Strokes Gained sits on the shelf of golf phrases labeled often-used, not often outlined. You hear it on TV broadcasts, in golf media and more and more in producers’ advertising and marketing literature.
However what does it imply? It’s a query we get pretty typically at MyGolfSpy so let’s flesh it out a bit. Contemplating the 2 phrases absent any context, “strokes” and “gained” appear innocuous sufficient.
It’s not like we’re speaking about axiomatic methods or oblate spheroids. However ask your common foursome to outline “Strokes Gained” and I’ll wager a steak dinner you’re extra more likely to get clean stares slightly than an accurate reply.
WELL, WE’RE WAITING …
Strokes Gained is the brainchild of Columbia enterprise professor Mark Broadie. It’s the definitive efficiency statistic within the subject, a welcome substitute for silo statistics resembling putts-per-round and proportion of fairways hit.
Mainly, Strokes Gained is a statistic that communicates the efficiency of a golf shot relative to a benchmark. Put one other approach, Strokes Gained doesn’t let you know how good (or unhealthy) a shot is. It quantifies how good (or unhealthy) every shot is predicated on an outlined context.
If this sounds acquainted, we’ve touched on the topic earlier than.
For instance, a tee shot that travels 250 yards down the golf green on a 450-yard par-4 doesn’t have the identical worth for each golfer. For those who’re a PGA TOUR professional, this shot might need a unfavourable Strokes Gained worth as a result of, on common, PGA TOUR gamers hit the ball additional. This leaves a shorter method shot which, on stability, generates a decrease common rating.
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Nonetheless, for the common 18-handicap participant, such a tee shot would produce a constructive Strokes Gained measurement as a result of the common driving distance for higher-handicap gamers is a good bit lower than 250 yards.
Right here’s one other one. Let’s say you’re evaluating your placing to the PGA TOUR common, the place 7’10” represents the space at which a golfer has a 50/50 likelihood of constructing a putt. Let’s additionally assume that it takes a median of 1.5 strokes for a PGA TOUR professional to gap out from this distance. Due to this fact, when you’ve got the identical distance putt and make it, you acquire 0.5 strokes. The formulation is straightforward. It’s the common variety of strokes—the precise variety of strokes. On this case, that’s 1.5-1 = 0.5. For those who don’t make the primary putt however make the second, the Strokes Gained on that shot could be -0.5 (1.5-2).
Additionally, as a result of Strokes Gained produces a price for each shot, golfers can take a look at the mixture values for varied elements of the sport, resembling: Driving, method, tee-to-green, placing, and so forth.
Strokes Gained is a fairly easy idea when you get the concept a golf shot can’t be outlined as “good” or “unhealthy” with out some form of context. It’s like asking whether or not $400 is some huge cash. For a dozen golf balls? Completely. For a spherical of golf at Augusta Nationwide? Most likely not.
The PGA TOUR produces Strokes Gained values for each shot for each participant in each event. As anticipated, the context for all this info is different PGA TOUR gamers. Bryson DeChambeau leads the Tour in each common driving distance (323.5 yards) and Strokes Gained driving (1.142 strokes/spherical). Nonetheless, Rory McIllory, who’s second in driving distance (318.7 yards) is eighth in Strokes Gained driving (0.636 strokes/spherical).
However for the remainder of us, efficiency administration platforms resembling Shot Scope and Arccos now provide Strokes Gained evaluation for his or her customers. Earlier this yr, Shot Scope introduced it might add Strokes Gained information to its platform in three phases, a course of that now’s full. From a aggressive standpoint, it’s an necessary achievement for Shot Scope, provided that Arccos launched its Caddie Strokes Gained Analytics in August 2020.
The first good thing about particular person efficiency monitoring methods is the flexibility to benchmark in opposition to enchancment objectives. For instance, let’s say you’re a 15-handicap golfer and also you wish to know what it might take to get all the way down to a single-digit handicap. Strokes Gained will let you know how every phase of your recreation measures up. That approach, you’ll be able to see how shut (or far) you might be relative to that purpose.
If you wish to dig deeper, Shot Scope produces Strokes Gained evaluation based mostly on a wide range of standards resembling distance and gap designation (par-3, par-4, par-5). For instance, the info would possibly present you battle extra with tee photographs on par-4s which can be greater than 425 yards. Or that you just acquire strokes on par-3s in comparison with different golfers of the identical handicap.
Regardless of the case, the purpose is that in the event you’re seeking to enhance, it’s important to start out with the suitable info. Strokes Gained helps obtain that.
As a result of each golfer has completely different strengths and weaknesses, goal information may help you perceive the place the best alternative for enchancment exists.
ADVANCED COURSE WORK
A part of the thrill (for a few of us, anyway) across the Strokes Gained framework is all of the potential quantitative rabbit holes. It’s a free-flowing, brainstorming session that produces musings resembling …
Given sufficient information, may we assess shot efficiency based mostly on the time of yr? Grass sort? Course circumstances? Time of play? Event venue? Tough versus fairway? And so forth.
And given a big sufficient pattern measurement, who is aware of? Perhaps Strokes Gained will assist you choose your subsequent Member-Visitor companion.
For those who’re into the sort of stuff, try Shot Scope’s FREE Strokes Gained E-book.