Dave Pelz Short Game Stats

If you’re familiar with Dave Pelz (a.k.a the “short game guru”), you know how much he loves applying statistical analysis to golf.

When Pelz was just starting his career, he spent most of his time following PGA Tour players around the course during tournaments, tracking a statistic called “PEI” for each player.  I won’t get into any detail about the Percentage Error Index, but just know that it measures the accuracy of each club in a golfer’s bag.

After several years of tracking different players, Pelz found something very interesting…

  • The #1 ball-striker on tour (according to his PEI metric) finished 10th on the money list over a 3 year period. 
  • The #2 ball-striker on tour finished 200th on the money list over a 3 year period.

What does this tell us?  

It tells us that the long game has very little to do with a professional golfer’s success.  If you’re an average ball-striker on the PGA Tour, you can easily make up for it with a killer short game.

How does this apply to the average golfer though?

Well, the average golfer generally doesn’t hit near as many greens as the average pro.  This ends up in more instances where they have to rely on their short game (chipping/pitching/bunker).  Apply some logic, and you might realize that the amateur has an even greater margin for improvement when practicing the short game!

Please don’t be like 95% of golfers.  PRACTICE YOUR SHORT GAME.