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Importance of Strokes Gained Statistic March 18, 2024 By Chris Zambri

The Strokes Gained statistic developed by Mark Broadie has become a valuable tool on how to measure a golfer's performance. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

My name is Chris Zambri, and I am the head coach for the United States National Development Program.  I want to talk about a concept that has changed the way the best players in the world, and so many more, understand the strengths and weaknesses in their golf game.  The concept is called Strokes Gained, and you need to know what it is!

How many of you count your putts after you finish your round?  It seems like the number of putts you take is a sound way to evaluate your performance on the greens upon completion of a round.  However, shouldn’t it matter what length of putts you had throughout the round?  Let’s say the greens were huge and firm, and you ended up with tons of super long putts.  You could take 33 putts in this case, or even more, and had a really good putting performance.  This sounds crazy to many that 33 putts could ever be described as a good performance. The concept of Strokes Gained helps explain this.

Strokes Gained was introduced to the golf world in 2011 by a professor at Columbia University named Mark Broadie.  Strokes Gained started as a putting statistic but soon after also became a way to measure performance off the tee, for shots into the greens, and for shots around the greens.  It has transformed the way golfers measure their performance upon completion of a round, a tournament, or a season. 

 I am not going to explain Strokes Gained.  I would rather you do one or both of the following things: get Mark Broadie’s book Every Shot Counts and/or go to an internet search engine and type in “what is Strokes Gained in golf?”.   Learning about Strokes Gained will be an incredibly valuable tool for you to better understand golf and how to get better.  Get going!