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Who Is First In Putting On The PGA Tour?
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Every part of your golf game is important

Most tournaments are won or lost on the putting green. Tour pros understand that the easiest way to lower their golf scores and to win is through better putting. That's why golf pros are always hard at work to improve their putting. They spend hours on the practice green, working on their putting stroke -- always looking for that sometimes elusive "zone" when they know their putt will roll into the hole.

Who is first in putting on the PGA tour?

That depends on how you measure "best putting." The PGA Tour has come up with a new statistic to rate players' putting. It's called "tour strokes gained." It's a rather complicated scoring method. Here's my simplified explanation:

The PGA Tour has oceans of data on each player and every putt they make on tour using Shotlink technology. The data include the length of every single putt and how many putts the player took to sink it. An historical baseline is established for all tour players, and every individual player's average is compared to that baseline. A player with a better than average comparison will have a (+) or positive score. If a player's comparison is worse than the average the score will be (-) negative. Next the player's score is compared to the similar score for the entire field of all 188 players on the PGA tour. For example:

Greg Chalmers is currently the best putter on tour

Chalmers has a "tour strokes gained" score of +0.986 -- he currently ranks number 1 among the 188 tour players on tour strokes gained. Luke Donald, currently the top ranked player in the world, is currently ranked 8th in "tour strokes gained."

What does "tour strokes gained" mean for your golf game

"Tour strokes gained" is a complex, difficult-to-understand metric. It helps in ranking pros' putting prowess but it is virtually useless for you to keep track of your own "putts gained."

I suggest keeping track of the number of putts on each hole on your scorecard, along with a mark on each hole that you hit on the green in regulation. Then you can calculate your average number of putts for greens in regulation.

Spend more time on the practice green. Aim for no less than precision putting. Set a goal for yourself -- reduce your number of putts per round.

Even pros need sound putting advice. You can find excellent golf instruction resources on the Internet. Fix your golf swing -- including your putting stroke -- with help from a team of expert golf instructors.

Next time you see Greg Chalmers in a golf tournament on TV, watch his putting style. What do you think makes him number 1 in putting?

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