19th Hole

Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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PGA TOUR Statistics

Somewhere around 2005, the PGA TOUR implemented the Shotlink system to track every shot for every player in almost every event. That enormous pile of data has given some tremendous insight into the game at the highest level. This information can give context to a player and help manage expectations. Let’s have a look at a couple of my favorites.  

Putting – PGA TOUR players make fifty percent of their putts at 7.5 feet. To most this seems almost untrue, I commonly hear answers of 70 percent or 80 percent when asking this same question, and to be honest my first guess before looking at the numbers was about the same. From 15-25 feet, best on TOUR in 2017 made 2.5 out of 10, worst was just over 1 out of 10! Crazy! I would strongly encourage everyone to cut themselves some slack on the greens. If you can two putt in the 15 to 25 foot range, and make one out of ten, you’re as good as the guys you see on TV .

Approach – From 100-125 yards, in the fairway, the average TOUR player hits his shot 20 feet from the hole. Most people I share this with usually answer 10 feet, or something similar. The surprising part of this stat, the player ranked 96th in this category had 75 attempts in 2017 and was only two under par in those 75 attempts! When you pair this stat with the putting stat above, you can see how hard making birdies can be, even for the best in the world. Average from 150-175, 43 feet! Golf is hard!

Driving – The average driving distance on the PGA TOUR has only gone up 7 yards in the last 14 years. 285 yards in 2003, 292 yards in 2017. I hear a lot of conversation lately about rolling the ball back, etc. It feels like the game is in great shape, winning score recently at the Honda Open was 8 under. Technology has been capped, barring a new invention I think distance has plateaued. I think the athletes are getting better, bigger, faster, but I don’t think scoring has gotten considerably better, I’ll have to do more research.

So, some fun with the numbers this month, all in relaying the message that hitting a green from the fairway is a huge benefit, regardless where the pin is, and putting should be all speed based, roll it up there close, and tap it in. Maybe once in a while you’ll get lucky and something will drop, just looking to take the stress out of the day. Good luck!  

Rob Rashell is now the Director of Instruction at TPC Scottsdale. You can reach him at robrashell@pgatourtpc.com.