Scottie Scheffler is unbeatable right now. Here’s why, the game’s best say

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler hits a bunker shot on Tuesday during a U.S. Open practice round.

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PINEHURST, N.C. — Bryson DeChambeau? He’s been wondering too. 

So much so that he went straight to the bemusement source.

“I was like, dude, you’re playing unbelievable,” DeChambeau said. 

“What are you doing, man?” 

And the response from the dude and the man in question, Scottie Scheffler?

“He’s like, I’m just playing good golf; I don’t know,” DeChambeau said Tuesday, two days before the start of the U.S. Open at venerable Pinehurst No. 2. “It’s one of those things.”


But it also feels like it’s something more specific than that. Something has made his ball find its way to the hole more efficiently than anyone in five of Scheffler’s past seven tournaments. Something has won him two Masters crowns since 2022. Something has made him the world No. 1. By a lot.

And since he’s equally humble and competitive about seemingly everything, it’s not like we’d expect Scheffler to draw us a map here. Oh, you’re curious about how I’m crushing your soul? Be sure to do X, Y, and lower your tee. 

But his fellow pros / recent also-rans don’t mind divulging. They’ve been taking notes. They’re the ones who would happily have whatever he’s having. So on Monday and Tuesday here, they were asked. On a couple levels, the conversation was insightful. We went beyond the boxscore. We learned their theories. We may have gotten a window into what they value. Speaking about others sometimes does that. 

We’ll start with Webb Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open winner. 

To him, it’s attitude. It’s mistake-free golf. 

For clarity, below is the question asked, followed by Simpson’s response. 

“As someone who has been doing this for a while now, what he’s done really even just this summer, the way he’s come out on the hardest courses and played as well as he has, how hard really is that?” 

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“Yeah, it’s probably what happened the early days with Tiger [Woods],” Simpson said. “You kind of get used to it, so it becomes less of a big deal. It’s almost like an afterthought. Scottie won again this week. 

“Yeah, he’s doing everything exceptionally well. I think what people don’t talk about enough is, like, his attitude, the way he thinks. He makes less mistakes than everyone else. He does what you would expect a pro to do. He capitalizes on wedge shots and par-5s. He just doesn’t make mistakes. 

“He’s so hard to beat. Probably makes Davis Riley’s win at Charles Schwab [at the end of last month] that much sweeter to him because he was able to get him. The rare time we all see it.”

Let’s talk to DeChambeau, the 2020 U.S. Open winner.  

“From a distance, what’s the biggest part of Scottie Scheffler’s game right now that’s making him so good?” 

To him, it’s full control. It’s understanding. 

“From my perspective, he’s got full control of his golf swing,” DeChambeau said. “He’s figured out a lot of his putting. He plays some incredibly strategic golf from what I can tell. He doesn’t go too crazy. He just hits the right shots at the right time. 

“He’s really in control of the environment, not only his environment but the conditions on the golf course. He knows what the golf ball is going to do. He knows how to react accordingly. When things go wrong, he’s able to right the ship pretty quickly. That’s just a recipe for success, and he’s been able to do it longer than anyone has for a long time. 

“Again, he is the gold standard right now, and we’re all looking up to him going, all right, how do we get to that level?”

Let’s talk to Viktor Hovland, the world No. 5. 

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From what you see, what’s the biggest part of his game that’s making him so good right now? 

To him, it’s ball control. It’s the absence of weakness. 

“Yeah, you can’t win that many tournaments or be up there on the leaderboard without doing everything well,” Hovland said. “Because if he had holes in his game, he wouldn’t perform as well as he would. 

“I think he just hits it very, very straight. It’s very reliable. We all hit great shots out here, and there are a lot of guys that are impressive, but you know the old saying: It’s not about how good your good shots are, it’s how good your bad shots are. 

“He’s certainly playing a game where his bad shots are still good. Like they’re still in play. He doesn’t have to worry about, man, I hope this big miss doesn’t show up, because there is no big miss. 

“When you couple that with a really, really high-level short game, it’s just easy to play the game of golf.”

Let’s talk to Rory McIlroy, the 2011 U.S. Open winner. 

There were a few questions in the back-and-forth. 

“Another win for Scottie at the Memorial. You’ve been on runs like this, seen it …” 

“I haven’t been on a run like this,” McIlroy said, smiling.

“What is the most impressive to you about what he’s been able to accomplish so far this year?” 

“The fact that the only thing that took him from winning a golf tournament,” McIlroy said, laughing, “was going into a jail cell for an hour [last month at the PGA Championship].

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“I think just the relentlessness. Look, a lot of stuff went on in his life, as well. They’ve just had a new child. He’s been through some struggles in his game, particularly the putter that he’s been able to turn around, as well. 

“It’s not as if he hasn’t had his challenges along the way, or circumstances have been a little bit different for him. But yeah, I mean, the word that I describe it as is ‘relentless.’ It seems like every time he shows up, he is the guy to beat, and deservedly so. This run that he’s been on, I think he’s played 14 times this year or 13 times this year, only once out of the top 10. Seems like he’s always in contention. 

“The most exciting thing about last week at Memorial was when he made the triple on 9. Everyone was like, oh, looks like he might let people in here, but he finds a way to steady the ship, make a few birdies when he needs to. Undoubtedly the best player in the world at the minute by a long way. 

“It’s up to us to try to get to his level.”

“I don’t remember what tournament it was, but you were in the broadcast booth and said, maybe he should try a mallet.” 

“Oh, Riviera,” McIlroy said. “I remember it well.” 

“Do you regret giving him that idea?” 

“Well, he tried the Spider last summer for a couple of tournaments,” McIlroy said. “But I think the work that he’s put in with Phil Kenyon, as well, I think that’s a big part of it. I know they started to work sort of after the FedExCup Playoffs last year. Obviously the work they’ve done has really been paying off.”

One more player. Jon Rahm, the 2021 U.S. Open winner. 

There were a few questions in this back-and-forth, too. 

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“What’s the biggest part of Scottie’s game that’s making him so good right now?” 

“I haven’t watched every round he’s played, obviously. It’s hard to do that,” Rahm said. “I haven’t been following the stats, but it just doesn’t seem like anything is wrong. Let’s just say it that way.

“Based on what he’s been doing the last few years, if he could just stay around even on Strokes Gained: Putting, he could have a season like this. When you’re top five in pretty much every category, tee to green, if you just putt average, you’re going to beat everybody. 

“He’s doing everything well. But I think when somebody is that good, it gets to a point where what’s in between the ears is the biggest asset.”

“Does it raise the pressure on you at all to feel like you have to shoot a slightly lower score or something, just knowing that Scottie is playing at the level he’s playing at right now?” 

“No,” Rahm said. 

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at

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