What is Strokes Gained

Strokes gained is a way to measure a golfer’s performance on the course against a set of other golfers (of various skill levels) to help a golfer figure out where he/she is losing (or gaining) strokes.

What does Strokes Gained Mean for my Game?

The Strokes Gained statistic shows how many strokes were gained from a particular shot type compared against the PGA Tour benchmark, based on distance to the home from the start of the shot. Positive numbers represent strokes lost and indicate better performance.

Here is a brief description from the founder of the statistic himself, Mark Broadie:

Here's a brief explanation of strokes gained: If a stroke starts on a tee where, according to historical data, the average score is four, and if it finishes at a position in the fairway where the average strokes to hole out is 2.8, then the tee shot has moved the ball 1.2 strokes closer to the hole with just one stroke. The single tee shot has gained 0.2 strokes compared to an average tee shot, so it has a "strokes gained" of 0.2. Strokes gained recognizes that sinking a 20-foot putt represents a better performance than sinking a three-foot putt, even though they both count as a single stroke on the scorecard. Strokes gained assigns a number to this intuition.


There are multiple types of strokes gained values that are measured over the course of one hole. These are defined below:

Strokes Gained: Total

Compares a golfer’s score to the rest of the “field”.

In 18Birdies, the "field" refers to historical data gathered from golfers of all playing abilities.

Total Calculation =
(Strokes gained: Off-the-tee) + (Strokes gained:Approach-the-green) + (Strokes gained:Around-the-green) + (Strokes gained:Putting)

Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee

Measures player performance off the tee on all par 4s and par 5s.

Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green

Measures player performance on approach shots. Approach shots include all shots that are not from the tee on par 4 and par 5 holes and are not included in strokes gained: around-the-green and strokes gained: putting. Approach shots include tee shots on par 3s.

Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green

Measures player performance on any shot within 30 yards of the edge of the green. This statistic does not include any shots taken on the putting green.

Strokes Gained: Putting

Measures how many strokes a player gains (or loses) on the greens.

Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green 

All shots that were taken from the tee box until a golfer reaches the green.

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