A Scramble, also called an Ambrose, Bramble, or Ft. Lauderdale is a competition for teams of 2 or more players. It is commonly played in golf events with participants of widely varying skill levels. Usually, the A-player, the most skilled team member, is designated as the team’s captain.
Every team member plays a tee shot at each hole from their designated tee. The team or its captain selects the best result and that stroke is added to the team’s score. Each player on the team plays a shot from the location of the selected ball. The process is repeated until a ball is holed.
Common methods of determining team handicaps for a scramble include:
- A-B-C-D teams - No handicap. Teams record a gross score.
- Teams of any size – 50% of the A-player’s handicap, or 50% of the teammates’ average handicap, or Zig-Zag
- Teams of 2 or more players – 35% of A-player’s handicap, plus 15% of B-player’s handicap
- Teams of 3 or more players – 25% of A-player’s handicap, plus 15% of B-player’s handicap, plus 10% of C-player’s handicap
- Teams of 4 or more players – 20% of A-player’s handicap, plus 15% of B-player’s handicap, plus 10% of C-player’s handicap, plus 5% of D-player’s handicap
For large events, the requirement to break ties can be reduced by calculating the team handicap allowances to a tenth of a stroke.
There are many variations of play for Scramble competitions:
- Step-Back or Elimination Scramble – The team member whose shot is selected may not play from that location, but resumes play with the next selected shot.
- Las Vegas Scramble – A die, rolled after all the tee shots at each hole, indicates the number of the player whose drive is to be used (1, 2, 3, 4) or that the team may select the drive (5, 6).
- Hit & Giggle Scramble – Large mixed teams (6-somes, 8-somes or larger) in which men and women play from alternate tees, and play the selected ball alternately. For example, after the men all play from the tee, the women all play from the location of the selected ball, then the men, etc., until a ball is holed.