No I’m not talking about ploughing your way through the treeline to get your ball back into play. I’m talking about the golf match format, sometimes called a Texas Scramble, so named because it originated in the state of Texas in the 1950’s. I recently had the pleasure of participating in my first Texas Scramble format event. I was a little dubious at first as I generally like to play my own game along with some buddies.
If you are not familiar with the Texas Scramble format it basically consists of multiple teams of 3 or 4 players. The event I took part in had 12 teams of 4 and the players are evenly spread by handicap, my team had two good single handicap players and two players with handicaps over 20, all 12 teams were made up in a similar fashion.
How does it work?
The rules are quite straightforward. In a team of 4 each player tees off and the 4 players decide which player’s ball to use to play their 2nd shot. Once agreed all 4 players place their ball in the same location and play their 2nd shot. Again the 4 players choose the ball they want to take their 3rd shot from and so on until completion of the hole. The score is then taken using the total shots played so using the team’s best shots often lead to many pars and birdies.
As most teams of 4 generally have 2 good and 2 less good players it is not unusual to specify that each team must use at least 3 drives from each player. This ensures that everyone is included in the round and requires an element of tactical play as you cannot select the player with the best drive (usually the same player) on every hole.
How did I get on?
My team decided from the outset that we should use the tee shots from the 2 higher handicap players as early as possible. Unfortunately through the front 9 the low handicap players made consistently excellent drives we agreed each time to use their location for our 2nd shots. Many pars and birdies followed and we went out in a pleasing 38. However, we got carried away and forgot about making sure we used the 2 higher handicap player's tee shots, so on the back 9 we had the prospect of using 6 potentially poor drives. This is where our team round fell apart and not surprisingly we came back in 55. I guess things even out in the end but I do feel we missed out on some half decent tee shots made by the higher handicap pair on the front 9. We retired to the course restaurant for food and beers and a good time was had by all.
I’m really pleased I got invited to attend this event as it turned out to be such fun and dare I say it quite competitive between teams too. If you get offered the chance to take part in a Scramble format round I highly recommend it. Most Texas Scramble events are also run as part of charitable events so you get to donate to a good cause too.