PGA Tour Stats - What, How Why?

  • Author: Iain Highfield
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All golfers know about the dramatic advances in equipment technology which have taken place over the last few decades.

And for tour players, technological innovation has also made possible the collection of ever more detailed and sophisticated statistics about every aspect of their games.

The pros now take it for granted that they need to pay close attention to their stats in trying to find their maximum competitive edge.

As an amateur player you might not need or want the same level of detail, but monitoring some key metrics can nevertheless be a great help in improving your scoring.

The PGA Tour Stats                                                                                     

It wasn’t so long ago that even the Tour stats were restricted to figures for easy to understand elements of the game such as average driving distance, percentage of greens hit in regulation and average putts per round.

But the introduction of the Tour’s “Shotlink” system changed all that, and today’s stats offer a huge variety of metrics including -

Shots Gained off the Tee 

  • % of drives finding fairways
  • average distance from center of fairway
  • % of drives finding fairway bunkers
  • % left or right rough found

Shots Gained Approaching the Green

  • % of greens hit in regulation from more than 200 yards out on fairway
  • % of greens hit in regulation from 175 – 200 yards out, and from each further 25 yard band down to 75 yards and less,
  • average proximity to the hole achieved from all these distances
  • % of greens hit from rough and bunker from all distances, and average proximity to the whole as above    

Shots Gained Around the Green

  • Sand save %
  • Scrambling from the rough %
  • Scrambling from the fringe %

Shots Gained Putting

  • total single putt %
  • total three putt %
  • % of single and all putts made from five 5 feet or less, and from each further five feet band up to 25 feet and above
  • Total putting average

For more on how stats can help you shoot lower scores - click below 


Amazingly, the stats listed above only scratch the surface of those published by the PGA. And if you add in the ball striking numbers such as clubhead and ball speed, launch angle and carry etc., it’s easy to see why Shotlink has been such a delight for hard-core golf enthusiasts and statistics geeks.

It’s also easy to see why the figures might be of enormous valuable to the touring pros; and while this kind of detail may not be necessary for the average player, some less intensive analysis can be a hugely effective game improvement tool for them too.

The PGA has identified three standout metrics which any golfer will benefit by knowing. These are the percentage of fairways you hit, your greens in regulation percentage and the number of putts you typically take per round.

It should be straightforward enough to keep a simple record of these on your scorecard, and this will give you a good basic idea of the areas which most need your attention. But there are now some technological aids which will help you to dig deeper into the details of your performance

The Anova Golf App

Designed by the well-known European and PGA Tour player, Thomas Peterssen, the Anova app is aimed at helping golfers of all levels to improve as quickly as possible, whatever their ultimate goal might be.

At its “starter” level, the app enable golfers to access some 71 statistical variables related to their games; rising to a mind-blowing 703 separate stats with the “pro” version.

Even Peterssen concedes that this level of detail would be overwhelming for most players, but the general principle holds that having to hand accurate information about your actual rather than anecdotal performance data will be of great benefit to both you and your instructor.

To find out more about Anova - Click Here

Think “How Many?” not “How?”

The Anova system gives you a simple way of recording the three basic PGA metrics referred to above, but it will also calculate a number of the “shots gained” scores detailed above, which the pros find so valuable.

It’s all too easy to become fixated on the mechanics of golf, but it’s a game of “how many” not “how”, and using hard data to identify your weaknesses, and as the basis for a program of targeted practice, is likely to be a faster route to improved scoring than the never-ending quest for that elusive perfect swing.