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We have touched on this in other threads but as revkev brought up, it deserves its own thread. That is the strategy behind a good scramble team. I am not a fan of scrambling that much. I do enjoy it occasionally but I see some groups that scramble all the time.

 

My problem with scrambling is that it is not the game I practice all the time. I generally am conserative and feel like I can win a match with a group of shots where scrambling is sort of trying to win with every shot. The typical weekly scramble that I playing two or three times a month is your typical bomb and gouge affair where as happened lastt night they insisted on taking the 70 yard shot out of the rough instead of my 100 yard shot out of the center of the fairway. Same on the next hole. But we birdie both so who was right.

 

The first Friday in April we have a county wide 6 person 18 hole scramble. I have played in this tournament for the last 10 years. It has always been fun but it was a cluster and we never played well. This past year I was asked two days before the tournament to take charge of the team, fill in two vacancies, and organize us. So I came up with a few rules and we were the lowest scoring team at 22 under par. Well, we actually had the low gross score but low net went to another team because one of our guys who is definately not said he was a scratch golfer when they asked his handicap so it screwed us out of the title of champions. I forget what our adjusted score was but we lost by one point when the handicaps were figured in.

 

But here was my strategy.

  1. Establish two hitting orders. One for putts and one for other shots. This can change but people like routine. You can change this if it is not working out but if there is an established order, than there is no messing around, people know when to hit, they get their club and are ready. It speeds up the game and adds order to what can turn into a cluster.
  2. Shortest hitter goes first. Their job is to put something in play. It does not matter if they hit 3/4 3 wood, all you want from them is the safety valve ball.
  3. Second best putter putts second, and best putter putts last. I actually like to putt first, because of the instinct putting. Since I use this I focus on the hole and making it, I do not play it a cup out or two balls or whatever. When I try to give or get a read it messes me up so I have everybody watch my line and judge from there. If someone tells me to play the ball 2 cups out I will hit a spot 2 cups out. So, the first person should go straight at the hole and show the second the line. During the weekly scrambles, I usually putt first, and make it, I made 7 of our 9 made putts yesterday and actually hit the hole 8 of 9 and left it an inch short the other time.
  4. Everyone putts on all holes. Even after the putt is made, this is important because during the scramble in April, I made 8 birdie or eagle putts, first putts, in a row before I missed one. Had the rest of the group not been putting along with me, eventhough we were already on the board, it would have been an hour and a half since they had putted. As it was, they had all been putting, plus with me already in the hole, they had made several with no pressure, so when they had a chance for count, they were relaxed and actually anxious to prove that they could putt also. We did miss two eagles on par 4's where we hit the green.
  5. If you have any choice in the team make up, go for two ringers. :D In this case our two ringers were my wife and a college girl we know who is a good golfer. Any distance that we gave up off the tee by not have big bombers was made up for by my wife and this girl. They both were center of the fairway, 180-200 off the forward tees. This is huge.
  6. Also, it is better to take the ball that is in the fairway than the ball that may be closer but in the rough.

These are my own observations, and how I organized it this year. We are all planning to team up again next year to see if it was a fluke or really works.

 

 

Add to these or take away or whatever. As always your input is desired.

 

 

 

 

 

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I am the resident bomber, so every team I'm invited to play on, I hit last, because if we're safe my job is to hit it as far as physically possible. I usually hit first on iron shots, because I generally put it on the green, giving everyone else a shot at pin seeking. I like to have the best putter go first, because even if they don't make it, you're going to get a good read.

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You have a point about putters. I wrote that however, I consider myself the best putter usually, and I like to go first. I was using my notes to myself that I put on my iPhone April 8th. I came up with that strategy and told the team while we were waiting to start when my wife pointed out that when I putt first I generally put it in the hole, but I never make a putt if I have watched several others putt.

 

They generally do not hit it at the correct speed so you do not get a good read of the break. Best putter first, and second best last is also a good strategy.

 

I would definately say that any strategy is better than none. These weekly scrambles are a goat rope and people are always amazed that the same guys win week in and week out. They do try to divide them up and when 3 out of 4 teams tie they do a pretty good job but some of these teams are a goat rope.

I watch them milling around, no one wants to hit first, or two people are walking up at one time to hit. They develope no rhythm and take forever. Yesterday, we played out last hole, drove around and looked at the new holes and had a beer before the second team finished was done. The reason was organization.

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I played in a charity scramble yesterday actually. My team was my wife and I and 2 other ladies she works with. One of the ladies could smack it 225 with her driver. From the ladies tee she frequently out drove me, but only hit the fairway a few times. Our 2 under took 2nd in the co-ed class, which wasn't bad considering none of them have handicaps under 40.

 

So strategy: If the womens tees are up a ways, a long driving lady can get you yards or be your short safety valve with a hybrid or 3 wood.

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When we play, I hit last off the tee. Why? Because I hit it further than anyone in our group and I swing out of my shoes trying to hit it absolutely as far as I can with the scramble driver I built (47.75" shaft and 8 degrees of loft). When I catch it, we're well past our second longest guy.

 

I also like to putt first, because I'm not the best putter, but I'm a solid putter that doesn't miss the line and my speed is usually really good. Our best 2 putters putt last and they like to putt last because they like to see the line we take.

 

Iron shots, we usually say whomever jumps out of the cart first hits first because all of our iron play is solid. Wedge game, I always hit last because I have the best short game.

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There is always an order to my scramble teams. Shortest and accurate hitters first in the long game, if you can take the pressure off your bomber to hit a accurate shot that person can reach down a little deeper but if they have to hit a fairway metal 60% making sure to find the fairway then you haven't really utilized that person on that hole.

 

I personally think that the person that goes last in putting is the one that can translate the strokes of other players and how the ball breaks for that stroke and put that information into their own stroke the best. If you have two strong putters, you get one to go first and one to go last. The one that is in the last position like i said likes the additional data and reads more then the one that goes first.

 

The shots that are 40 to 60 yards should get avoided unless you don't have another option. For majority of people this is a 1/2 or 3/4 touch shot of some kind, if you got a great short game okay but if you got a team that doesn't then 80-120 is normally better distances for the group. Always take the 100 yards shot in the center of the fairway over the 50 yard shot in the rough. A lot of times when you have two people in the fairway at the same distance roughly take the angle that gives you the most green to work with.

 

This one is really under rated, make sure the team has a positive outlook and the members get along with each other. I don't know how many times in a scramble when the tone got negative and our play suffered. Keep very positive even in the bad situations, have a relaxed fun time and you are going to preform better then negative and cutting the tension between members on the team with a knife. I know that one from experience, two other guys on my team were arguing back and forth about s*** that didn't even matter in terms of the teams outcome their arguments and negative outlooks / tension effected my play in a bad way.

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I play wherever they ask me to play, because I pretty much suck in all facets of the game. I do however bring a smile and some humor, and have been known to find some bits of awesome surrounded by a lot of mediocrity. Take last nights 9 hole 42 for example. 1 birdie, 1 eagle, 3 pars and 4 other holes I'd rather not discuss :D ( penalties AND 3 putts ).

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I just remembered that a couple of months ago, I got roped into a 9 hole scramble after our regular round and after I had played a grudge match for $100. We played a scramble for that. Unfortunately, the "A" player on my team was so drunk that he was not sure which green we were playing to.which would have been ok if he were unfamiliar with the course. However his day job is "Director of Golf." ie heads greenkeeper. D He gave me a strategy that was priceless on that day.

 

He said, "Here's how we are going to win. Good shot, good shot, tap in,"

 

So when I said any strategy is better than none, I do not think that this is what I meant. However, it certainly qualifies for the good attitude, because when someone says this and is totally serious about it, it is funny.

 

We now say this all the time. Our strategy to win is Good shot, Good shot, Tap in.

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I can't say anything about drinking in scrambles. I try to drink at least a 12 pack when playing in one. And it's a ton of fun. That said, my normal 4 man team hasn't lost since I put the team together. We all drink beer and have fun, and our last scramble shot a 49 to win it.

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I can't say anything about drinking in scrambles. I try to drink at least a 12 pack when playing in one. And it's a ton of fun. That said, my normal 4 man team hasn't lost since I put the team together. We all drink beer and have fun, and our last scramble shot a 49 to win it.

 

I am not talking about during the scramble. He was that way when he made the bet and unfortunately he made it for me also while I was away from the table. I came back and they said let's go. They were already teeing off when I found out what I had gotten myself into. When I said something about playing for $100 after sitting in the bar that long, he gave me the brilliant strategy. "All we have to do his hit. Good shot, Good shot, tap in and we will win. Now go get em, I gotta sit down 'cause I am dizzy." We won and the other guys said, "You are a lot better than we thought you were." My reaction was, "well, a hundred dollar bill helps me focus."

 

It was not so much the money but I knew the word would get around to my wife and she would want to know why I was making such a stupid bet.

 

Drinking during scrambles is fine, it is making bets after drinking that is the issue. But that was the funniest strategy I have heard. We all laugh about it now.

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I am not talking about during the scramble. He was that way when he made the bet and unfortunately he made it for me also while I was away from the table. I came back and they said let's go. They were already teeing off when I found out what I had gotten myself into. When I said something about playing for $100 after sitting in the bar that long, he gave me the brilliant strategy. "All we have to do his hit. Good shot, Good shot, tap in and we will win. Now go get em, I gotta sit down 'cause I am dizzy." We won and the other guys said, "You are a lot better than we thought you were." My reaction was, "well, a hundred dollar bill helps me focus."

 

It was not so much the money but I knew the word would get around to my wife and she would want to know why I was making such a stupid bet.

 

Drinking during scrambles is fine, it is making bets after drinking that is the issue. But that was the funniest strategy I have heard. We all laugh about it now.

 

 

I heard one at one of our scrambles I liked. "Hit it hard, hope it gets close, hope we make a putt, if not we all slam a beer". Needless to say, one of them, which I knew, came up to me afterward and wanted to talk to me about my shaving habits cause he didn't like how I'd trimmed my beard. The next day, he didn't remember the conversation. Guess the hit it and hope turned to a slam a beer contest.

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Really there are two types of scrambles - the fun ones (charity outtings) and the money ones where there are normally limits as to whom you might have in your group - for example the on ethat I should be playing in right now is by blind draw with A,B,C,D players on it based on our league handicaps. I've also played in money scrambles (even 5 man) that had serious rules - handicap combined over a certain amount only so many players under this, etc.

 

The first type are for fun - that's what you have to remember - they are for fun - Some choose their team to go out and shoot as low as possible because you could bring four scratch golfers - but first prize is rarely worth anything - In these scrambles I greatly prefer to play with good friends or parishioners - if one of them happens to be a strong player - well then my team might win - we have a parishioner who doesn't play much anymore who has played in the US amateur so he's a nice draw even if he's a shell of his former self - he's fifteen years young than me and still has some length and some game although he only plays a handful of times a year. Because of my job I get invited to lots of these types of scrambles but always try and enjoy rather than worrying about winning. So let the beer flow I say!!!!!!!!!

 

In the ones that are for money or big time prizes and with limitations I firmly believe that you let the best player decide what he wants to do regardless of who's the longest - Particularly when that best player is used to playing in tournaments he will be the best at handling pressure - For example it really doesn't matter to me if no one is in the fairway or on the green or in the hole - I'm used to hitting it in the fairway or on the green or putting it into the hole - it just becomes real golf. If there's someone longer in the group who gets off a good one I might skip hitting my tee shot altogher or even hit a shot off the tee that will mimic the next shot - why not - so long as the guys before me know my game and have confidence in me it doesn't matter much if there's a ball in the fairway for the bomber before me or not - he knows I'm going to put it there anyway.

 

In regards to putting there is one incontrovertable rule - whoever goes first needs to consistently get his or her pace right - it't got to be past the hole but not so far past that it is of no value and it can't be the best putter unless it's a very familiar course to that putter.

 

The first putter in a scramble is huge because you're got to make birdie - normally scrambles are won by hitting lots of approaches close and then running in a couple of bombs or a chip in or two for eagle along the way.

 

Like RR it's not my favorite format but all of us are likely to play in a scramble now and again so it's good to have a strategy - that's mine - had I been playing today I would have gone last regardless of the fact that my B player hits it 20 yards past me - way better scenario to have the no balls in play pressure on me than on him - It's about a once every four round occurance for me to hit a drive totally out of play. It's a once or twice a round occurance for him.

 

Because I missed today I may play in a scramble next week that would be competitive - bring your team but flighted based on its handicap and age. (We're all seniors or super seniors so we'd be in the championship senior flight - you have to play in the grouping of your youngest player)

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The team I would have been on won the scramble today -

 

Here's how - they had one of our better women sub in for me - that's a huge key in a scramble - if you can get a woman on your team who's athletic and hits the ball well it's a big distance advantage on a lot of holes.

 

In fact Gillian (the gal who subbed for me) and I are playing together in a two man scramble next month. She's a 12 - heads up the 1st 10 program in St. Petersbug.

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I play in a bunch of charity scrambles throughout the year which I don't really enjoy that much. I am invariably the "ringer" which isn't saying much about me, more about who I am playing with. When I'm playing in those I really just try to play my normal game, the chances of us winning based both on our team ability and the rampant cheating is pretty minimal and the prizes aren't worth developing bad habits over. I try to take these scrambles as a social event and a bit of practice time, my teammates are happy with a ball in fairway and a ball on the green and I'm pretty reliable about providing that.

 

I do play in one "serious" scramble with the same team each year, its a big field 2 day event at a beautiful course. On that team I play with two 4 cappers and our games mesh pretty well. Best we've done is 4th place. We follow similar rules what Rick outlined with established tee and putting orders. I personally like putting 2nd. I'm not the best green reader but I'm pretty good at hitting my line (just not always good at picking it!). Putting 2nd lets me get a good read and frees me up because the 3 man can drain it if I miss. Our worst putter goes first because he's unlikely to make it even if he knows the line. We just have him hit it firm at the hole most of the time. I usually tee off last with our steady Eddy going first.

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I'll tell you what when I lived in Indiana I used to play in scrambles with my favorite team - my oldest daughter and two sons - talk about a joy!!! And we were competitive and they were 15, 12, 12.

 

I'd also play in the coolest money scramble - a 5 man - your team handicap had to be a 60 or above - you could bring a pro and no one under 10 or two under 8 - It took 15 under to be in the money - paid top four places - 4th got its money back - people came from miles around.

 

The key to winning? Find a very athletic, higher handicap, woman - she played off the ladies tees while you played off the back - we found that perfect combo one year and finished 2nd. The winning team normally had a club pro and a woman on it.

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I used to play in a scramble where they tried to get more women involved; if you had a woman on your team, each man could choose a womens tee to play from one time. It was a cool idea, but it didn't help, there were still only a handful of teams with women on them. After that they got some use out of the womens tee boxes on the par 3s; you could pay $10 and hit from the womens tee, but you had to wear a skirt.

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But here was my strategy.

  • Establish two hitting orders. One for putts and one for other shots. This can change but people like routine. You can change this if it is not working out but if there is an established order, than there is no messing around, people know when to hit, they get their club and are ready. It speeds up the game and adds order to what can turn into a cluster.
  • Shortest hitter goes first. Their job is to put something in play. It does not matter if they hit 3/4 3 wood, all you want from them is the safety valve ball.
  • Second best putter putts second, and best putter putts last. I actually like to putt first, because of the instinct putting. Since I use this I focus on the hole and making it, I do not play it a cup out or two balls or whatever. When I try to give or get a read it messes me up so I have everybody watch my line and judge from there. If someone tells me to play the ball 2 cups out I will hit a spot 2 cups out. So, the first person should go straight at the hole and show the second the line. During the weekly scrambles, I usually putt first, and make it, I made 7 of our 9 made putts yesterday and actually hit the hole 8 of 9 and left it an inch short the other time.
  • Everyone putts on all holes. Even after the putt is made, this is important because during the scramble in April, I made 8 birdie or eagle putts, first putts, in a row before I missed one. Had the rest of the group not been putting along with me, eventhough we were already on the board, it would have been an hour and a half since they had putted. As it was, they had all been putting, plus with me already in the hole, they had made several with no pressure, so when they had a chance for count, they were relaxed and actually anxious to prove that they could putt also. We did miss two eagles on par 4's where we hit the green.
  • If you have any choice in the team make up, go for two ringers. biggrin.gif In this case our two ringers were my wife and a college girl we know who is a good golfer. Any distance that we gave up off the tee by not have big bombers was made up for by my wife and this girl. They both were center of the fairway, 180-200 off the forward tees. This is huge.
  • Also, it is better to take the ball that is in the fairway than the ball that may be closer but in the rough.
These are my own observations, and how I organized it this year. We are all planning to team up again next year to see if it was a fluke or really works.

 

 

 

I started this thread in 2012 after the tournament.  In 2013, the organization that sponsored the low net score team (Winning Team in all but title) did not sponsor a team for this event, so I was added to another team.  I have no idea what we scored.  4 of the 6 had not played golf in 10 years and we had fun.

 

Now, about a month ago, a friend of my wife's told her that she was going to sponsor a team, with her husband on it and wanted me to "take charge" and get her a winning team.  I have met her husband now and thankfully he is a really good golfer.  But I had time and organized a team.  The Scramble is 8 am Friday morning this week.  We are all planning on getting together Thursday afternoon and practice in this format.  Four of us play together before but the sponsor and I invited a special guest have never played together.  3 of us and the sponsor played together last Friday and that was his first time at our club.  He belongs to another about 20 miles from here.

 

Here is the order of the guys on my team, and their attributes for choosing them.  First off, I will admit that I would rather lose with 5 great guys than win with one who is an @$$.  This is the order I will establish initially. 

 

Number 1.  Lead Off Man  Me.  I am a fast player and if I stand around while 5 other people mill around and decide what they are going to do I will screw up the shot.  I am not as bad as I used to be but still.  This is an important position and sets the tone.  I am not a distance hitter, but should have one in play.  I have a great short game and am an excellent putter.  I am probably the best putter, however, if someone putts before me and misses, I begin to question if it was my read or his stroke.  The year we won low gross score, I reeled off 14 first putts in a row from 4 to 40 feet.  I am going to spend the week really dialing in the distances with partial shots, and extending my short game to include 150 yards and in.  I will not be worried much about shots longer than this during practice this week. Solid round score for me is 75.  By that I mean if I am playing well but not "my best."

 

Number 2.  Mr Chipper.  This guy is not a long hitter, and maybe the shortest hitter, by a foot from me.  He is right down the middle, and hits good iron shots, and as an added bonus, his chipping is phenomenal.  He is also a pretty good putter.  Solid round score is 79.

 

Number 3.  Power Hitter.  This guy is not our longest hitter, but he is longer than the first two.  He has a beautiful swing and hits long high shots with all his clubs.  With the fairway hit by one of the first two of us, he can let 'er rip.  He is has a decent short game and has been putting reasonably well the last few weeks.  Solid round score is 78.

 

Number 4.  Clean up Hitter.  This guy truly is a long hitter.  He surprised me with his short  game last week, but he also shot his career best round of 2 over par.  A solid round for him is 84.

 

Number 5.  Sponsor.  While I think his wife is sponsoring the team that is because she owns a business in this county.  He also owns a business but not in this county.  The is a solid all around player and a solid round for him is 80.

 

Number 6.  Last Hope.  Or should I say the player who has the best grip on things.  Mr. Best Grip himself.  Zach is coming up for the weekend and he and I are playing in two tournaments.  He is a power hitter, maybe the longest on the team, and has a great all around game.  He is going last for two reasons.  One he is the least familiar with the course, and he is our best all around player.  A solid round for him would be around par.

 

 

I posted the strategy from two years ago but have to admit that I am not going by it this year.  I will establish two orders.  The one listed here and the 1 & 2 guys, 3 & 4 guys, and 5 & 6 guys can switch amongst themselves if this is not working.  And if that doesn't work we will buy more beer at the turn and have a good time.

 

Also, I would add, that the first putter has to be aggressive.  The ball most past the hole for the others to get a good read.  I am putting first because I will get it to the hole, and I plan on it going in the hole.  If I miss, we have many other chances.

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i agree, there must be a hitting order, and a putting order, i usually like to have a decent putter go first, the best putter either goes second or third, and the guy that goes last is the one that is the most calm on pressure shots. the reason for the best to go 2 or 3 is so they get a look at the line, because if you give him a look at the line chances are he will make it, the other reason to have them go 2 or 3 is to let them put with no pressure. i think the important thing in scrambles is to play your game no matter where you are hitting from. as you approach the scramble practice some shorter sots 70-100 yards because no one is going to give up a 70 yard shot i the fairway to move back to a shot that is 140 yards. and having fun is a must,.

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Just to update this.  I modified the order just a bit from what I posted here.  I played the number 2 slot and had Mr. Chipper go first.  We shot a 52, 20 under par with 2 pars.  We came in 2 or 3 strokes off the lead. I think 3rd out of 48 teams. 

 

I made a few mistakes during the round not changing the group opinion on which was the better shot, when I knew, absolutely knew that 20 yards did not mean a better shot.  But I pretty much got over it.

 

I will say that the whole day flowed very smoothly.  The establishing of the order was a huge deal.  When I asked for all of their attention, before the opening tee shot, they grumbled and asked if I was going to give a motivational speech.  I laughed and said all I wanted to do was establish and order and set the priority.  The priority was to have fun first.  No one really complained about the order and after a couple of holes I think everyone enjoyed the round much more.  They knew who was doing what.  The short knockers like myself got in the fairway first and relieved pressure on the long bomber.

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