Stroke Play: The Effect of Strokes Gained & Traditional Golf Measurements on PGA Tour Golfers’ Performance

This study estimates the qualitative and quantitative effect of strokes gained on PGA Tour golfers’ performance. This performance is measured as the percentage of the total purse won at PGA Tour events for golfers making the cut. A cross-section model for 2,511 golfers across 33 tournaments in the 2018-2019 season is employed. The explanatory variables are the four strokes-gained measures: strokes gained off-the-tee (OTT), approach-to-the-green (APP), around-the-green (ARG), and putting (PUTT). The empirical results suggest that all four measures contribute to performance, with APP having the largest quantitative effect. Additionally, strokes gained explains more of golfers’ performance than traditional golf measurements.