So, as I was beginning to write this article, I was thinking about a title and I contemplated the word “scramble” but exactly what does that have to do with golf.  So, I looked up the word on my online dictionary…. and there’s a bunch of definitions, none directly relating to golf, but what stuck out to me was the definition “a disordered mixture of things.”  Not exactly the meaning of a golf scramble, but I think the word within the context of golf really should be…. “a disordered mixture of fun golf activities.” There are lots of local “scrambles” held as charity events because it’s a great way to earn money for a cause and many players really enjoy this fun social gathering.  So, as a beginner, are you ready to jump in and play in a scramble? Your answer should be “yes!”

You don’t have to be an expert player and you don’t need a handicap.  The rules of golf are extremely loosely followed during this event because there will be players who are there to join in on the fun and hit the ball a few times and take advantage of all the other festivities. Did you know there are some golf clinics designed just to get you ready for a golf scramble? 

There is really no central place to find out about golf scrambles.  If you have a particular cause you are interested in, call the charity office and ask about any golf charity events they sponsor.  Another way is to call around to different golf courses and ask.  Or, maybe you have always wanted to play at a nice private club. This is also a great way to gain entrée to a private course you many not have a membership privileges to play at.  Many private clubs open up their facilities to different charities and this is your opportunity to enjoy the course at a reduced fee. 

At your first scramble, you should register ahead of time and not just show up the day of the event.   Some scrambles need to limit the amount of people that play depending upon the size of the golf course.  On the day of the scramble, it’s a good idea to show up at least one hour early to sign in, sometimes there will be breakfast served, and pictures taken with your team.  If you signed up as a single, you will be matched with other players.  You won’t feel awkward or alone. You will be directed to either drop off your golf bag or take it to golf cart where your name will be displayed on the golf cart windshield.  There will be lots of people milling around looking for their cart, so you won’t stand out if you are confused… just follow what everyone else is doing. Once you find your cart, there is information that instructs you which hole your team will start on.  If this is your first scramble, don’t be shy about telling your team members… they will show you the ropes … just go along for the ride.

When there is a charity scramble each team is assigned a starting hole.  Typically, the entire golf course is utilized for all the players in the hopes that everyone can finish approximately the same time with everyone present for the meal, when awards are handed out, and gifts raffled off.  Always bring cash in small denominations to bid on auction items and donate to different fun events that will occur at different times during the day.  For example, you might show up at a hole and a golf pro will hit your ball off the tee for a $5 donation.  Another hole might have a raffle for a nice car.  Every charity scramble is different.  The emphasis is on fun, not the score, although the charity might award a prize to the longest drive, or the lowest score of the day.  However, there is very little pressure to play perfectly. Charity scrambles can be a comfortable entrée into a more competitive golf event if you have that long-term goal in mind for your golf game.   You will get a feel for the activities and structure of how an event is run.  In the meantime, scrambles are a fun way to support your favorite charity!