Tour Statistics: How Do Average Golfers Compare?
In yesterday’s paper, a sidebar column listed the statistic top ten in various categories from the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and LPGA Tour. As I looked these over, the variances from tour to tour in certain categories really stood out for me. So I thought I’d offer my observations and toss this out to you all for dialog and comment.

First of all, can you really “beat the course” from tee to green ? Most golfers spend the bulk of their practice time on long shots . . . full swings. I always offer that you should allocate a significant portion of that time to your short game and putting. Compare your objectives to the best players in the world.

The #10 PGA Tour player hits 73% of the fairways. That’s 10 times in the 14 holes that are not par threes. On the Champions Tour, the #10 spot is also right at 73%, with the LPGA Tour the #10 spot at 78%.

So, if the best players in the world only hit it in the fairway 7 out of 10 times, what should your expectations be ? 50% ? 35% ? What do you all think ?

In the Greens in Regulation category, the #10 PGA Tour player is at 68%. Just over 12 greens per round ! So, these guys can hit 11-12 greens per round and shoot scores that average 70 or so – what does that tell you about their short games ? On the Champions Tour and LPGA Tour, the GIR numbers are almost identical, but look at the scores these players are shooting !

Maybe the Sand Saves category is most revealing as to where they spend a great amount of their practice time. Up-and-down percentage from the bunker of the #10 spot is 61% on the PGA Tour, 54% on the LPGA Tour and Champions Tour. What’s your percentage ?

I challenge all of you to keep track of your rounds for a few weeks, analyze them. Of key importance are your fairways and greens stats, but really focus on your short game performance. Analyze your average putt length after a chip or pitch of 50 yards or less, and how many times you took more than three shots to get up and down from that range – those are completely thrown away shots that you can get back quickly with just a little short game practice.

Share your numbers and experience with us here over the next few weeks, OK ?
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[ comments ]
Artful Golfer says:
I'm down to a 2.4 and, like the pros average 70-75% of my fairways, but only 60% of my greens. Add putting in, and I get even worse! I rarely come in with less than 32-33 putts.
toddmok says:
That is a very interesting post. I personally haven't tracked those stats as I usually just think about what I feel is my weak points or the parts of my game that could save me some strokes. I'll keep track for a few rounds and post back. On to practice my short game some more :-D.
Jonathan says:
While it may sound like a simple and obvious skill, hitting the fairway off the tee is a must. It is like a basketball player knowing how to effectively dribble down the court or a hockey player skating down the ice with ease. They do it without effort; it is almost secondary to their ultimate goal: scoring! With golf, hitting a fairway is a skill that you must focus on and it should become second nature to you. It is critical to your ultimate goal: scoring--"sinking the putt in par or better". When you begin to hit more fairways you will notice a few things will happen.

Read more and even track your stats to help better your game...
wedgeguy says:
I have recently met the owners of and they have an excellent tracking program on their site. I highly recommend a visit and some experimentation with this program of theirs. Very useful, fun and entertaining -- and it's FREE!
moreegolfer says:
I have input my scores from the last 8 mths into oobgolf and it has made me realise that I have a bit of work to do, especially in hitting fairways! The charts page is pretty cool, being able to tick and untick different comparisons of stats.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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