How to Play a Miami Scramble Golf Tournament

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.

Let's do an example to help illustrate the difference in a Miami Scramble.

Example: The Miami Scramble Twist

We have a four-person team made up of golfers A, B, C and D. On the first hole, all four golfers play their tee shots. Now, compare the results: Which shot is best? Which ball is in the best position for the second stroke? Let's say that Golfer B hit the best drive.

In that case, Golfers A, C and D pick up their golf balls and move to the location of Golfer B's ball. But — here's the twist — Golfer B doesn't get to play the second stroke, because he had the selected drive. A, C and D drop their balls at B's location, and only they play second shots.

Is anyone's ball on the green yet? Let's say this hole is a par-5, and the answer is no. So, compare the results of the second shots and pick the best one. Then play the third strokes from that spot. But, again, because Golfer B had the selected drive, B does not play this stroke either.

Does the team now have a ball on the green? Let's say yes. At this point, because the team is on the green, the golfer who hit the selected drive — Golfer B in our example — gets to rejoin the rotation and putt.

And that's how the Miami Scramble works: The golfer who hit the selected drive on each hole skips the following strokes until the team reaches the green, then rejoins the rotation so all four team members are putting.

This twist on a standard scramble might speed up play a bit (because fewer total strokes will be played over the course of the round), and it can introduce some extra strategy to the format. Knowing that the golfer with the selected drive has to sit out means that you might not always want to choose the best drive. If the best overall golfer on your team is very strong on approach shots, for example, you might want to make sure that golfer is still available to play a stroke into the green, even if that golfer hit the best drive.

Is a Miami Scramble Any Different Than a Florida Scramble?

Usually, yes. Sometimes, no. Some tournament organizers might use "Miami scramble" and "Florida scramble" interchangeably. But, in most cases, a Miami scramble and a Florida scramble are two, slightly different formats. The difference: In a Florida scramble, the golfer whose drive is selected only skips the second stroke, then rejoins the rotation on the third stroke. As we've seen, in a Miami scramble, the selected driver only rejoins the rotation once the team reaches the green.

Also note that sometimes this format is known simply as "Miami," rather than "Miami scramble."

More formats:

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