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The Statistical Differences Between a Scratch Golfer and PGA Tour Player


#1 Global Warmer
Gold Chaser
Sr Site Supporter
Mar 30, 2010
Coal Country
You might ask: How would I know the differences between a scratch golfer and a PGA Tour player? Well, it is my full-time job to know these type of things about golf. I have been studying the game from a statistical standpoint for 27 years. I created the Strokes Gained analysis website, ShotByShot.com, and work with PGA Tour members to extract clear answers from the Tour’s overwhelming 653 ShotLink stats.

My experience tells me that there is no such thing as an average game, no matter the handicap level. We’re all snowflakes and find our own unique way to shoot our number. With that said, ShotByShot.com’s 260,000+ round database enables us to create a composite sketch of the average golfer at each level. One of the beauties of our averages is that they are smooth across all five major facets so that every individual golfer’s strengths and weaknesses — and we all have them — stand out clearly by comparison.

The Data Used for this Study

Mr. Scratch: I averaged the 8,360 rounds in our database that match the zero handicap criteria. In other words, the rounds when Mr. Scratch actually played to his 0 handicap.
PGA Tour: The average of the 14,557 ShotLink rounds recorded in the 2015 season.
The Math