One thing that my studies of the PGA Tour and work with its players has taught me is that putting is a differentiator in terms of relative success. In particular, putts up to 10 feet – especially 6 to 10 feet – separate the good putters on Tour from the rest. Further, putts from 11 to 20 feet separate the winners on Tour. Why? Because the average “make %” falls off dramatically outside 10 feet and these longer distances tend to represent birdie opportunities.
In the graph below, I have compared Collin Morikawa’s 1-Putt success to that of the FIELD in the PGA Championship. Note:
A. 22 of 25 attempts up to 10 feet while the FIELD (if it had the same opportunities) would have been four stokes shy at 18 of 25.
B. 6 of 18 (33%) from 11 to 20 feet. The FIELD would have made only 4 of 18 (22%).
With this success offset by only one 3-Putt, it is no wonder that Collin was ranked #1 in Strokes Gained Putting.