Mexican Scramble Golf Rules

How to Play A Mexican Scramble in Golf

Mexican Scramble Golf Rules – Don’t get DISQUALIFIED!

How do you play Mexican Scramble in Golf? The first thing I would say is BE CAREFUL! Check the rules that your club are playing, since there are MANY different versions of Mexican Scramble. My team recently got DISQUALIFIED from a Mexican Scramble competition at our local course, Flixton Golf Club, because we played the wrong rules. However, the rules for the day were not displayed in the morning. So, when we searched Google, the top two results both showed the first version described below.

As a result we started playing with these rules:

Most Common Version of Mexican Scramble (NOT IN THE UK!!)

  • Two man team event.
  • Both players tee off.
  • Best drive is selected, and then foresomes format is played from there with the first shot being taken by the person whose drive WASN’T used.
  • Often a minimum number of drives are added as a sub rule. For example, they must use a minimum of six drives per golfer.

The rules above seem to be the version played mostly in America. In the UK we’d normally call this Greensomes. We played these rules for the first ten holes of our recent competition … until we found out that we should have been playing the next set of rules:

Most Common Version of Mexican Scramble Played in UK

  • Two man team event.
  • Both players tee off.
  • Select the best drive, place a marker next to the ball, and then both golfers play from there. The first shot must be taken by the person whose drive is being taken.
  • Select the best shot and play again as above from there–that is, both players.
  • Often a minimum number of drives are added as a sub rule. For example, they must use a minimum of six drives per golfer.

So basically, Mexican Scramble in the UK is a two-man Texas Scramble when played in this format. We were disqualified, even though we weren’t really receiving any advantage (just disadvantages!). Effectively, the rules we had played meant that we had played out of turn.

I was recently Disqualified from a Mexican Scramble competition at Flixton Golf Club

When we searched around after the event, there were also a few other variations of Mexican Scramble.

Other Versions of Mexican Scramble

Version 3

  • Four man team event.
  • All players tee off.
  • Pick the best drive. The next shot is played by everyone except for the person whose previous shot was selected (that is, only 3 golfers can play the subsequent shots each time).
  • Often a minimum number of drives are added as a sub rule. For example, they must use a minimum of four drives per golfer.

Version 4

  • Team event.
  • Assign each player in the team a number 1-4 (depending upon how many are playing).
  • Each player tees off.
  • The team captain rolls a dice, and which ever number comes out then that player’s tee shot is used.
  • All golfers hit the second shot, and then the preferred shot is selected all the way until the ball is in the hole.
  • Note that the dice is only used to select the drives.

Have you heard of any other versions or suffered a similar disqualification? Add a comment at the bottom of the page and let us know.

How to Score a Mexican Scramble in Golf

Most commonly, Mexican Scramble will be scored as a Stroke Play (medal) score, but obviously it will depend on the organiser of the day. In this case, the lowest net score on the day will win.

Mexican Scramble can also be marked in Stableford format. In this format, the team with the most points on the day will be the winners. Unsure about Stableford? Read our article Stableford Scoring System: Your Complete Guide.

Check with the rules of the day. Typically it will be either 10% of the combined handicaps OR 35% of the lowest handicap PLUS 15% of the higher handicap.

The Pros and Cons of “Scrambles” in Golf

Scramble formats of all types are generally loved by golfers. In particular, casual golfers tend to favour Scrambles. The more casual golfer will tend to enjoy the fact that if they hit a bad shot the team have another chance to improve on it, so their bad shot will be unlikely to cause the team score any harm. Almost all golfers can hit a good shot every so often, and in this format a 28 handicap golfer could well hit a better chip, for instance, than a single figure golfer. This situation would obviously make the higher handicap golfer feel pretty good about themselves.

The greatest shot in Scramble history?

The Good Good team were playing a Texas Scramble the day they filmed the Greatest Shot in YouTube History. I defy you to watch this and not be impressed!

Good Good caught this amazing Hole in One on camera

Scrambles are fun and USUALLY very easy to understand. Each golfer tends to be hitting from the same point; therefore, there’s always a team member around if a golfer is unsure about anything. The scramble format is a good event if less experienced golfers are playing,since they can be paired with a more knowledgeable golfer. Scrambles are perfect for events such as corporate days out, pro-ams, or societies where there might be a wide variety of players. Often, these team events begin with a Shotgun Start.

There’s not many negatives to a scramble format, but some better standard golfers may not like the fact that they aren’t playing a full round of golf using their shots. Low handicap or scratch golfers may also get frustrated by lower quality players not being able to play certain shots. For instance, if the ball is 230 yards away from the green, then it may be that only one golfer in the team has the ability to be able to reach the green.

The overriding feeling with a scramble though is joy. The best shot is often taken each time, which means that there will likely be lots of pars & birdies and some very low scores. All players from within the team contribute to the teams success, which makes it the perfect format for team golf. If you’ve never played a scramble, I would highly recommend giving it a try!

Bye for now!

Rob

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