Most golfers know about the scramble, but what is a shamble?
When most of us hear the word shamble in the same sentence as golf it’s normally used to describe bad scores. “My golf game is in shambles” – said every golfer ever at one point or another.
The best thing about golf is the variety of formats you can play. Stroke play is the most popular. Match playScrambles, skins and other games are great ways to mix things up.
Another popular variation of golf is the shamble. In this article we’ll help clarify how it differs from scramble golf and other types of events.
Shamble Golf 101
What is a shamble event?
A shamble is a variation on a standard scramble format. First, let’s clarify how a scramble golf tournament works to elaborate.
Scramble golf events are typically four-person events. All four players tee off on the hole. Once they tee off, they choose the best ball and each player hits their second shot from that spot. This continues until the hole is finished for a team score.
Because you choose the best shot on each shot, scramble golf tournaments can make it easier to score lower. Four golfers selecting the best shots on drives, best shots on approaches, and easiest putsts will give you a better chance of making a lot more birdies and eagles. Some tournaments even allow you to buy mulligans to your group.
Golf: Shamble or Scramble?
What is the difference between a scramble and a shamble in golf?
A shamble starts off the same – all four players tee off on every hole. Then, just like a scramble, you choose the best drive to drop from that spot. Most tournaments allow players to place the ball within one club and not alter the lie.
For example, if the drive you select is in the rough, you can’t take a club length and play from the fairway. The ball typically needs to stay in the same type of lie and you can’t get any closer to the hole either.
After you have found a spot to play your second hole, it is time for things to change from a scramble. After everyone has hit their second shot, they each play their own ball in for the remainder of the hole. It is therefore more difficult to score as low in a scramble because everyone must finish the hole.
Scoring wise, you might take the lowest score in the group. You might also need to take scores of multiple players.
For example if it’s a 4-man shamble and two people make 4s and two people make 5s, you would count the two lowest scores. Its harder to go low when there are more scores needed. The team score will be lower than a four-ball event because each player plays from the best tee shot.
Other Shamble Variations for Golf Outings
Additionally, some shamble tournaments might count all four scores combined but come from the tournament director’s imagination. It varies from one event to the next, so counting all scores may be something that happens at a greenskeeper-revenge tournament.
You can also make these events more difficult by requiring a certain number of drives per player. It is a good idea to require 2-3 drives per player for each group. This will increase the pressure, especially later in a round. If it’s a 4-person event, the most amount of drives required would be four per person.
This will make the event more difficult if you combine a minimum number drives with multiple scores.
FAQs about the Shamble Format
Are you looking for more information about shamble scoring and this type of tournament? You can find our frequently asked questions and answers here.
What is a 2-man shambler?
A 2-man shamble uses the same rules, but only two players. This makes it more difficult to score well. Because there are only two people in the group, chances of hitting a great tee shot are lower. If both of you have a bad drive, it’s not always easy to score well when you’re both out of position after your first shot.
Additionally, if there are only two players, the total scores for the hole are lower, making it more difficult. But it’s a lot easier to score well in this type of 2-man format vs. alternate shot or best ball. Whether it’s a 2-man or 4-man, low ball team score always wins!
Can you handicap a shamblest?
Yes, handicaps are also possible in shambles. This type of tournament is part stroke-part scramble so handicaps can be made to work by making a few adjustments.
You typically use 80% of your total handicap for a four-person scramble. Since you can use other players’ drives off the tee, it wouldn’t make sense to use 100% of your normal handicap.
If you’re playing a 2 or 3-person shamble, it’s more common to use 85% of your handicap. These details will usually be taken care of by the tournament coordinator before the event. After you check in to get your scorecard and rules it’s easier to understand.
Click here to find out more about handicaps in golf..
What is a Texas shamble?
Texas-shamble, also known as modified shamble, is a 2-man version or normal shamble event. Each player tees-off, then they choose the best drive and play the hole from there. This is a great format for two-person play as there are more options off of the tee.
How do you find a shamble handicap in golf?
It all depends on how many players there are in the shamble (2vs. 3vs.4). For 4-person events, it’s common to use 80% of each player’s handicap. With two or three person events, it’s more common to use 85% of each player’s handicap.
The shamble scoring might also have a gross division which doesn’t include handicaps and are the “true” best scores on the hole.
What are some other tournament formats?
Apart from a scramble or scramble, four-ball and alternate shot are the most popular types. StablefordYou can find out more.
Final Thoughts about a Golf Shamble
A shamble format is a great mix between stroke play and scrambles. It allows everyone to have good tee shots or at least more options and should make it easier for all the players.
If it’s a 4-person shamble, scores will still be pretty low compared to stroke play but not as low as a scramble. But a 2-person “Texas shamble” is much harder to get scramble-like low scores.