Most Popular Team Formats Explained

Josh Kelley

Josh Kelley

SwingU Instructor

There are a number of common formats that you could run into when you’re playing a team event at golf outings, member-guest tournaments or other club events. 

The most common and easiest to understand is a scramble. The teams consist of two or more players in which all team members hit their tee shot, they pick the best one and everyone plays the second shot from there. This practice takes place until the ball is holed, counting one score per hole. 

In a shamble, all team members tee off and the best tee shot is selected, just like in a scramble. From there, however, all team members play their own ball into the hole as if it were stroke play. Depending on the number of balls counting in this format, the lowest scores will be counted for your team tally.

Another popular format is best ball. In this format, two or more players form a team with every member playing their own ball as if it were normal stroke play. Again, depending on if you’re playing one best ball, two best ball, etc. the lowest scores made by members of the team will count towards your score. 

Lastly, the final popular format we’ll be discussing is alternate shot. As the name intimates, there will be one ball in play for a two-person team and the team members will alternate hitting one shot after another until a ball is holed. In this format, it’s important to note that the tee shot order is determined before the round begins, meaning even if the player designated to tee off on the odd-numbered holes makes the putt on the previous hole, he or she will still be hitting the first shot on the next tee box. 

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