Personally, I love playing in any golf tournaments. Each offer something different and I prepare differently for each. With the Ryder Cup looming on the horizon, I am being a bit nostalgic about not being able to play in any tournaments this year; especially scramble events! However, I did have the opportunity to discuss preparing for a scramble tournament with my friend Blair. He was in a 3 person event about a month ago and we discussed which player should play where; it was really quite fun, but we seemed to differ on the line up.
Blair and I started our conversation off discussing the strengths of each player. His other partners, Darin and Geary, were longer hitters than Blair, but Blair and I felt he had the better short game. This posed problems moving forward because I like to keep the same line up throughout the entire tournament and he was not sure this approach was the best for the team.
I thought that Blair should go first, Geary second and Darin be the anchor. Blair was not convinced because each position has a certain responsibility and that may not work for the other guys. For example:
- Playing first, keep the ball in play and do not take chances. Playing safe is paramount to ensure on ball is in play.
- Second player, take chances. I like my longest hitter playing in this position. His main job is distance. The longer they play, the easier it is for the next shot.
- Anchor must be able to get the team out of trouble. They should be your most consistent player who has a solid short game. This position is relied upon as the scoring position.
Here is how Peter suggest the line up should go:
Peter’s daughter Emma jumped in and suggest that given this strategy, she should go last and Peter quickly agreed. Good player or not, this sounds like the ribbing we dish out on the scramble teams I play on. A good team chemistry also helps lower the team scores.
It was also very interesting that several players took pride in playing first. They said that by keeping the ball in play, they gave the big hitters a chance to “let the big dog eat”! Additionally, they enjoyed hitting their approach shots from a closer position to the green than normal. I can definitely see the benefit in that! Several also suggested that having a stick line up may not be best for the team. They liked to mix it up; I suggest that is a fair bit of management during the round, but they did not seem to mind. I guess there is no right answer.
The strategy to playing a scramble tournament is varied. Depending on the players, the approach will change. Personally, I like the same line up for every shot, while others like a more free flowing method. The bottom line is scoring low is the goal; so no matter how it happens, staying focused on getting the most of the team is best. On a side note, on respondent said that he was on a 4 person team that once shot 19 under par! What a fantastic score.
Do you have any thoughts on how a scramble team should play? If so, we are all ears!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!