Does Playing in a Scramble Tournament Help Your Game

Last week, I had a stretch of 5 tournaments in 7 days. I played in 2 scrambles, 1 stroke play, 1 match play, and 1 scramble/match play formatted events. They were great fun and I really enjoyed meeting so many new golfers. Golf is a contact sport and I certainly achieved that last week. I do want to add that I have never played in this many competitions in such a short time and hopefully I can do it again in the future. However, I did notice that my game was not as sharp during the scramble events as the match play and stroke events and I think I know why!

My scramble team for The Tee It Up For Mattawa Healthcare Charity Event.

Each format requires a different strategy. And as such, requires a different approach for shot making to improve the chances to shooting the lowest score possible. This is where things go off the rails for my golf game.

In a pure match play and stroke event, I focus on my golf game. I will take chances depending on the score, however, I play my game through course management most of the time. The competition helps me to mentally focus and as a result, my game improves when playing these tournaments.

Conversely, during a scramble event, the opposite is true. As the anchor for every team I am on, we pick the strategy that is best for the team. This approach is counter to my game sometimes and I need to adjust to make sure we follow our decision. Additionally, as the last player, there is an expectation that I will hit the ball longer or closer all the time; this too does not bode well for my game. Basically, if I play too many scramble events in a short period, my game suffers.

The greatest detriment is trying to hit the ball too far. By trying to put that something extra into most shots, my tempo and balance become out of sync. I have a tendency to miss hit more often or do not hit the ball squarely. My team mates do not really notice anything, but I sure can feel the difference in the quality of my play. Scramble tournaments add additional stress to my game that I quickly fix by going to the range or playing a few rounds playing my ball.

It is not surprising that scramble tournaments can hurt our game. They are fun and I definitely will continue to play in them, however I am cognizant of  how it affects my game. Does this happen to you? Does the format of the event affect our golf game?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Written by Jim Burton from The Grateful Golfer blog.

6 thoughts on “Does Playing in a Scramble Tournament Help Your Game

  1. Jim,

    This is interesting that you find the scramble format to hurt your game. There is no doubt that playing too many wouldn’t be good for one’s course management, etc. However, Beth and I played in a 9 hole scramble last week (a “nine and dine” event) and she made an interesting comment that it helped give her some confidence back. The theory being that having 3 other people on the team as support, it freed her swing up and allowed her to execute some aggressive shots that she may not have tried if it were just stroke play. This gave her a jolt of confidence that she can execute tough shots that she may never would have tried in stroke play.



    • Josh

      I can see that it might help players as Beth suggested. Playing once in a while does not really affect my game, however 3 in a week was a bit much for me. The good thing about golf is that there are no wrong answers. What doesn’t work for one person is a gold mine for another. Great to hear that Beth found some confidence.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim,
    Scramble format can definitely affect your game. I’ll typically prepare by hitting only wedges and drivers on the range and practicing my putting. Just skip irons, fairway woods, and short game, since those shots are not needed in abundance. If I played as much golf as you, I could see the scramble throwing a wrench into the works if closely timed to a stroke or match play event.

    Glad you had a good time participating. Sounds like a fun stretch!



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