Key Takeaways

  • Shot Scope adds Strokes Gained data to its shot-tracking/performance package.
  • Phase One introduced this past week includes Strokes Data comparison to Tour.
  • Hole-by-hole analytics and other info will be rolled out in Phase Two this spring.
  • Phase Three allows you to compare with players in your handicap range.

Shot Scope’s new Strokes Gained Data is a big deal for the Edinburgh, Scotland-based golf tech company. Shot Scope took a huge leap forward last summer when it released its V3 GPS watch. But with Arccos adding Strokes Gained to its data package last summer,  Shot Scope had been lagging just a wee bit behind, as the Scots might say.

That wee lag is no more.

Strokes Gained is the Holy Grail for golf analytic nerds. The self-aware golfer finds Strokes Gained to be a data-centric insight into their strengths and weaknesses. You’ll discover where you need work and it helps you track your progress. The self-delusional golfer, however, will find Strokes Gained a cold and harsh but ultimately very useful dose of reality.

Shot Scope Strokes Gained

Just What Is “Strokes Gained”?

Strokes Gained determines exactly where and how you’re gaining (or losing) strokes. By analyzing millions of shots over years, Strokes Gained determines how many strokes the baseline average golfer takes to hole out from every imaginable spot on a golf course. Strokes Gained uses that information to tell us whether an individual shot is better or worse than the baseline average and by how much.

Simple, right?

Shot Scope is introducing Strokes Gained in three phases. Phase One uses PGA TOUR golfers as its benchmark. That means the baseline is how many strokes Tour players take to hole out from every possible position and lie on a golf course.

For example, say you’re teeing off on a 400-yard par-4 and the baseline average says the strokes to hole average is 4.05. That means the average Tour pro gets down in just over four shots. You nail your drive 260 right down the pipe, leaving you 140 to the pin. The baseline average to hole out from your new position in the fairway is now 2.91. Therefore, Strokes Gained off the tee would be:

4.05 – 2.91 – 1 (for the shot you just took) = 0.14.

So, striping your drive 260 down the middle gains you 0.14 strokes.

Shot Scope Strokes Gained

Your approach, however, finds the bunker. The Strokes Gained baseline from that position is 2.48:

2.91 – 2.48 – 1 = -0.57.

Your approach shot just cost you 0.57 strokes. You wasted that great drive and now you have to go find the 8-iron you just threw into the woods. And now it’s up to your sand wedge and putter to see where you wind up.

Shot Scope Strokes Gained: Phases Two and Three

Phase One gives you a nice dose of data including overall Strokes Gained versus Tour players. Additionally, you get Strokes Gained data for each part of the game: tee shots, approach shots, short game and putting, also compared to Tour players.

Phase Two is due this spring and it expands on the data provided. You’ll be able to compare front-nine and back-nine Strokes Gained data and you’ll be able to dig deeper into each category as more of your shots are recorded. For example, you’ll be able to mine Strokes Gained on tee shots by hole distance, by hole par and by tee-to-green performance.

And while comparing your performance to Tour players is nice, it can be discouraging to mere mortals. Phase Three fixes that, allowing you to compare yourself to golfers with similar handicaps. For starters, Shot Scope will break handicaps down simply: 0-5, 5-10, 10-15, 15-20 and 20-25.  You’ll be able to dial that down even more accurately as Shot Scope further refines its software.

Phase Three is expected this June.

The Shot Scope app has already updated to include Strokes Gained, Phase One. As a result, you can review Strokes Gained states for your last one, five, 10 or 15 rounds, as well as rounds from previous years.

While there are many tools you can use to track shots and collect data, Shot Scope and Arccos have emerged from that pack as industry leaders. Arccos has a strong following and with accessories such as Link, it’s working to eliminate the need for golfers to carry a phone on the course.

Shot Scope features its new V3 GPS watch and collects shot data through technology in its watch band. It uses simple, non-battery-powered plastic sensors in your grips. Both systems offer robust data analytics.

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