What is a Shamble in Golf?

So you want to know what a Shamble is in Golf? You are in the right place! A shamble is a fun golf format that’s kind of a mix between a scramble and playing your own ball. Basically, everyone tees off to start a hole. Then the best drive is selected and all the players play their own shots from that spot, with everyone playing their own ball into the hole from there.

It’s a great format for entertaining golf because it keeps things moving quickly with only having to play the one best drive, but you still get to play your own ball and shoot your own score the rest of the way. It kind of takes the pressure off the tee shots since you know you’ll at least get to play from the best drive. The scoring is usually based on the best score amongst the team on each hole. So if Player A makes a par, Player B makes a bogey, and Player C makes a double, the team score for that hole would be par.

You get the fun and fast-paced nature of a scramble combined with the actual scoring and playing of your own ball still. It’s just a really enjoyable and less stressful way to play. The next time you’re looking to mix things up on the course, give a shamble a try for a great time!

Shamble vs Scramble

In a scramble, teammates all hit drives, then you pick the best shot and everyone plays from there. You essentially construct one really good team scorecard by taking the best shot from your group on each hole. It’s a very team-focused format.

A shamble is like a scramble off the tee, so you do pick the best drive and then play your own balls into the hole from that spot. So it’s got the best-ball element off the tee for potentially finding the fairway, but you still get to play and shoot your own score the rest of the way.

I’d say a shamble is a bit more individual competition focused since you’re still playing your own ball and posting your own score. But it still gives you that great benefit of the best tee shot being used to start the hole.

In my experience, scrambles are fun when you want more of a purely recreational, team bonding experience. Shambles are great if you’re looking for a dose of teamwork but also want to challenge your own skills and scoring ability. Plus you get the variety of playing shots from spots you may not have earned off the tee!

Either way, both formats are a blast with the right group. But that’s the general rundown on how scrambles and shambles differ in the game of golf! Let me know if you have any other golf format questions!

What is a Shamble format in Golf: The Basics

  • A shamble is a team event, usually with teams of 4 players.
  • Everyone on the team tees off to start a hole.
  • The team then selects the best drive of the group.
  • From that spot, all 4 players play their own balls through the remainder of the hole.
  • Each golfer holes out and records their own individual score on the hole.
  • Once everyone has finished the hole, the team score is determined by taking the lowest score amongst the 4 team members.
  • This process repeats for all 18 holes.
  • At the end, all the team scores are totalled to get the final team score for the shamble.

Why Play a Shamble in Golf?

There are a few good reasons why a golf group might choose to play a shamble format:

  • It speeds up pace of play – Since the best tee shot is selected, the group won’t get bogged down looking for lost balls off the tee. Moving quickly from best drive to next shots.
  • Makes things more social – Shambles encourage teamwork and communication to decide on the best tee shot and cheer each other on.
  • Easier for beginners – Novices can contribute without as much pressure since their team’s best drive will be used. Gets them involved.
  • Balances team and individual play – Scoring is both team-based (taking best score) but individual skills still come into play.
  • Provides variety – A break from playing straight individual stroke play every round. Mixes things up.
  • Encourages strategy – Teams can think through pairings and drive order to set up better approach shots.
  • Rewards good driving – Long, accurate drivers can showcase their tee shots.
  • Thought of as more fun – Overall less stressful and competitive environment for many.


What is a 2-person shamble in golf?

So a 2-person shamble is basically the shamble format (where you pick the best drive and play your own balls in) but with just a team of 2 golfers. The way it works is you and your teammate both tee off on each hole. Then between your two drives, you decide which one you like the best and mark that as the selected tee shot. From there, you both play your own golf balls from that chosen drive all the way through the hole. So you each take your own shots with your own clubs from the same spot in the fairway or wherever the best drive ended up. Once you’ve both holed out, you take the lower score between the two of you as the team score for that hole. And that’s it!

Can you handicap a shamble in golf?

You sure can handicap a shamble in golf! Here are some tips on how to factor handicaps into a shamble format:

  • Have each player play to their own individual handicap. This means applying strokes to the lowest handicap player’s gross score when determining the team’s net score.
  • The player’s course handicap should be calculated as it normally would be for the tees being played.
  • On each hole, have the lowest handicap player add their handicap strokes before comparing the team members’ scores to take the lowest.

What is the official shambles definition golf?

“A shamble is a team format in which each player hits a tee shot, the best tee shot is selected, all players play their own ball from that spot, and the lowest team score on each hole is recorded as the team score. Handicaps are applied as they would be in individual play.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top