Scottie Scheffler: Uncommonly Consistent, Unflappably Good

Before yet another atmospheric river interrupted the proceedings at early February’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am—not rudely, mind you, but devastatingly—there was a crossing of paths with Scott and Diane Scheffler. Having been to Pebble Beach for glorious U.S. Open weather in June 2019, this was their first sojourn to the famed “Crosby Clambake” and they merely shrugged off what would be called “Pebble weather.”

Rain and wind, followed by wind and rain.

It’s no way to walk 18 holes of a golf course, be it Pebble Beach or Spyglass Hill, yet it was tough to tell whose smile radiated more, Scott’s or Diane’s.

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Scottie Scheffler reacts to his shot on the 8th hole during the first round of the 2024 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

They’re proud parents, so they talked of daughter Callie, now a mother, and living still in the Dallas area. And they talked of daughters Sara (New York) and Molly (Florida), both of whom had moved for work opportunities.

Warm smiles all around as they are quite proud of their children, which took the conversation around to the one they had just watched play 18 holes of golf in damp, blustery weather.

Ah, yes, second child Scottie Scheffler. You know, the 27-year-old world No. 1 who seamlessly slipped into a Green Jacket in the spring of 2022 and who greets every day with a smile and a sub-70 round.

“He did OK, he’s fine,” said Scott, waving his hand through the air as if to wipe away the bogey Scottie had made at the 17th hole in a round of 3-under 69 at Spyglass. With a nod toward Diane, who acknowledged the comment, it was confirmation that again, Scottie was his usual self.

Uncommonly consistent.

Scheffler waves to the crowd after being awarded the Green Jacket by 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan during the Green Jacket Ceremony after he won the 2022 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Numbers, of course, measure Scheffler’s excellence as a professional golfer, and a sampling follows:

  • Finishing T-6 at Pebble Beach, T-3 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, then T-10 at The Genesis Invitational, Scheffler ran his streak to 28 consecutive cuts made, dating to August of ’22. He’s got two wins, 23 top 10s, and only three finishes outside the top 20 in that stretch.
  • He’s finished top 10 in 42 percent of his 111 PGA Tour tournaments since turning pro in 2018.
  • He’s been No 1 in the world for a total of 75 weeks and for perspective, consider that Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth have 78 weeks combined as No. 1.
  • Last year, Scheffler was ranked first in a whopping 11 strokes-gained statistics, including tee-to-green, off-the-tee, approach-to-green, and total. He also was No. 1 in greens-in-regulation and scoring average.

“I was very proud of (that consistency). I think I maybe only had one or two starts that were, what I would categorize as not great,” says Scottie. “But other than that, I had a lot of starts where I just played really solid golf and to do that for an entire season out here, I think is very difficult. I’m very proud of that.”

Modesty from a guy who concedes “I’m not very good at celebrating,” but the reality is, numbers, impressive as they are, have no warmth and don’t probe the depths of a player’s soul.

For that, turn to those who have known Scheffler since he was a kid blanketed in the “it” factor. Former PGA Tour winners Joel Edwards and Harrison Frazar remember young Scottie always being at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas. Edwards said Scheffler would always wear pants and “looked like a Tour player” even then, while Frazar lost putting games to the 10-year-old and confirms that “you could not intimidate him.”

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Scheffler’s unique footwork is now well known by the golf community—here he plays his shot from the 18th tee during the 2024 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Impressive ingredients, but Randy Smith, the only swing coach Scheffler has ever had, says being well-grounded to handle the inevitable highs and lows is the key.

“On the highs, it’s almost like he expects it, so when he gets that really good performance, he’s not shocked,” says Smith. “He handles the good expectations without telling the world how good he is.”

That the downs have been so infrequent is a tribute to Scheffler’s dogged competitiveness, says Smith. Critics are everywhere and will point to Scheffler ranking 161st in SG: Putting in ’23. Discouraging? Yes, “but he never gets low; he doesn’t get too hot. His competitiveness merely remains to the max,” says Smith.

So, he’ll play Royal Oaks and invite the trash-talking and “hammer” games. “He plays to beat you. He’s a plus-9 and will play against a 15-handicap but I promise you, Scottie’s giving 24 shots and he’s trying to pick apart that poor lawyer or postman.

“And he’s funnier than heck when he’s doing it.”

His layers of humility are thick. As a former champion he was allowed to bring a guest to play Augusta National before the ’23 Masters and he chose someone to whom he’s forever indebted—sister Callie, so many times his caddie in national amateur events.

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Scheffler celebrates alongside wife Meredith (L) and caddie Ted Scott (R) after winning the 2023 WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The hand-me-down Yukon Denali “with a million miles on it,” says Smith, is still a go-to ride for Scheffler, even if he finally relented and got a brand-new Cadillac last year. Chipotle remains fine dining to Scheffler, who bought a house two miles from where he went to high school, and when it was time to choose a veteran Tour caddie, he picked Ted Scott because of his Christian values.

In other words, consistency is in his off-the-course makeup. “He’s very well aware of all the support (his parents) have given him over the years,” says Smith. “He understands it and is grateful for it. It’s why he’s so humble, totally.”

Ah, but to those who know Scheffler, “I mean, really know him,” says Smith, “he’s cocky, but it’s a good cocky.”

It’s no surprise, then, that a round of golf at the Madison Club in La Quinta, Calif., with good friend and U.S. Ryder Cup teammate Sam Burns, had a delectable slice of competitiveness. From about 120 yards, Burns stuffed his approach to about a foot and promptly yelled “hammer,” to which Scheffler could only laugh.

Declining the hammer is not in his DNA, so Scheffler promptly strutted his stuff. He holed his 115-yard shot.

Unflappably good is a priceless complement to uncommonly consistent.