Can a team of 3 golfers play in a 4-player scramble?
Golf Culture

Can a team of 3 golfers play in a 4-player scramble?



For golf tournaments, a scramble is a popular format. Typically, a scramble team features four players, and that team hits all of their shots from the same spot -- either from the tee box or, presumably, the best spot possible after each player hit the previous shot.

However, sometimes a group isn't able to put together a foursome for a scramble, or one of their teammates has to back out of competing. Does that mean a group of three players can't compete in a four-person scramble?

Can a team of 3 golfers play in a 4-player scramble?

A group of three golfers can typically play in a four-player scramble. Most tournaments will allow this under pretty much any set of circumstances. However, how a three-player team plays a four-person scramble is typically slightly different.

How does a team of 3 golfers play in a 4-player scramble?

Typically, a three-person teams competes in a four-person scramble by having each player -- A, B and C -- alternate being the D player.

For example, on the first hole, the A player is also the D player. That means the A player hits twice on each shot on the hole until the ball is holed. On the next hole, the B player is also the D player. On the third hole, the C player is also the D player and gets to hit twice. On the fourth hole, the A player becomes the A and the D player again. There are six cycles in total to coincide nicely with a nine-hole or 18-hole tournament.

However, there are some three-person scramble teams that cheat the rules a bit and don't maintain their lineup. Sometimes, that's also not required. A three-person team could conceivably change who is the D player from shot to shot. Or they don't have to maintain the same order throughout the round of who gets to be the D player for a single hole -- so long as each player is the D player six times.

Of course, enforcing any kind of lineup restrictions is almost impossible in a scramble, and most tournaments have no interest in doing so. But for a threesome that wants to play in a scramble, they can do it in a way that allows them to compete honestly and not play at a disadvantage.

About the author

Golf News Net

Golf News Net

We use the Golf News Net byline sometimes just to change things up. But, it's one of us humans writing the story, we promise.

Sometimes we post sponsored content from this account, and it is labeled as such.

We also occasionally include links to products and services from merchants of our choice. GNN may earn a commission from sales generated by those links. See more in GNN's affiliate disclosure.