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Do You Keep Putting Stats?
We've been doing a deep dive into PGA Tour player statistics which is allowing SCOR Golf to identify those golfers who are most in need of improvement in their proximity to the hole in the shorter ranges — 9-iron on in to the hole. This has been a very interesting exercise, as we've learned a lot about just how good these guys really are, and how much difference there is between the top-ranked players and those in the 175-200 rank in each category.

As we define the proximity to the hole from various yardages for each player, we can then compare that to their one-putt percentage from each 5-foot range category to see just how many strokes they could save if they moved their approach shot accuracy to the next bracket, i.e. from a 22' average to a 17-18 foot average. It's kind of like the movie "Money Ball", applied to golf.

So, doing this has given us a much more acute focus on just how good these guys are with the approach clubs and putter. From what we see on TV, it appears that they all knock the flags down with most approach shots and that they make everything. Realize that what you are being shown on TV, however, are just the great shots being hit during the telecast, and mostly focused on those few players near the lead. It would be boring television if they showed all the shots, regardless of where they ended up, wouldn't it?

The point of that explanation is to ask you if you keep your putting stats on a round-by-round basis. And which stats do you keep? The old "method" was to simply keep track of the number of putts, but that is so misleading. A golfer who hits 13-15 greens and has 31-33 putts might not have had that bad a putting day. Like the golfer who had a bad chipping/pitching day and left himself consistently in the 15-25 foot range — you're just not going to make many of those.

What we've learned from our dive into PGA Tour statistics is that what you should really know is how many putts you make from various ranges. On the PGA Tour, for example, the "typical" pro only makes 1% of their putts outside 35 feet! And the one-putt percentage is generally linear from there, in that the one-putt percentage roughly doubles for each 5-foot bracket closer to the hole, i.e. 30-35 feet it goes to 1.5-2.5%, 25-30, 4-5%; 20-25', 8-10%; 15-20, 15-17%; 10-15', 30-33%; 5-10', 45-60% and inside 5', 90-95%.

Understand that these stats are all over the place, and I'm talking about general trending. The more you know about your own one-putt percentage from these various ranges, the more you know where you need to spend your time on the practice green.

Or working on your short range approach shots and chipping/pitching/bunker skills to simply put it closer to the hole.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
Norwen says:
Playing of 20 I like to keep stats on how many times I hit the green with a 7I down to the Lob wedge - unfortunately the average which has been pretty steady over the last two years is an average of 3 per round with only 1 hitting the green. Average putts per round (that is counting those on the green only) is 1.9 per round per hole. Even then my average of 3 putts + per round is 4. Our course does lend its self to putting from off the green and I often refer to these as my percentage shots - chipping with a wedge or other club is no my strong suit. More time on the practice range required here I think. Norwen
3/27/13
 
mnigel says:
I track strokes, fairways hit, GIR, and number of putts. I've considered tracking putt distance but thought it would be too time consuming and be a distraction. Maybe I should reconsider.
3/29/13
 
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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