The “Ploeg Rule” brings life to the Golf Scramble
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It seems like most every Golf Scramble is the same. We have the putting contest, the long drive, the KP, Par is your friend, the stacked teams and the cheaters, an on it goes…. How do we distinguish ourselves?
I love it and would recommend giving it a try at your next Tournament.
The “Ploeg (ploog) Rule” for Golf Scrambles
In a golf scramble (of say 4 players per team), each player tees off, and the team chooses the best of their drives. Then, all players hit their next shot from the spot of that best drive, and so on until they hole out. Consider the case where more than one of their “approach shots” (i.e. tee shots on a par 3, second shots on a par 4, or third shots on a par 5) ends up on the green in regulation. The team chooses the best one, and all putt for birdie from there.
To reward a team for hitting more than one “approach shot” on the green, we play the “Ploeg Rule,” which states that any (or alternatively just one) player whose ball is on in regulation, but isn’t chosen as the team’s best, may attempt their own birdie putt in addition to their birdie putt from the spot of the team’s best shot. If the player sinks their “Ploeg Rule” putt, the birdie counts for the team. If it’s in, it’s good. (If it’s not in, the ball gets picked up, so the team can’t use it for the next shot.)
Just to be clear, nothing changes if the team ends up on the green in less than regulation (i.e. a team member drives the green on a par 4, or they’re on in two on a par 5). Each team member putts for eagle from the spot of the best shot. If all miss, then each player (whose putt isn’t the best) gets their own “Ploeg Rule” birdie putt as before (since they are all now on in regulation, even though their “approach shot” was a putt).
To keep things simple, each player can get only one “Ploeg Rule” putt per hole.
So, if more than one player is on in less than regulation, they can either try their “Ploeg Rule” eagle putt or wait and try their “Ploeg Rule” birdie putt as before, but not both. So, the team can choose to gain a “Ploeg Rule” eagle attempt at the expense of a “Ploeg Rule” birdie attempt.
The “Ploeg Rule” is fun because it gives higher handicap players a chance to contribute when their scratch teammates are throwing darts at the pin the entire round.