If you love golf, you have no doubt played in a scramble tournament.  We all know how that goes; each team hits their individual shots and then selects the best one.  All teammates hit their next shot from that position.  This pattern is followed until the ball is holed – each team hitting from the location of the best shot of the four.  

This works great except that it always seems that a team or two bring a low handicap ringer to steal the tournament.

Enter the Step Aside Scramble.  In this model, the person hitting the best shot selected by the team must “step aside” for the next shot leaving their 3 teammates to make the next best shot.  This is repeated for every shot until the ball is in the hole.  Only the eligible 3 players hit each selected shot, including putts.

In this scramble format the really good players can help the team, but not dominate the selected shots.  Seems more fair, doesn’t it?

The “Miami scramble” option 

Kind of like the Step Aside Scramble but with a variation.  The golfer whose drive is selected has to skip the following strokes until the team reaches the green.

Other options to even the playing field:

  • Get rid of the long drive prize.  This only feeds the ego of 2 or 3 of any scramble field.  The vast majority of participants have no chance of winning this prize.
  • Require the team to use at least 3 drives from each teammate during the round.
  • Use 60-70% of the teams handicap total and provide a net competition.


What is the “Miami scramble” golf tournament format? It’s a traditional scramble with a twist: the golfer whose drive is selected has to skip the following strokes until the team reaches the green.

Recall that in a standard scramble format, all members of a team (typically four golfers) tee off. The best of those four drives is selected, and the other three team members move to that spot. (Standard practice is to drop within one club-length of the selected drive.) Team members all play their second strokes from that location, then the one best shot among those strokes is selected. The other three golfers move their balls to that location. And so on, until the team gets a ball into the cup.

Collaborating author Dave Watros

Photo from  The Northern Ohio Golf Association