Glenmuir Icon Sunderland Icon Macwet Icon
Back to articles

What is a Texas Scramble in golf?

Learn all there is to know about Texas Scramble so that you can use it next when you are on the course.

23 December 2022 Words by Matthew 4 minute read What is a Texas Scramble in golf?

Table of Contents

  1. What is Texas Scramble in golf?
  2. The popularity of Texas Scramble
  3. How to play a Texas Scramble game
  4. How to secure a Texas Scramble win: Top tips
  5. The benefits of Texas Scramble
  6. Look your best on the course with Glenmuir
  7. FAQs
  8. In Summary

Texas Scramble is a relaxed way to play golf with friends in a team format without worrying too much about whether your golfing skills (or lack thereof) will affect gameplay.

Whether you're the established team captain or simply trying out golf for the first time, you are almost guaranteed to have fun!

But what exactly is Texas Scramble, and what does it entail?

This article will guide you through everything you need to know about Texas Scramble, including how to play, your team Texas Scramble handicap allowance, and so much more.


What is Texas Scramble in golf?

Also known as Captains Choice, Texas Scramble first started gaining popularity in the 50s in, yes, you guessed it, the state of Texas.

Consisting of either three or four players, Texas Scramble remains one of the most popular team golf formats. Thankfully, it's an easy format to get your head around.

Each team member will hit a tee shot on every hole, with the best drive chosen as the ball in play.

Each team member will take their second shot from where the best tee has landed. Once again, the very best shot from the lot will be chosen. And so it continues until the ball ends up in the hole.

Each Texas Scramble team will enter their overall score for each hole. The winning team is the one that has the lowest score when the round is finished.

Simple enough, right?

Don't worry. We'll go into much more detail about how to play shortly. For now, let's look at why the format is so popular among amateur golfers.

The popularity of Texas Scramble

One of the reasons the Texas Scrambles format is so popular is that it's a fun, relaxed way to play golf. It is excellent for those amateur golfers whose handicaps may be higher than they like. They can still enjoy a group game of golf without worrying about letting their teammates down. If a ball is hit out of play, for example, it's not going to upset the score too much.

However, the format also encourages aggressive play and shooting low scores, so you really do get the best of both worlds with this format.

This mix means Texas Scrambles is a great option for corporate events or charity matches, where there are team players who may get the chance to practise less than they would like.

There's also the benefit of the scoring system. The system is extremely straightforward, so even the most mathematically challenged of us can still keep count, as there's only one single score to remember.

A team game of golf with little pressure, an easy-to-remember format, and a single score - what's not to love?

How to play a Texas Scramble game

Playing Texas Scramble is straightforward. Below we'll discuss the steps involved in mastering the format.


Step 1: Handicap Allowance

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to handicap allowance in Texas Scramble. Generally speaking, however, the most often used formula is 10% of the total number of players' handicaps. Team members can total there or four players. The player with the highest handicap will always have the lowest percentage.

Step 2: Teeing Off

Each of the team members will tee off.

Step 3: Best Shot

Next comes deciding which drive is the best. A lot of the time, this will be pretty obvious. However, there may be cases when the team needs to come together to discuss this and potentially cast a vote each.

Step 4: Second Shot

With an agreement on what drive to use, each of the team members will play their second shot from this position. The other balls' position is ignored, with players picking up their balls to use from this agreed-upon position.

Step 5: Third Shot

Again, the same format is applied. Each of the players performs their next shot from the position of the best drive.

Step 6: Prelim Score

Each of the scores from each hole will need to be marked down on the scorecard. That is, the number of strokes it takes to get the ball into the hole.

Step 7: Final Score

By the end of the round of Texas Scrambles, the total score needs to be calculated. To do this, calculate the total score and minus the team handicap allowance.

How to secure a Texas Scramble win: Top tips

First and foremost, the best way to increase your chances of winning a round of Texas Scramble is to ensure you have a strong team.

However, that's not to say that those with higher handicaps shouldn't play. Having lower handicaps means you can get a good edge and a higher chance of winning, but low handicaps don't count for everything in this game.

Here's why.

When it comes to those with a higher handicap, these amateurs may play some bad holes, yet, chances are they're also pretty capable of some amazing shots. A handicap is not always indicative of progress and potential; therefore, it doesn't always give a full picture of a player's golfing game.

If a player wants to play aggressively, they can. This is because consistency rarely wins in a game of Texas Scramble. Those who play attacking shots in a game of Texas Scramble have the backup of the other players, so it's a win-win to mix it up in terms of players with different capabilities.


The benefits of Texas Scramble

By now, you'll have noticed that there are a lot of perks to playing Texas Scramble, but here are a few others to consider:

Texas Scramble is a great way to get some golf practice in with friends in a relaxed environment and free from the strain of having to perform to your very best ability.

Golfers of all standards and handicaps can play and, just as importantly, enjoy the game. There's no need to feel intimidated by those within their team that plays better than them.

Each member of the team is a valuable contributor. Every player has the opportunity to contribute to the game on each hole.

Texas Scramble also creates a bonding experience, making it the perfect day out for work trips or with friends you don't see as often as you would like. There are tactical decisions to be made with a ball in play, and every player should be free to voice their opinion, whether it's the first shot or the final few holes.


Look your best on the course with Glenmuir

While we can't promise you a winning handicap, we can help you look and feel your very best on the course. At Glenmuir, we have a huge range of the latest men's and women's golfing attire so that you can hit the green in style. We've been in the business since 1871, so what we don't know about golfing attire really isn't worth knowing.

With free delivery, free returns and free personalisation on selected items, find out why Glenmuir is the preferred choice for amateurs and pros alike by checking out our website.

And don't forget, we have a great selection of accessories and gifts for the golfer in your life too! Or, why not just treat yourself?


How popular is Texas Scramble?

This game of golf has been popular since it was first played in the 1950s in America. In the UK, it's also a very popular format for playing golf, mainly due to its ease of play and lack of stress-inducing shots!

Are there disadvantages to Texas Scramble?

Some golfers find Texas Scramble competitions to be too slow. However, many amateurs enjoy the format as it takes a lot of pressure off each individual player and those with higher handicaps. This means they can enjoy a fun game of golf without being concerned that they will let their teammates down.

What is a Mexican Scramble in golf?

Mexican Scramble is similar to the Texas Scramble format, except a dice is used to determine who will take the shot. Players are numbered from 1-4, with the player with the number that's rolled taking the shot.

In Summary

Texas Scramble is a fun, enjoyable game in which practically any golfer can get involved. If you don't play golf a lot due to other commitments and therefore don't have the time to practise, Texas Scramble is a great choice when you do get the opportunity. There's much less stress involved, so you have fun letting loose and enjoying yourself with your friends.

Playing Texas Scramble is the only time where you don't have to be the most accomplished player on the course throughout the round.