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A Reverse Texas Scramble


JuliWooli
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Up to about 7 years ago I used to play a reverse scramble with friends. It was a game that had to be played in the evening when the course was quiet. There might be an official name for this game, or it doesn't exist because it takes too long, but its great fun.

Instead of taking best ball, worst ball counts. I have never played it with more than 3 to a team because it would just take too long.

Realistically, it can only be played if the team consists of lower handicappers, add a player with double figures at your peril.

Putting is the most difficult as the worst approach from the worst tee shot is normally quite a long putt. Although all 3 players try to lag it as close as possible, the team normally faces a tricky 4 or 5 footer which in turn all 3 must hole. Get my drift.

Have any of you every played this?

It's a great character builder.

Edited by JuliWooli
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16 minutes ago, JuliWooli said:

Putting is the most difficult as the worst approach from the worst tee shot is normally quite a long putt. Although all 3 players try to lag it as close as possible, the team normally faces a tricky 4 or 5 footer which in turn all 3 must hole. Get my drift.

Worst ball with 3 players in the 3-5 handicap range?  Yikes.  I would say normally you're missing the green about 9 times out of 10, if not more.  My guess would be that 4-5' chance at a putt for par would be the BEST possible scenario on most holes.  And almost certainly one of the group misses that putt most times.

I have a foursome that I play with where we're all pretty similar in that handicap range, between 2 and 7 ish.  Last time we played, I can think of one hole where the worst approach shot yielded a putt.  Worst putt after that is likely going to be one where at least one person misses.  And that's on the BEST hole.

Most holes we're scrambling to get on the green in three, and the chances that all 4 of us do that successfully are fairly slim.

If I had to make a guess, I'd honestly say that I don't know that we could break 100 playing that game.  Seriously.

Might be a fun challenge though.

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30 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

If I had to make a guess, I'd honestly say that I don't know that we could break 100 playing that game.  Seriously.

Might be a fun challenge though.

It wasn't that bad. Group of 3 with an average handicap of 5. Par - brilliant but rare, bogey - good and most common score, double bogey - passable, and any higher scores, that's when the fun really starts (for the other team that is). I have never managed more than nine holes at this game (takes too long) and more often than not we can't finish for laughing. There have been some lasting fall outs too.

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Occasionally I'll play my own "worst ball" scramble when I'm out by myself. Even as a single digit handicapper, I hit so many loose shots that getting more than one par in a 9 hole stretch is almost a miracle. And on those rare occasions where I manage a GIR, I'm usually putting from outside of 25 feet. From there, I'll usually cozy one up to tap in range and miss the other by 6 feet. Then I'll proceed to make my first and burn the edge on the second. Sooooo deflating. 

It is a great game to test your resilience, though. Nothing worse than executing an amazing recovery shot, only to have your second effort hit a tree branch and go backwards. 

There is a story that Tiger once broke par playing worst ball from the tips at his course in Florida. 

I know Tiger is the greatest golfer of all time, but if that story is true, the accomplishment would rival any of his major championships in my mind.

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49 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

Worst ball with 3 players in the 3-5 handicap range?  Yikes.  I would say normally you're missing the green about 9 times out of 10, if not more.

 

It's a very tactical game. You're playing conservatively. Middle of the fairway, be that 40 yds shorter than normal. No point going for the pin. And lagging a chip or putt is the order of the day. 

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3 minutes ago, Big C said:

Occasionally I'll play my own "worst ball" scramble when I'm out by myself.

 

Strangely enough I have never tried that. I often play with two balls and play both to a finish. I normally do OK but tend to replay the bad ones. Tactically, they are different - the 'worst ball' game has to be defensive whereas our normal game is more attacking.

18 minutes ago, Big C said:

 There is a story that Tiger once broke par playing worst ball from the tips at his course in Florida. 

I know Tiger is the greatest golfer of all time, but if that story is true, the accomplishment would rival any of his major championships in my mind.

As I've said, I've never tried it but I would imagine Tiger's conservative/defensive game would be phenomenal. It doesn't really surprise me but many of his other accomplishments with women have. :-P   

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26 minutes ago, JuliWooli said:

It's a very tactical game. You're playing conservatively. Middle of the fairway, be that 40 yds shorter than normal. No point going for the pin. And lagging a chip or putt is the order of the day. 

As a 5 handicap myself, I can tell you that on a good day - a really good day - I'm lucky to hit 10-11 greens.  If there are 3 of me playing separate balls to the green, and then playing worst ball from there, then I'm still already going to miss well over half of the greens in one day.  If all 3 of me have to play the worst tee shot on every hole and then I have to hit the green 3 times from that spot?  There's no way.  

Granted I've never played this game, but just thinking logically, I'm having a hard time see how I'd average less than bogey per hole.  And this is me considering how I'd play on a good day.  On a bad day, I don't know that there'd be enough light to even get around the course hahaha.

It sure would be good practice scrambling and putting though!

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3 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

Granted I've never played this game, but just thinking logically, I'm having a hard time see how I'd average less than bogey per hole.  And this is me considering how I'd play on a good day.  On a bad day, I don't know that there'd be enough light to even get around the course hahaha.

It sure would be good practice scrambling and putting though!

I know the game quite well and usually lead my team tactically. It would surprise you the difference that makes. In my normal game I definitely attack more, especially the pins, but this conversation has made me realise that I am a more defensive player than I thought. My index is 4 and I rarely play outside the 70's below or above.

I'm guessing you are more attacking.

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1 minute ago, JuliWooli said:

:hmm::hmm: ? :hmm::hmm:

If your whole group is 4 handicaps then they're all good already and must know the game pretty well, so I'm skeptical that one persons strategy would make that big of a difference in this situation.

I'm just imagining a good hole:  all three of you hit good drives and all three hit decent approaches and maybe you're all putting for birdie from 30'.  Similar to what you said in the OP, one of the 3 is likely to hit a mediocre putt leaving a 5-6 footer for par and I would bet more often than not, one of the three burns an edge on that.  That's a well played, simple hole and you guys still made a bogey.

Now throw in the half dozen bad tee shots that a 4 handicapper might hit in a round, multiply it by 3, and then scatter those across multiple holes, because you're not all hitting bad tee shots on the same holes.  So maybe half the holes you aren't even having a realistic chance at hitting the green in regulation because of the tee shot, and you certainly all aren't hitting it (just based on averages).  So now you are in the rough or a bunker near the green and after three guys play that shot, there are going to be times when the worst of the three isn't even on the green at all.  Worst chip after that leads to a putt that not everybody is going to make and that's a couple of easy double bogeys right there.

Now, how many rounds does a 4 handicap play where they have zero penalty strokes?  I'm guessing less than a third?  That means you are likely to have 2, maybe 3 holes in one round where you as a group are OB or lost ball off the tee and now loop back around to the good hole scenario up above with an extra 2 tacked on and you're looking at triple or worse.

This whole concept is such an intriguing idea, and it seems to me like the score is going to be low 90's on a great day.

 

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This thread smells funny. A five handicap is going to average around 78 or 79 or so depending on the course rating… three five handicaps playing their worst ball are going to have a heck of a time breaking 90.

And if you're "attacking pins" you're not playing golf as well as you could be.

Because I doubt you mean from inside of about 40 yards.

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

This thread smells funny. A five handicap is going to average around 78 or 79 or so depending on the course rating… three five handicaps playing their worst ball are going to have a heck of a time breaking 90.

And if you're "attacking pins" you're not playing golf as well as you could be.

Because I doubt you mean from inside of about 40 yards.

My handicap is 3.8, not that it makes a big difference and our course has a rating of 124, not that difficult. 

You may have been reading the bit about my normal average score. I already stated that in reverse scramble bogeys are very good. 
Its a fun variation to the classic scramble and if you tried it you would understand what I mean about not attacking pins. More often than not one player will miss the green therefore any where on the green does. 
I don’t understand the controversy. Our groups used to play with caution because they knew how deadly this format is. 
I imagine 18 holes would take at least 6 hours with two groups playing together. 
The usual game we played was no more than 6 holes. 
 

9 hours ago, CarlSpackler said:

It doesn’t sound very fun to me. 

Not a game for the softies on this forum. 🙈 I am joking. 
Its a brilliant format but as I said the course needs to be quiet. A real character builder. 

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9 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

'm skeptical that one persons strategy would make that big of a difference in this situation.

This whole concept is such an intriguing idea, and it seems to me like the score is going to be low 90's on a great day.

 

The team has to play a careful game with constant reminders that attacking the course is unnecessary. How often would the worst ball be inside 15 - 20 feet from say 120 out. 
Team mates need reminding and new players need constant updates. 
If any of you get the chance try this as a team game. 

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14 hours ago, JuliWooli said:

Up to about 7 years ago I used to play a reverse scramble with friends. It was a game that had to be played in the evening when the course was quiet. There might be an official name for this game, or it doesn't exist because it takes too long, but its great fun.

Instead of taking best ball, worst ball counts. I have never played it with more than 3 to a team because it would just take too long.

Realistically, it can only be played if the team consists of lower handicappers, add a player with double figures at your peril.

Putting is the most difficult as the worst approach from the worst tee shot is normally quite a long putt. Although all 3 players try to lag it as close as possible, the team normally faces a tricky 4 or 5 footer which in turn all 3 must hole. Get my drift.

Have any of you every played this?

It's a great character builder.

I've done the "reverse scramble" many times but only with twosomes. My guess is with threesomes it's going to take a lot longer and with foursomes you may be there all day. 

I've also played it by myself. Hitting two balls and always playing the worst one. 

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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3 hours ago, JuliWooli said:

Not a game for the softies on this forum. 🙈 I am joking. 
Its a brilliant format but as I said the course needs to be quiet. A real character builder. 

I get it. For the record, I'm not a fan of regular Texas Scrambles either. I love match play formats (four-ball, foursomes, singles). A foursomes match is a real pressure cooker.

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14 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

I get it. For the record, I'm not a fan of regular Texas Scrambles either. I love match play formats (four-ball, foursomes, singles). A foursomes match is a real pressure cooker.

This

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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