What Is A Shamble In Golf?

There are a number of different team formats in gold. While they all vary in their rules and the size of the time, they all test the players’ skills.

What Is A Shamble In Golf?

One of the most popular team golf games is the scramble but you can also find lesser known team games in golf, such as the shamble.

In this article, we take a closer look at what a shamble is, shamble rules and how to play it.

What Is A Shamble?

A shamble in golf is a team game where the best drive of any one team is picked on each hole. Plus, each player needs to play their ball until it is holed.

This is also one of the reasons why a shamble team format isn’t the most popular with beginners in golf. Every player has to hole their ball.

You can play a shamble with a minimum of two players, going up to a hundred players. Each team consist of 2 to 4 golfers.

You can keep each team’s score depending on the best individual scores of each round.

While a shamble isn’t popular with golf beginners, it makes for a great change of pace for experienced players. You can just add a shamble game to your regular round of golf.

What Are The Rules Of A Golf Shamble?

Similar to other team games in golf, shambles only has a few basic rules.

Off The Tee

Just like with the scramble golf format, all team players hit their drives off the tee in shambles. Then, the drive that’s located in the best way is selected.

The best drive doesn’t have to be the longest. You could just pick a shorter drive that’s on the fairway.

Once you picked the best drive, the other players can pick up their golf balls and drop them just a club length from the best drive.

That’s the position where everyone will need to play the second shot.

Into The Hole

When you get to your best first drive position, each player then plays out the hole with the lowest number of shots.

Shambles only allows you to choose the first best shot. Unlike in scrambles, you cannot use the best subsequent shots to play from.

This is one of the biggest differences to scramble where you are allowed to pick the best shot after the first.

At the end, each golfer has to play until his ball is holed.

Number Of Players

What Is A Shamble In Golf?

There are slightly different rules depending on the team size. This also affects how a shamble game is scored.

If you are playing shamble golf in 2-person teams, you can either play against the other team in a foursome, or you can go for stroke play against a larger group.

Scores are then limited to maximum two best scores of the individual team.

If you are playing a 4-person shamble, then there are different team size and scoring variations which can be adapted to the golfers’ skill levels.

Rule Variations

One of the reasons why golf is so much fun is because it can be adapted in so many ways by number of players, abilities and skills.

The same holds true for shambles. You can change the rules, so they are more or less challenging for your team.

For example, you can ask each team to count only a certain number of drives for each player.

This means that each team has to strategically pick their best drives for each round. This makes it more suitable for larger teams with players who have similar skills.

Another option to change the shamble rules is by altering the requirements with each par of a hole.

As an example, you could start out with playing a tee shot on par 3, and then change to selecting the best short on par 4.

If you choose to vary the rules depending on the par, just make sure that you communicate the rules for each round.

How To Record Your Score In A Golf Shamble

Keeping track of your team’s score in a shamble game is relatively simple. Typically, shamble scores are lower than standard stroke play as each team member plays from the tee shot and the best drive.

You usually count the one, two or three best scores on each hole. However, you can sometimes also count all four scores, depending on your agreed team rules.

There are also a few alternative ways to keep score in a shamble. For example, you can just drop the lowest and highest team score for each hole.

Then add up all the remaining scores and this will give you your total score.

Alternatively, you could just count the best net and gross scores but make sure they were not scored by the same person.

However, bear in mind that counting your gross and net scores requires all team golfers to be registered with the United States Golf Association (USGA).

Scores In A Shamble Tournament

You can also play a shamble in a tournament. The exact scoring is down to the organizers but there are a few variations.

One option is that only the lowest score in the team is counted and used as team score. On the other hand, there could also be the combined two lowest scores counted.

The tournament organizers may also choose to count only the highest and lowest score in the team.

These are just a few of the different possible options but as the scoring is up to the organizers, shamble players can expect other, creative ways of scoring.

Final Thoughts

Golf is a competitive sport. That’s why, there are so many different team player variations in golf.

One of the lesser known team formats is a shamble, where golfers play from the best shot and each team member has to hole his/her golf ball.

Shamble golf isn’t quite suitable for golf beginners but many intermediate and advanced players enjoy a round of shamble now and then.

Garratt Shmidt
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