It's a Tough Scramble in Virgin Territory ; THE HACKER

Article excerpt

Hackers are very partial to a version of golf called the Texas Scramble. It's doubtful whether the game originated in Texas, because it embodies the notion of fair shares for all, but nevertheless it is an enjoyable way of playing.

The reason hackers like it so much is that no matter how badly they play they can still turn out to be a match-winner.

The Scramble comprises teams of four, each of whom drives off. The players then select the best drive, and all four play their second shot from that spot.

They all play their third shot from where the best second lands and so on until they reach the green, where they each putt from where the nearest shot to the pin ended up.

So on a par five, for instance, it is possible for a bungling oaf to hit a lousy tee-shot, a crappy second, an even worse third and then sink a 25ft putt to register a birdie for his team.

To become a hero after someone else has done all the work is a hacker's dream, so it's little wonder we love the format.

Sadly, people won't leave well alone, and have been tampering with the rules. It was noticed that if a team contained a very good player or two, then they were taking most of the shots while the others were ambling along without contributing very much.

To combat this it became the habit to insist that each player in the team had to have three of his tee-shots selected.

This immediately put pressure on the weaker players. It wasn't enough just to pick the longest drive, the team had to weigh up whether to take a shorter drive so that a hacker could fulfil his quota. …