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THE ULTIMATE PUTTING STAT
The PGA Tour is about to roll out a 12th major statistical category, and it is a long overdue putting stat. The two current putting metrics are fatally flawed: Putting Average rewards great iron players who knock it close, while Putts per Round is skewed in favor of pros who miss the green on approach shots and get up and down. To more accurately rank putters, researchers at MIT have spent the past year developing Putts Gained per Round, which neither punishes nor rewards iron play. The MIT team created a "par" for every distance from the hole, which can be used to gauge putting ability. For example, if on average it takes a Tour player 1.8 strokes to make a putt from 18 feet, 1.8 is "par" for that length putt, and a player who one-putts from that distance gains .8 of a stroke on the field.