Do You Know What A Golf Shamble Format? Here Are The Mechanics!

Do you know that the golf shamble is a variation of the scramble? The variety of team formats in golf come in different excitement and level of expertise.

However, most skilled golfers join tournaments of this kind to have a more fun time and hone their golf skills with friends.

The golf shamble format usually has 2-4 members that play in an 18-hole golf course. Find out more about this exciting game! Keep reading, folks!

What Is A Shamble In Golf?

The so-called shamble in golf is not as popular as the Texas scramble (or scramble), best ball, or stroke play. But shamble is one of the best game formats more golfers love to play. A golf shamble is a team game format that has two to four golfers hitting a tee.

Once all members had hit the tee, they select the best shot. Every golfer member places a ball on the picked best tee shot each finishes the hole. As one of the rules, the best score from a member shall be the chosen score in every hole.

However, the team sometimes factors the lowest 2-3 or all the four scores to arrive at the best score. These scores are added up to and computed on the scorecard. Golf shamble has some similarities with the scramble. Interestingly, the shamble is a challenging version of the latter.

How To Play A Shamble In Golf 

The shamble format (sometimes called brambles) in golf typically has two to four golfers that will play the 18-hole. Every player will drive off the tee for each hole. In each hole, the group will go for the best drive shot in playing their next swing.

Following each player hitting the second shot, the group then decides who did the best shot among them. After choosing the best shot among the team, they will play their next drive on that location.

The team will continue to play this pattern or routine until everyone holes out. But remember that each golfer will play ball until it is holed in. As the game goes by, some players will have higher scores than others on the team. Additionally, each golfer should keep track of their own scores.

The shamble format is quite a stir for advanced and intermediate players, but beginners might not comprehend the routine. The game can be played in a club tournament. However, shamble creates a change of pace for seasoned golfers and keeps them more aware of team building.

Read More:Best Drivers For 90 mph Swing Speed.

Shambles Golf Rules

The rules in shamble are easy to understand. There are typically eight rules that each player must abide by in the game. Here they are:

  • The game starts as a regular play on the first shot from the tee. The second shot is the actual routine of a shamble format. Once the partakers come close to the green, each member has to place the ball within one club-length of the chosen shot.
  • The golf ball is not allowed in positioning closer to the hole.
  • Placing the ball is only permitted on the same lie of the chosen shot. Let us say that the preferred shot settles on the second cut of rough. The next ball should also play from the point where the secondary rough is.

Another example is shamble golf par-3. On this spot, each member plays golf ball off the tee until it is holed out.

  • Once in the green, every player can place their ball inside the allowed 4-inch distance left or right of the chosen shot. But remember that you cannot place the ball near the hole.
  • Contrary to the penalty drop, you can only place the ball on the selected spot by hand.
  • The main game will start as soon as the first shot is delivered. Each player cannot alter the position of the ball once the first teeing shot commenced.
  • Consequently, after each player hit their second shot and it came to rest, it will be the selected ball to play on.
  • Like the scramble structure, the players should putt all balls in the holes. The team cannot rely on just one member to hole out the golf ball.

How To Keep Score In A Shamble

Keeping a score in a shamble tournament will not take much time for the team to settle in. The scores in shamble are lower than stroke play as the group plays from the spot with the best tee shot. But depending on the agreed rules, there are still variations in scoring similar to stroke play.

One of these variations is counting the one, two, or three best scores in every hole. The team can also consider all four scores in a hole. The team could drop the lowest and highest scores on every hole and count the persisting scores.

The other variation is by counting the best gross and net scores. But these scores should not be from the same player. However, the gross and net scores call for the players to have a registered golf handicap with the USGA.

2-Person vs. 4-Person Shambles

The size of a team in shamble golf directs the rules and guidelines.

When playing shamble among two persons (a two-ball format): the lowest score on each hole could be the point for the duo. If your 2-person team competing with other teams and reached a tie with a low score, how would you come up with a settlement?

In this case, the hole will be halved, with each team getting half a point.

The 2-person shamble is easier for the team to settle the best score compared to its 4-person counterpart. However, the challenges and camaraderie might be strengthened in the play formats. Additionally, the 4-person-team in a shamble game is credited for larger charity tournaments and attracts more golfers with different skills.

Moreover, the 4-person shamble is a broad field where you could learn other techniques and skills to keep you more competitive.

Golf Shamble Strategy

The first to do in determining your strategy in playing shamble is to read and learn the rules. Determine how many scores will count and if the tournament requires each player’s handicap to be included. Also, know what the percentage reduction would be.

Once you know these things, it is now time to discover the type of golf course. Know the length of the golf course, the hazards that are present in the area, the elevation, etc. If the shamble is a handicap tournament, ensure that every player is verified for their handicaps.

Assembling the team may require mixed low and high handicap players for the proper distribution of skills. Once the member is chosen and the team is assembled, know the strength of each player. Then, decide the precise drivers from the tee shot to set each member’s second shot.

Allow your best driver to hit the starting tee shots on the beginning to ensure the best spot on the fairway. This way, the second shot would lay yet the best location to have a lower score.

Golf “Shamble” vs. “Scramble”

The scramble is one of the most popular team formats in golf tournaments. The shamble is a variation of the scramble format. But scramble usually involves players with different skill levels.

The scramble also involves 2-4 players as a single group with one member nominated as the team captain. In a scramble format, each golfer takes a shot from the tee. From here, the team captain picks the spot where the best location is for the second shot. The shamble slightly differs from the scramble in a way that only the best driver off the tee is utilized for each member’s second shot.

Shamble Golf Format Handicap Allowance

The most common handicap in shamble tournaments is reduced by 20% to 25%, depending on the disposition of the event organizer.

Shamble Example

Do you want a golf-classic shamble sample? Watch this video and learn more!


One of the great things about golf shamble is that the format can suit golfers with different skills and potentials. But not the beginners who are playing golf once in a while in a year. The same thing is true in golf scramble tournaments.

Most beginners may struggle to compete in shambles or scrambles, while the team will have difficulty attaining a lower score. To sum it up, the golf shamble, just like the scramble and other golf formats, creates a relaxed environment in golf tournaments.

Moreover, these golf variations also help promote the game as a sport that could bring charity events on its fold. Maybe it is time that you encourage your golfing friends to try the shamble format on your next outing!

Read more:What Do The Numbers On Golf Balls Mean? You Should Know This!

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