There are lots of different stats available, and it can be difficult to know which ones to focus on.
Here are the top 5 golf stats for tee shots:
1. Strokes Gained Off the Tee
It is difficult to hit the ball far and straight, which is why the Off the Tee stat is so important. Most players have around 14 tee shots per round, making it a stat where most players have lots of shots hit and where the quality of the shots can range from hitting the ball 300+ yards in the middle of the fairway to hitting the ball out of bounds. The best players in this category hit the ball as far as they can but are able to have the tee shot remain in play which is super important. As soon as you hit a tee shot that incurs a penalty stroke, or ends up in a recovery situation, it becomes extremely costly. Therefore, the strategy ends up being to hit the ball as far as you can possibly hit it, while still keeping the ball in play. Avoiding hitting it the rough is less important, as long as the rough isn’t too penal and assuming that you hit it far and keeping the ball in play. Strokes Gained Off the Tee is capable of
2. Driving Accuracy
Driving accuracy has been around for a long time, and part of it is due to the simple nature of this statistic. It is a traditional golf stat, and as such it is binary in nature, meaning that it can only have two possible values: a successful fairway hit, or a missed fairway. While simple, its binary characteristics actually makes it really difficult to know what the driving accuracy actually means. A person can hit a 100 yard shot onto the fairway using a wedge, and smash a driver 300 yards, and they are both worth the same: one fairway hit. Similarly, a shot that misses the fairway can miss by 1 inch or it could go out of bounds, but they are still worth the same: one missed fairway. It is possible to hit 0 fairways and still shoot a good score.
3. Driving Distance
This is typically a stat that players care deeply about – we always want to hit the ball as far as possible. What we are after here isn’t the ‘potential’ driving distance that you can easily measure with a launch monitor, on a driving range, in perfect conditions; what we are interested in here is the actual driving distance that you hit the ball from all par 4s and par 5s as you were navigating your way around the course. Sometimes the ground is soft, sometimes it’s firm and generating more roll; sometimes you have to lay up, and oftentimes you can hit driver. Your actual driving distance reflects how far you were able to hit the ball during your rounds of golf.
4. Fairway Bunker Tendency
Your fairway bunker percentage is a proxy for your driving aggressiveness. Assuming that you are playing a diverse set of golf courses, then you will have a bunch of fairway bunkers directly in your carry area. If you avoid them too much, then you’re most likely to conservative off the tee; if you hit into too many, then you’re losing a lot of efficiency off the tee.
5. Good Drive Percentage
Although part of the group of traditional golf stats, the good drive percentage can give you a look into the overall qualify of your tee shots. A good drive is defined as the sum of all of your hit fairways plus the number of times you were able to hit the green or fringe with a shot that didn’t end up on the fairway.
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