Scrambling: Par Saves % by Handicap

For this edition of Data Nuggets, I’ll be walking you through a very important aspect of any golfer’s game: Scrambling. This usually indicates how good said player’s short game is since a great chip or a great putt (or a combination of the two) is required to successfully save par.

With that being said, welcome to our latest data dive. Scrambling: Par Saves % by Handicap. This data was taken from millions of rounds (literally) played by golfers of all levels. Let’s dig in!

If you’re a PRO member, you can see your scrambling % in your STATS section. The app will tell you if it’s a strength or a weakness in your game by comparing your numbers to those of similarly skilled players. If you’re not a PRO member, you can save par by upgrading your subscription, here. 

Here are a couple of takeaways from the chart:

  • Low handicap players (scratch, 1, 2, and 3) manage to save par close to half of the times they miss the green in regulation. Obviously a combination of two factors: their ability to make a good chip shots and make putts. However, it’s also very likely that even when these players miss the green they’re probably in a good enough spot to get up and down.
  • The % of successful scrambles is incredibly aligned with the Handicap and remains pretty consistent throughout the lower and middle handicaps (around 4% difference per handicap bracket).
  • For the higher handicaps, we see an incredibly low % of successful scrambles which is to be expected. First, their ability around the green has an impact, but again, when they miss the green in regulation is highly likely that they find themselves way farther from the green than lower handicap players.
  • We also need to take into account the fact that higher handicap players shoot way fewer pars than their most skilled counterparts. Exactly how fewer? We wrote about that, in this article.

To close this analysis, I’d like to point out that this stat could also be indicative of a player’s mental strength since it measures how do you react when things aren’t going perfectly smooth and keep calm enough to make that chip + putt and save par.

Enjoy your golf!

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Golfer, Writer, and Grinter for life.

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