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Does short game determine how much money professional golfers make?

Money made by professional golfers doesn't lie in the hands of the putter.

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It’s no surprise that professional golfers make a great wealth with participation in each event. According to Golf.com, Tiger Woods made a comeback and won the Masters along with being the 16th highest paying overall athlete earning $43.3 million in the 2018 season. Phil Mickleson who was ranked 21 in the 2018 season didn’t fall short behind Woods earning $41.3 million dollars. 

What factor of the golf game is key to becoming better than an  average golfer? Does the long game make a difference in the amount of money a professional golfer makes? Does the short game make a difference?

According to an accomplished competitive golfer Ron Philo Jr.’s article published on the PGA website, “To Score Better, Focus On Scoring The Shots,” the score in a round of golf is determined on the compilation of shots hit, and that short game accounts for more than half of the golf score. 

Therefore the assumption is the short game determines professional golfers incomes. But does it? 

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Brooks Koepka and Rory Mcllroy, are the only two who are making over $400,000 per event due to their total strokes putting. There is a huge gap between $400,000 and $300,000 with zero golfers in this margin. The two golfers who are making the most money are average putters. 

The adjusted R-Squared value is measured by the difference putting makes due to the amount of money earned. The Adjusted R-Squared value is 0.049, or in other words, putting only affects 5% of how much money is made. Comparing the strokes around the green and how much money made per event produced similar results. barchart2 - Does short game determine how much money professional golfers make?

By comparing the golfers who made over $400,000,  there were some additional golfers who made the cut compared to the strokes gained putting. Brooks Koepka and Rory Mcllroy remained around the  same spot, but it’s worth making a note that Tiger Woods surpassed Koepka and Mcllroy both, making more money and a little better strokes around the green average. 

Does this say something about Tiger Woods strokes gained putting?

Total strokes gained around the green predicts 6 percent of the money made by a golfer. By testing both strokes gained putting and strokes gained around the green vs. money made per event has statistically proven that short game doesn’t make much of a difference for professional golfers when it comes to their income. barchart3final - Does short game determine how much money professional golfers make?

The outliers for strokes gained from tee to green and strokes around the green are the same golfers but just shifted due to how well their average is. 

Strokes gained from tee to the green can predict 44 percent of how much money professionals will earn. The first shots from the tee are very valuable according to this data.

Among the articles, golf pros, and amateurs who preach a better score or making more money lies in the hands of a putter or wedge has been statistically proven wrong. There are an abundant amount of factors that contrast a golfers paycheck. When competing at such a high level of golf, professionals must excel in every aspect of the sport.