What are “Strokes Gained”, often mentioned by golf commentators?

Category: Playing the Game and Other Challenges
Mark Broadie
Photo: Mark Broadie, Image source: http://www.columbia.edu/

Clue

It might have something to do with Mark Broadie.

Answer

Strokes gained is derived from a comparison of your game to the average PGA Tour player, taking into account the length and location of each stroke played.

More about “Strokes Gained”

Pioneered by Columbia University Professor Mark Broadie using ShotLink data, Stokes Gained statistics compare a player's performance to the rest of the field.

Originally calculated for putting, and since refined by the PGA Tour, the Tour calculates SG in a number of additional categories such as Tee to Green, Scrambling and Total.

It can also be applied by amateur golfers. Reference can be made to Every Shot Counts, Mark's book or a number of golf tracking systems such as ARCCOS or GAME Golf that have developed their own Strokes Gained statistics using their database of rounds completed by amateurs.

Read this great interview with Mark Broadie that goes deep on the detail.