The special effect does not affect the initial strike of Smite, but allows it to spread further to additional enemies (but cannot hit the same enemy twice per cast). The effect is especially powerful against crowds, mostly when combined with Armor of the Kind Regent.
In addition, it is one of the three weapons (the others being Skycutter and Akanesh) that can increase damage done with Holy skills.
Despite the Game Guide stating this item has +6 random affixes, in fact it only has +3.
Originally wielded by the crusader Anajinn, the Golden Scourge has felled numerous enemies of the Light. At one point, Anajinn's apprentice tried to count them all, and determined that their corpses would span the distance from Kurast to Westmarch—twice.