Golf is a great game for strategy, gamesmanship, and psyching out your opponent! One of my favorite tournament formats is the 2-man scramble. The format places just enough pressure on players to perform, but offers that little glimmer of hope if your game comes off the rails for a hole or two. This weekend I am playing in a 2-man scramble tournament with my friend Jean.
Roundel Glen Golf Course is closing this year’s golf season with a series of fun tournaments. This is the first of several that will help reduce the anxiety of golf season slowly coming to an end. The rules for this tournament are pretty simple. The handicap of the two players is added together, divided by two and multiplied by 75%.
What this means is: my handicap is 3.1, Jean’s handicap is 10.4, combined 13.5, divided by 2 is 6.75, multiplied by 75% is 5. Therefore, our handicap for this tournament is 5. For those non golfers, this means we are awarded one stroke on the 5 toughest holes on the course. So if we shoot a 4 on the toughest hole, we would record a 3 on our scorecard. This method of using your handicap is golf’s way of leveling the playing field. If everyone is honest, the system works very well.
This Sunday Jean and I tee it up at 9 am. This tournament will be very interesting because Jean and I have complimenting games. We both hit the ball well off the tee. He hits his long irons better than me. I hit my short irons better than him and we both chip and putt well.
Unlike the strategy in a 4-man scramble where the more novice players shoots first all the time, Jean and I are of relatively equal skill. The strategy is a bit different and depending on how we decide to play the round, the difference could be a couple of strokes. In a 2-man scramble, those two strokes could be the difference between winning and losing. So here is what I am proposing as our strategy for the tournament:
- Jean tees off first on all par 5s and short par 3s.
- Jim tees off first on all par 4s and long par 3s.
- Jean is first to hit our second shot inside 175 yards.
- Jim is first to hit our second shot outside of 175 yards.
- Jean chips first by all green.
- Jean putts first on all greens.
My logic is simple: the first player always ensures he is in play and by doing so leverages the stronger skills of the other player!
I do not believe that our strategy needs to be any more complicated than that. I am, however, looking for comments if any of you golfing fanatics see a flaw in my logic. If you do, I am all ears! Feedback is always welcome!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
10 thoughts on “Golf Strategy: 2-Man Scramble”
“I get to play golf for a living. What more can you ask for, getting paid for doing what you love.” -Tiger Woods
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Sounds like a good strategy! Scrambles are a fun and relaxing format. I’ve never played a 2-man scramble, but the few 4-man scrambles I’ve played in I’d essentially act as the anchor and play last (usually being the lowest handicap). The theory simply being to always put the least amount of pressure on the highest handicap. If they go first they have the peace of mind that they have others backing them. If I went first and just happened to hit a bad shot, they might not perform as well under the pressure as well as a lower handicap would. Good luck, I’ll be interested to hear how the strategy goes!
Your strategy for a 4-man scramble is the same as mine. I usually anchor as well. Thanks for the input. I will let everyone know how it works out. Play well.
Jim, I like your strategy and wouldn’t change a thing. Are you buying mulligans? If so and you intend to spend a few on putts, I’d have the most aggressive putter take the first putt knowing that you’ll get a good read on ball#1 and can have a go at birdie on ball #2 and #3. If not, no worries. Good luck and play well!
Thanks for the advice. Not sure about the mulligans, I will find out on Sunday. I agree about the aggressive putter, I have not used that strategy before. I love new options. Play well this week.
Sounds like fun. Maybe next year we can play in one of these together. We could really clean up.
Sounds like a plan! You will have to bring your A game to carry me, but I think that is ok!