The Most Important Metric For Tour Success

Drive__For_Show__4fff46aa6ec42

If you are a golfer over the age of six, you will have undoubtedly heard the phrase:

“Drive for show, putt for dough”

After research, I would like to propose we alter this advice and make it:

“Drive for show, putt for dough…and hit greens for wins”

What gives me the right to alter one of golf’s commandments? Nothing really. I am just the only one who puts the time in to research the statistics and note my conclusions.

My first argument for the change begins by looking at the top-10 players in the following statistical categories and the money they earned in 2013:

Greens In Regulation: $26.3 million
Driving Distance: $24.2 million
Strokes Gained Putting: $22.7 million
Driving Distance: $13.4 million

So whilst putting importance appears to > driving distance, greens in regulation would appear > than both putting and driving distance.

Convinced?

I didn’t think so, so I dived deeper.

Untitled--2

I looked at all the 2013 PGA Tour events that used ShotLink data (PGA Tour’s leading statistic tracking technology).

Of the 40 events on the schedule, 34 of the events have published metrics including Driving Distance, Driving Accuracy, Greens In Regulation (GIR), Proximity To The Hole, Strokes Gained Putting and Putts Made Distances. The four majors, WGC Matchplay and Puerto Rico Open did not publish full statistics from their events.

Of the 34 events measured:

0 were won by players leading the field in Driving Distance
0 were won by players leading the field in Driving Accuracy
2 were won by players leading the field in Strokes Gained Putting
5 were won by players leading the field in Greens In Regulation

Looking deeper still, I wanted to see how ranking inside the top-10 in each statistical category, for an event, impacted your results.

74.3 % of winners ranked inside the top-10 in Greens In Regulation
61.8% of winners ranked inside the top-10 in Strokes Gained Putting
31.4% of winners ranked inside the top-10 in Driving Accuracy
17.1% of winners ranked inside the top-10 in Driving Distance

Ladies and gents, I rest my case: Greens In Regulation > Putting > Driving Distance/Accuracy.

jimmy-walker

In case you are wondering if this will remain true during the 2014 season, which began last week, it will. Jimmy Walker won his first PGA Tour event in 188 attempts at the Frys.com Open Sunday.

Walker ranked last in the field in driving accuracy.

Advertisements

About jamieonsport

My name is Jamie and I have been addicted to sports since I was 6. As a method of self-prescribed medication for the illness, I thought it would be good to detail my thoughts on the sporting world. So welcome to the workings of my inner-monologue. Join in, ignore, share, laugh, cry, be offended, be inspired, take my ranting however you will, but thanks for checking in.
This entry was posted in Golf. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Most Important Metric For Tour Success

  1. Troy Vayanos says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Great post and yes I couldn’t agree more. Greens in regulation is so important at the professional level and the statistics don’t lie. The fact is these guys are so good they don’t have to be accurate off the tee to always score well. They don’t always have to make most of their putts, but they do have to be consistently hitting greens in regulation to at least give themselves a chance of scoring well.

    Cheers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s