What is Strokes Gained and How it Could Change Your Game Forever

With strokes gained, you'll know exactly how good or bad your last round was and you are able to work on improving your stroke count every time you tee off.

But what is strokes gained in golf?

  • Strokes gained is a way of measuring the number of strokes that are saved or given up during a round of golf.

  • It’s a popular golf statistic that looks at how many shots you gain or lose on the course, based on how many strokes you take.

  • If you want a better understanding of how strokes gained is calculated, then this article and the book Every Shot Counts is for you.

To learn more about this vital golf statistic and how strokes gained can benefit you, keep reading…

Every Shot Counts book coverThe strokes gained stat is one of the most important stats on the PGA Tour. It tells us where we play well and where we need to work harder. How can it change your game?

What Is The Strokes Gained Statistic?

Strokes gained is a stat that has been around for a while now.

The strokes gained statistic doesn't just take into account the number of strokes played or total score on each hole. 

  • It’s a golf statistic that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a player's shots.

Strokes gained is a revolutionary and innovative way of analyzing your golf game and it's based on the well-known "Every Shot Counts" book by Mark Broadie. It compares how well you're playing to a set benchmark – which means you can see if you're improving.

  • Strokes gained allows for the comparison of every shot taken during a round of golf with a benchmark. 

Strokes gained is a statistical measure that allows you to compare individual shots during a round of golf using the baseline of an 18-hole course. The most common strokes gained statistic is SG18, which compares the player's average number of shots per round against the PGA Tour average.

But we don’t have to compare ourselves with the pro players...

It’s a statistical measure that golfers of all levels can apply to their game and benefit from in order to improve their game. Strokes gained is a statistic that measures the performance of a golfer. 

Yes, that means you too will benefit in order to improve your game...

  • It calculates the number of strokes that a player gains or loses against an average player over 18 holes.

  • It is often used by amateur golfers and professional golfers alike to determine their strengths and weaknesses, and how they compare with other players.

  • A statistic is calculated by taking the difference between the total number of strokes played and the total number of strokes it should have taken, based on the course difficulty, ball position and the performance level (termed "par").

This statistic measures the number of strokes a player gains or loses on average in a round of golf, and can be calculated based on tee shots, approach, putting, and total strokes.

Strokes gained is a statistical measure that was created to provide more accurate measures of performance in golf. It is widely used by professional golfers to assess their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to particular shots. 

Aren’t you curious on how you can apply this to your own game?

It uses data about how far an individual golfer hits the ball off the tee on average per hole, how many putts they take on average per hole, their total number of strokes for each round, and other information like slope rating or course length.

But let’s dig deeper…

How Is Stroke Gained Calculated?

The following is a brief overview of how strokes gained are calculated. 

Strokes gained examines the shots taken to finish the hole, and calculates the number of strokes it would take an average golfer to finish this hole. The difference between this number and the golfer's actual number of strokes is the measure of how well they are playing.

  • For those of you who are not familiar with this calculation, it is a metric used to measure the performance of a player in golf. It is usually an average percentage for each part of the game.

Every Shot Counts provides a deep explanation of how strokes gained is calculated and the knowledge will allow you to apply it to your own game. This will change the way you think on the golf course and what shot to take from different positions etc. You will no longer have to think in terms of how to calculate strokes gained tee to green since you will automatically make good choices depending on your skill level.

Shot Scope has put together an article that talks about the basics of strokes gained, what it is, and how it's calculated. Check it out for more information.

The general idea behind stroke gain is that it takes into account the amount of strokes that are needed for each hole during a round and their quality. The quality can be determined by either how many putts are made or by the proximity to the hole. Stroke gained uses an algorithm to take these variables into account and give players a better idea of how they are performing on any given day.

  • Strokes gained is a measure of player performance.

Strokes gained statistics are becoming increasingly popular in the world of golf, even among us weekend warriors. 

For example, when you know your strokes gained both off-the-tee and approach-the-green, you can learn how good your shots are and see room for improvement. Off-the-tee strokes gained refers to how many shots you saved off the tee and approaches to the green strokes gained refers to how many shots you saved on approach shots.

With the introduction of three new strokes gained statistics, strokes gained may have had a growing influence on the golf game. I predict this trend will continue to grow with the introduction of these new stats since strokes gained is an accurate measure for more than just putting.

How can you benefit?

The Importance of the Strokes Gained in Your Game

The reason this is so useful for golfers of all levels, from beginners to professionals, is that it allows you to evaluate how well you did on a particular hole or round and then adjust your strategy accordingly.

Strokes gained is a statistic that is used in golf to measure how many strokes a player has gained or lost on the field. If you are interested in improving your game, then you should keep track of your stroke stats.

Strokes gained is a metric that is used to measure golf performance. In other words, it shows how many shots better or worse that player was from what they should have been playing from that position on the course for this particular round.

  • It’s the difference between strokes taken and strokes allowed on a particular hole counted as fractions. 

This metric can be used as both an individual and team metric which has many benefits. For example, it can help with determining if your game needs improvement, give you a better understanding of what needs to be done to improve your game, and provide critical data for coaches looking to make decisions about you.

  • Are strokes gained good or bad?

Strokes gained isn't just for professionals anymore. It’s for happy amateur golfers like you and me as well. You can easily discover how it can help you, too. 

It’s never been more accessible to golfers, of any ability, than it is right now. When you learn how, you can use this stat to shave strokes off your game.

Your strokes gained statistics can help you track progress over time, and it is also helpful for beginners trying to improve their golf game.

The game of golf is stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Knowing your strokes gained number at the end of the round will help you know what strategy to take for your next shot, and what to spend time practicing on in your game.

Let’s have a look at some examples…

Strokes Gained Tee To Green Examples From The PGA Tour

Yes, the PGA is another ballgame from what you and I are playing, but it’s interesting to see how they are doing it… 

The goal of this section is to look at how strokes gained tee to green can be used to better understand where a golfer should be aiming on the course.

  • Strokes gained tee to green is a statistic that measures how much better or worse a player performs relative to the field. 

The statistic is calculated by adding the strokes saved by shooting an average drive, an average approach shot, and an average putt for each hole. This number will determine if players are making good decisions based on their course management strategy.

A golfer's tee to green score is the sum of his strokes gained on tee shots, fairways and approaches.

Gaining shots here will set the player up for better odds once on the green. Hera are some examples of what the pro golfers are facing:

  • Distance from which it's 50-50 whether a player one or two putts (1.5 average) is 25 feet.

  • Distance from which players one putt 10% of the time is 33 feet.

  • Distance from which players have a 10% chance of three-putting is 64 feet.

You can learn about strokes gained from the PGA website and explore the stats of professional golfers.

This measures how many strokes a golfer gains or loses on the field. The more strokes gained, the better. A golfer with a high statistic is able to capitalize on their skill set and play more strategically.

Can you use this knowledge strategically? 

How to Use Stokes Gain Method To Play Better Golf

By now you know that it’s a great way to measure and track your golf performance.

It helps golfers of all levels - from amateurs to pros - evaluate how their game has improved over time. In short - it’s a more accurate way for golfers to assess their skills and improve their game.

The strokes method is a valuable tool for golfers because it helps them understand how they can make adjustments to improve their game. Golfers can take this information and figure out what areas of their game need improvement in order to improve their game overall.

When you understand things such as…

  • How do you calculate strokes gained off the tee?
  • Which strokes gained stat is most important?
  • What does strokes gained putting mean?

…great things can happen to your game if you apply it strategically to your course management.

You will have all the key insights you need to understand how to use the strokes gained metrics to make measurable improvements to your own golf game.

Time for the book…

Every Shot Count by Mark Broadie

This is the book that revolutionized golf.

It’s a mandatory read and you will learn more about how to improve your game than from any other book you will read on golf.

If you haven’t read it yet, now is the time!

The research of Columbia Business School professor Mark Broadie has yielded breakthrough data insights that are having a radical effect on the game. His pioneering analytics are changing the game for you too.

After reading Every Shot Counts you will understand…

  • Why amateur golfers should use strokes gained. 
  • Why strokes gained is the most important statistic in golf.
  • How regular golfers can adopt strokes gained. 

But you need an app…

Strokes Gained Golf Apps For Amateurs

What does strokes gained tell us?

It explains the importance of using advanced statistical analysis in golf, in order to identify strokes gained for amateurs.

But, without an app to track your strokes it’s not easy…

  • Where to find strokes gained data?

Fortunately there are plenty of apps available where golfers like us can track our shots and get our statistics. We can look at strokes gained for amateurs as a way to judge how well we are playing.

I’ve used the one Broadie mentions in his book. It was easy to use and gave me tons of insight. Maybe my game hasn’t improved accordingly, but at least I know why…

Many companies are now using strokes gained analytics as part of their performance tracking platform. These statistics are important for golfers and can help with determining your skills and what to work on next.

This analysis will help players understand what they should focus on to improve their strokes gained to better reflect their actual skill level, which is much more difficult to measure with traditional statistics.

Advanced stats can be used for analysis in golf and they can provide interesting insights on the process and performance of the golfer such as how consistent you are. You can then use these stats to determine what you need to work on before hitting the course again.

Let’s sum it up…

The Stroke Gained Method for Improving Your Golf Game

The method for improving your golf game is a set of guidelines that are designed to help you improve your overall game.

  • How do you increase stroke gains?

Stroke gains are something that can be improved with a variety of methods. 

One way to increase stroke gains is to improve your technique by using drills and exercises that focus on improving the following: tempo, body balance, and grip strength. Another way is to improve strength and endurance with resistance training, yoga, and indoor cycling.

  • What have we learned from strokes gained?

Strokes gained is an important metric for golfers to consider. This stat can be used to measure the effectiveness of one's game by measuring the number of strokes the player takes per round. It can also be used as a predictor of how well they will do in the future.

The next move is yours. 

Will you continue on the road of least resistance and get the same results you always had… 

… or will you read Mark Broadie’s book Every Shot Counts and apply the knowledge to your game?

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