Stroke gained is a recent addition to the golf of game replaced the more traditional historical stats. In the past, golf stats have been vitally used to improve the game of any golfer which helps to identify weak points that need to be improved.
Replacing golf stats
Previously, green hits and fairway hits are used to gauge the number of putts to take to complete a round of golf. However, new methods have since come into the light to provide more accurate data and that is what strokes gained come into play. The base unit here is a stroke and it uses the fundamental concept of the game which is where a round of golf is completed with the least number of strokes. Meanwhile, the player’s progress is updated and then analyzed after every shot is taken.
Adopting a multi-stage method
So, how does strokes gained work?
- First, the average number of shots the player uses to complete a hole in a specific course must be determined. It uses the Shotlink date from the PGA where the player’s shots hit throughout the season is taken with maximum accuracy. For example, in a certain PGA Tour, the player needs an average number of 1.8 shots to complete a hole which is 16 feet. Here, each one-foot putt will be on an average of 1. As for a 40-yard pitch, it would be a 2.6 average.
- Then, the actual score away for the player from the PGA Tour average with the same distance is taken. Here, if the player completes a 16-foot putt, then he would have gained 0.8 shots.
- There will be situations where the player could miss the 16-foot putt and that is where the database will be the reference point to determine the average number of shots taken to complete the hole.
Is stroke gained only for pros?
It is interesting to note that the PGA keeps this data on its Shotlink database. Strokes gained is data that was once only available for the pros but has since been expanded to club players too. How then could this be of any use for the learning golfer? This has now been made possible by names like Shot Scope and Arccos which started publishing data of strokes gained for club golfers. This means that data in different handicap groups are now available for comparison which would offer the avenue for you to gauge your performance and then identify how you can improve your game.