How to Play a Miami Scramble Tournament

This format is usually a twist on the Florida Scramble

An aerial view of La Gorce Country Club in Miami Beach, Florida
You don't have to live in Miami to play a Miami Scramble. (But if you do, this golf course is La Gorce Country Club on Miami Beach.). Scott B Smith Photography/Photolibrary/Getty Images

A Miami Scramble golf tournament is a variation on a standard scramble format that involves one member of the team sitting out following the drives on each hole, but rejoining the rotation once the team reaches the green.

Miami Scramble is sometimes just a synonym for Florida Scramble, but if tournament organizers use the name Miami Scramble it often implies a small but significant difference with the Florida Scramble. We'll explain what the difference is below.

But first, note that this format is sometimes called, simply, Miami (without the scramble), or described as a Miami tournament or the Miami format.

Remember Your Scramble Basics

All scrambles begin the same way: The members of the team each hit their drives. We'll use a 4-person team in our examples. Golfers A, B, C and D all tee off. They compare the results: Which drive is in the best shape?

Let's say Golfer A's drive was the best. OK, then Golfers B, C and D pick up their balls and move them to the location of Golfer A's drive. Then all four play their second shots from the there. The best of the second shots is selected, all four play their third strokes from that location. And so on, until the ball is holed.

How the Miami Scramble Works

In a Miami Scramble, all four of our golfers tee off. Golfer A's drive is the best, just as in the example above.

So the other three golfers move their golf balls to the location of Golfer A's drive. Here's where the twist in a Miami Scramble comes in: Since Golfer A's drive is the one being used, Golfer A does not play a second stroke. Only Golfers B, C and D hit second strokes. 

And in a Miami Scramble, the golfer whose drive was selected skips all other strokes until the team gets onto the putting green.

So let's say it takes the team two more strokes after the drives to reach the green. Golfer A, in our example (the one whose drive was used) skips the second and third strokes. On the fourth stroke, the team reaches the green, so Golfer A then rejoins the rotation and takes his turn trying to make putts.

Miami vs. Florida Scramble

How does that differ from a Florida Scramble? In a Florida Scramble, the golfer whose drive was selected sits out only the following stroke. The other three golfers play the second strokes, and the best of those strokes is chosen. Golfer A (sticking with our example in which Golfer A's drive was used) rejoins the rotation at that point. However, the golfer whose second stroke was selected by the team sits out the third stroke.

And so on - one golfer sitting out each stroke following the drives - until the ball is holed. That's a Florida Scramble. And, sometimes, Miami Scramble is just a synonym for a Florida Scramble. Depends on the tournament organizers, and depends on what terms are in use regionally. (Also note that Florida Scramble can also be called a Step Aside Scramble, among other names.)

Obviously, if you enter a Miami Scramble tournament, make sure you understand which version is in use. Just remember that most typically, the way a Miami Scramble continues following the second strokes is that the player whose drive was used continues to sit out until the team gets onto the green.

In that format, the members of a 4-person team are typically required to use at least four drives of each team member over 18 holes, another difference compared to a Florida Scramble.