NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a scramble?

Don't know your dormies from your doglegs? NCG's Golf Glossary is here to help

Here at NCG we pride ourselves on being the publication for the everyday player, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to delve into the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.

Sometimes the most obvious terms have the most interesting story, so you might find yourself an interesting conversation starter…

What is a scramble?

Scrambling is a stat that is calculated to work out how good a players short game is. It is a chip or a putt from less than 50 yards away that results in requiring one putt or less on the green. The stat is worked out by dividing successful scrambles by number of greens missed.

Effectively it is a players ability to get up and down.

How would you use it in a sentence

“Rickie Fowler recorded a scrambling percentage of 80% during the tournament”

What are its origins?

The scrambling stat was developed to measure a golfers ability to avoid bogey after missing the green with their approach shot.

The PGA Tour started collecting scrambling stats during the 1992 season. Nick Price headed the leaderboard with a scrambling percentage of 68.26% from 99 rounds, missing 482 greens and get up and down 329 times.

Despite it being a fairly good indicator of someone’s short game, the stat doesn’t take putting into consideration so can be fairly unreliable.

Take Jordan Spieth for example. Spieth ranked 44th in scrambling from 10-20 yards or less during 2017 but his ranked 4th for putts made from 20-25 feet.

Spieth evidently has a good short game but it could be a case of his putting making his short game stats look better than what they possibly should be.

Any other business?

Not to be confused with the phrase “scramble” when playing golf. If someone mentions they are playing in a scramble then they mean Texas Scramble, the format where you take a person’s best drive, approach shot etc.

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