Distance may be determined in several ways off the green:
- Using any golf GPS device or GPS-enabled APP on your smartphone
- Using a laser rangefinder
- Using golf course markers to estimate within 5 yards
Note that strokes gained values are calculated using distance to hole, not center of green. Therefore before reaching the green, it is good practice when using yard markers or GPS devices to adjust estimated distances according to the actual location of the pin on the green.
The best way to determine distances on the green is very simple: step it off.
Accurate measurements on the green are important for accurate statistics. Particularly within 15 feet of the hole, every foot results in significant differences for strokes gained stats. For an article on this topic see “How Do You Measure Distances on the Green…”
Yards vs. Feet
- All off-green distances are measured in yards.
- All on-green distances are measured in feet.
- The Record-a-Round tool automatically understands and records distances in yards, or feet when a “Green” lie type has been input.
NOTE: As of September, 2015, users may choose imperial (yards and feet) or metric (meters) units. Many golfers outside the United States prefer metric units. To toggle between imperial and metric units, select “Settings” from the bottom page menu, select yards or meters, then save your settings. All measurements will be recorded and displayed in the selected unit system. Putts may be recorded in tenths (1/10) of a meter, and graphed results will display putting results inside 10 meters to the nearest equivalent foot (i.e. 0.33, 0.67, 1.o meters approximate 1, 2, and 3 feet). Users may toggle back and forth between units whenever desired.
Strokes gained statistics measure distance to hole, not to center of green. Therefore, you will get more accurate results with GPS if you properly estimate the location of the pin on the green when you record distances. An estimation within 5 yards of the pin will provide sufficient accuracy for strokes gained results. Once you are off the tee, laser rangefinders will offer quite accurate distances to the actual pin location.
When we come out with our GPS smartphone APP, a new feature will enable you to “mark” the actual cup location any time after you reach the green. This will cause the distances to any previous off-green GPS coordinates on the hole to be recalculated with reference to the actual hole location.
For all lie types other than on Greens, GPS devices and apps will typically provide sufficient accuracy for strokes gained calculations.
Our strokes gained calculations are accurate to the yard. GPS technology is typically accurate to within 4-5 yards. The more accurate the distance data, the better the stats, but generally accuracy within 5-10 yards off the green will provide sufficiently accurate results. In other words, don’t get too caught up in off-green accuracy to the yard. Each yard represents a quite small difference in strokes gained results. The closer you are to the hole, the more important accuracy becomes. Accurate distances to the hole on the green will affect approach-shot results as well as putting.
GPS devices will not provide accurate distances on greens, and though at longer putting distances your laser rangefinder may work, it may not be desirable to use it on a green.
On Greens, most golfers will simply “step off” the distance to hole. These distances, which will typically be accurate to within 1 or 2 feet, are sufficient for accurate strokes gained calculations. Within 10 feet of the hole you will want to be as accurate to 1-foot increments as possible. Our strokes gained calculator on the green is accurate to the foot. But outside 10 feet, measurements that are off a foot or two will not substantially impact your strokes gained results.
Even without GPS or laser rangefinder technology, many golfers are quite adept at using physical distance indicators on the course to estimate their distances to the hole within 5 yards. This is another acceptable way to determine distances. Just remember, the more accurate your distance measurements to the hole, the more accurate your statistical results will be. But even if you are off a few yards from time to time this should not have significant adverse impacts on your results.