The key to moving from being a hacker to a golfer who can hold your own is the lost art of scramble golf. Scrambling is part special swings that are almost trick shots and mental fortitude to play your game. If your drives end under tree more often than in the short grass of the fairway, a good scramble golf game can keep your scores from entering triple digits.
To become a good scrambler, you need to learn some skills and execute some game strategies.
Scramble Golf Tip #1: Know your best club and hit to it
If you have a club that you are lights out good with, hit your shots to hit that club. For example, let’s say you can hit your 7 iron 150 yards everyday, all day. Your goal on every hole is to get to the 150 yard marker. Even if you can hit beyond that point, pull back and lay up to 150 yards. What would you rather do, swing an easy 7 iron to the green or hope you don’t skull your wedge?
Scramble Golf Tip #2: Learn to hit a punch shot
If you see more trees than a Christmas tree lot from your drives, a good punch shot out back into play is key. A punch shot can be easily learned. the second half of learning a punch shot is knowing where to aim. Sometimes trying to split a forest of trees to go straight for the green is not as prudent as a simple 90 degree shot back to the fairway.
Scramble Golf Tip #3: Lay up to the green
Scramblers become snipers with their wedges. Several times I have made the green in regulation to only 3 putt. If I had played short, I could see the breaks on the green and pitched or flopped to a better spot to putt from. Give yourself the best chance for a solid putt.
Scramble Golf Tip #4: Play your game to your par
If you want to shoot in the 90s, play each hole like a bogey is par. This will remove the pressure of getting a par when your drive ends up under a tree. This includes not keeping up with the Jones. I found my golf game improved when I stopped trying to keep up with my dad who is a much better golfer. I play my game and he plays his, sometimes he gives me a few strokes.
It is also fun to see other players give respect to a your scramble game when you stay in control despite being in some nasty situations. Embrace the scramble and use it to better your game. You might even get the nickname: Eggs. (I hope not)