. Once this is confirmed, the other members of the team will pick up their balls and everyone will play from the chosen position. This process then repeats until the ball is in the hole.

Each team competing returns one score for each hole, and the team with the lowest total score at the end of the round is the winner.

There are a couple of variations which help promote a greater team aspect for the Texas Scramble. The most common one sees each team member having to contribute a certain number of tee shots – typically three or four.

Another is that the player whose ball is selected as the best shot is then prohibited from hitting the next one.

An example of playing a hole

– Player A, Player B, Player C, Player D all tee off on a par-4 hole
– Team decide Player B’s ball is in the best position
– Player A, Player B, Player C, Player D all play their second shots from that position
– Team decides Player D’s ball is in the best position on the green
– Player A, Player B, Player C, Player D all putt from that position
– Player A goes first and misses, Player B goes second and holes the putt
– Player C and Player D pick up and the team mark a birdie 3 on their scorecard

Playing with handicaps

The new handicap allowances used when playing the game involves taking and adding together a percentage of each player’s handicap.

This differs based on the number of team players. The guidelines are as followed:

  • Four-player Texas Scramble: 25%/20%/15%/10% from lowest to highest handicap
  • Three-player Texas Scramble: 30%/20%/10% from lowest to highest handicap

For example, if you’re playing in a team of four and the handicaps are 4, 8, 12 and 16 then your team handicap would be 7:

Player A: 25% of 4 = 1
Player B: 20% of 8 = 1.6 (rounded up to 2)
Player C: 15% of 12 = 1.8 (rounded up to 2)
Player D: 10% of 16 = 1.6 (rounded up to 2)

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