The new “strokes gained putting” stat (invented by Mark Broadie) measures the number of putts a golfer takes relative to the PGA Tour average, taking into account the initial putt distance on each green. In 2013 Steve Stricker led the Tour with 0.851 strokes gained. That means in each round, he gained an average of 0.851 strokes on the field just from his superior putting ability. Here’s how the stat is computed.
Suppose, for example, a golfer one-putts from 33 feet. The Tour average to hole-out from that distance is 2.0 putts, so a one-putt gains one putt on the field. A two-putt neither gains nor loses, but a three-putt represents a loss of one putt (or stroke) against the field. From other distances, the strokes gained or lost are typically fractional.
Application of Strokes Gained Putting
For example, suppose a golfer one-putts from eight feet. The Tour average from that distance is 1.5, so a one-putt gains 0.5 strokes, but a two-putt loses 0.5 strokes. If the golfer started from eight feet 10 times in the round and made half of them, his strokes gained would be zero—he gained 0.5 on five holes and lost 0.5 on the other five holes. If the golfer made six and missed four, his strokes gained would be one—he gained 0.5 on six holes and lost 0.5 on four holes. That makes sense because he took a total of 14 putts vs. the Tour average of 15 putts.
If you want to putt like a Pro, (not Golf Course Owner Guy) here’s what you need to do according to Shot Link: make 100% of your 2 footers, make 75% of your 5 footers, 50% of your 7 footers, 25% of your 13 footers and you can’t 3 putt until you’re outside 35 feet.