Golf Stats – Strokes Gained

This is my last installment on golf stats. As previously discussed in two different articles (1,2), golf stats are deceiving. As with all stats, the analyst can draw many different conclusions depending on the criteria that the data is measured against. The PGA Tour is trying to rectify the confusion by introducing a new set of statistics that measure the player’s performance against the field. Sounds interesting.

I decided to copy Mark Broadie’s explanation directly from this website. I thought by trying to simplify this new golf stat, I would just muddy the waters. So here it is in its entirety.

“Mark Broadie is at the forefront of a revolutionary new approach to the game of golf that uses analytics from the financial world to uncover the secrets of the game of golf. He crunches data to show both professional and amateur golfers how to make better decisions on the course.”

Strokes Gained is a new metric that has taken professional golf by storm. Utilising data from millions of shots Prof Mark Broadie has created a baseline to enable golfers to assess how they perform in all aspects of their game (from 1ft to 600 yds), compared to other golfers. Unlike Greens in Regulation (where you’re not sure if your driving is enabling simple approach shots to the green, or your approach shots are rescuing poor driving), Strokes Gained enables the golfer to identify what specific part of their game is leading to good or poor performance. Strokes Gained calculations take into account the average number of shots for a professional or amateur golfer to get down from a given starting distance and starting lie condition and the average number of shots to get down from a given end distance and end lie condition.”

The video associated Mark Broadie’s explanation is in the link below. I recommend you let the video load for a bit before trying to play it.

Strokes gained is a very interesting concept. Given the new innovations in ‘big data’ and information management, this relatively new tracking methodology appears to be the next evolution in golf stats. If used properly, the amateur player greatly enhance their course management, areas of focused practice, and overall understanding of risk management.

I can see how using strokes gained will give the professional golfer more granularity on where to practice, but as with all golf stats, the data has to analysed with idea of finding the root problem to losing strokes to the field.

Any thoughts?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


13 thoughts on “Golf Stats – Strokes Gained

  1. Pingback: Booming Drives – A Different Stat - Swing Update

  2. Pingback: Booming Drives – A Different Stat | The Grateful Golfer

  3. Pingback: At The End, It Is All About The Game – The Grateful Golfer

  4. Stats are fun, but I’ve never been a fan of using them to improve my game. I know what part of my game is bad without using stats. If I’m driving poorly, I know it. If I’m putting poorly, I know it. Usually, when I keep stats and look at the final results, I say, “that figures,” because I already knew where my strokes were being lost.


    • Jeremy

      I understand what you are saying. I would suggest that if you track the stats for a month, it would provide a bigger picture of areas for improvement. I find that on any given day, one club or another may not work, but over the course of 30 days I get a different picture. Ultimately, I just like to play golf, good or bad! Thanks for weighing in!


      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been doing something similar, but simpler the last couple seasons. At the end of the round, since it is easy to recall, I jot down strokes lost relative to a few categories (i.e. putting, chipping/pitching, full swing, decision). This points me to where I need to focus on improvement in order to lower my score.

    Liked by 1 person

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