5 Traits of a Good Scramble Golf Partner
By Cody Phillips
Having played golf for over 15 years, there are many skills that I have developed on the course as well as many relationships that have been formed along the way. One thing that continues to escape me, as well as many other amateur golfers, is how to assemble the perfect scramble team.
When you're putting together your squad for PGA Team Golf, this task is measured up to stiff competition in your local region, where many excellent players team up for the chance to showcase their skills, and make the annual PGA Team Golf National Championship.
With a two-person scramble golf team there is not much room for error, so picking the perfect partner on the course is no easy feat and crucial to your success.
With my years of experience I have narrowed the selection process to 5 simple characteristics.
1) Sharp dresser
You’ve all heard the Deion Sanders saying “Look good, feel good, play good.”
This is no exception within PGA Team Golf, as the players who dress the best have the most fun, and are more relaxed to play well. Nothing brings a scramble team together like matching Hawaiian shirts.
2) Strength is your weakness
This is an uncommon aspect of picking a scramble partner as usually teams want to hit the long ball off the tee, but it is often forgotten that your score is made on close approach shots and putting well. Having someone that possesses a strength where you struggle and vice versa can have a dramatic impact on how low you go, as well as take some of the stress out of your round.
3) Good caddie
This is an understated and undervalued part of picking a scramble partner, as it is not just a two-person team. Having a partner that knows when to toss you a beer, give you a pat on the back, or tell a joke to break the tension can help make your round stress free and more productive.
4) Plays well under pressure
Nothing is more stressful in a round of golf than having to hit a 5 foot putt to save par or get up and down from a tough bunker to keep the round going. Being able to lean on your partner and know he will come through in the clutch when you are 40 yards in the woods off the tee is something you cannot teach, and is extremely valuable to have in a scramble partner. When you have a partner who can turn to you and say “I’ve got this one”, you know you have a keeper.
5) Exceptional at reading greens and putting
As previously mentioned, putting is the most important aspect of a scramble and can certainly make or break your round. Jordan Spieth may not have the best overall statistics, but boy can he putt, which has lead to all of his success. The same idea goes for a scramble, the more putts you can make the lower score you’ll post. Of course, proximity to the hole will influence this aspect of the round, but I would much rather have someone who is lights out on the green from 15 feet than someone who is shaky from 5 feet.
Two-person scramble golf tournaments can be extremely fun when you are playing well, and very frustrating when you can’t make a putt. Finding the right scramble partner may be a long process, but as they say with marriage, once you find the right one don’t let them go.