5 Advanced Stats To Know for PGA Tour Betting

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Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, hits from the first fairway during the final round of the Memorial golf tournament Sunday, June 5, 2022, in Dublin, Ohio.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Ryan Hannable @RyanHannable May 24, 2023, 1:40 PM
  • Advanced stats have become more popular in golf betting.
  • Below are details on a few stats and which players excel in certain areas.

Over the last several years, golf betting has increased in popularity, and so have the resources bettors have.

No longer is it just looking at which players are playing the best going into a tournament or looking at past results at that particular course. There are now websites, like Fantasy National, Data Golf, and others, that go even deeper and can help bettors even more.

Here are five advanced golf stats to know when betting on PGA Tour events.

Good Drives Gained

Good Drives Gained, used by Fantasy National, is a metric to measure how well a player is driving the ball, but taken a step further. Good Drives are when a player either hits the fairway or misses the fairway but is still able to hit the green in regulation.  

For example, if Jordan Spieth misses the fairway on the second hole of the RBC Heritage but then still hits the green, it is recorded as a Good Drive.

This often helps determine who will play well at a particular tournament. At the 2023 PGA Championship, four of the top seven players in Good Drives Gained finished in the top 10 of the event.

Scrambling

Scrambling is a statistic that shows a player’s ability to make par (or better) even if a green in regulation is missed.

Let’s say on a par-3, a player misses the green with his tee shot, but is still able to make par or better. That means they were able to scramble. It is calculated by finding the percent of greenside shots (that are not greens in regulation shots) that were followed by only one putt.

This stat is useful, particularly on long and hard courses when players are less likely to hit greens in regulation. If a player is good at scrambling, they have a very good short game.

Collin Morikawa could be 50% scrambling in a given week. This means he made par or better 50% of the time when he missed a green in regulation. On a par-4, it would mean his second shot missed the green, and he was able to chip the ball onto the green and one putt. On a par-5, it would mean his third shot missed the green, and he was able to chip the ball onto the green and one putt.

This stat can be found in a number of places, including PGATour.com.

Some of the top players in scrambling for the 2023 season are Matt Kuchar, Jason Day, Brian Harman, Hideki Matsuyama, Danny Willett, and Scottie Scheffler.

Bogeys Avoided

Bogeys Avoided is a stat used by Fantasy National and is pretty simple. It is the number of bogeys made by a player relative to the field for a particular week.

It is useful because there could be a tournament where a player makes a lot of bogeys, but since it’s a hard course, the other players made a lot of bogeys too. Or, it could be an easy course where not a lot of bogeys are made, so players that record a few bogeys would have a bad Bogeys Avoided for that particular week.

At the 2023 Masters, the winner, Jon Rahm, was second in the entire field in Bogeys Avoided. Of the players who finished in the top 10 overall, eight were in the top 10 of Bogeys Avoided for the week.

Strokes Gained: Putting

This commonly used stat measures how many strokes a player gains (or loses) on the greens compared to PGA Tour average. It compares the actual number of putts taken to the expected number of strokes to hole out based on the initial distance to the pin.

For example, the putting benchmark from seven feet, 10 inches could be 1.5 putts a particular week, depending on how hard/easy the greens are. If a player one-putts from the distance, they gain 0.5 strokes. If they two-putt, they lose 0.5 strokes.

Some players putt better on different types of greens, like Bermuda, poa, etc. Fantasy National allows you to break down Strokes Gained: Putting by type of green. Most sites have Strokes Gained: Putting overall, so on every surface.

In 2023, some players who have fared the best in Strokes Gained: Putting are Maverick McNealy, Taylor Montgomery, Sam Burns, Max Homa, and Jon Rahm.

Strokes Gained: Approach

Strokes Gained: Approach measures players’ shots after their drives, so it shows which players have performed well with their second and third shots. This metric, which is commonly used, highlights the players who are hitting their irons the best.

Strokes Gained: Approach measures shots from 50 yards out. It may be determined a player, on average, takes three strokes to hole out from 168 yards a particular week. If a player takes two on that hole, he would gain on Strokes Gained: Approach.

This may be the most popular metric to use because it shows the players who are giving themselves the most chances for birdies with good shots.

Players who are excelling with Strokes Gained: Approach in 2023 are Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Tom Hoge, Tony Finau, and Xander Schauffele. It’s no surprise these are some of the best ball strikers on Tour.

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About the Author

Ryan Hannable

Read More @RyanHannable

Ryan Hannable is a Content Managing Editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”

Ryan Hannable is a Content Managing Editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”