Strokes Gained Around The Green and Driving Accuracy: 35.0 and 23.6
Although Strokes Gained Around the Green, is statistically far less important than Strokes Gained Off The Tee or Approaching The Green, it has generally been as important as Strokes Gained Putting.
The 2020 leader was Jason Day (+0.632), followed by Rob Oppenheim, Aaron Baddeley, and Brandt Snedeker. But the importance of SG Around the Green is compromised by the narrow range encompassing player skills. The 2020 Tour average was -0.02 strokes gained with a standard deviation of less than two-tenths of a stroke.
That means about two-thirds of all players perform within a negligible range of +0.17 and -0.21 Strokes Gained Around the Green, and virtually all pros land between +0.39 and -0.40 Strokes Gained. That’s a range of less than two-thirds of a stroke separating the field.
Driving Accuracy has never been especially important among skills on Tour, and it wasn’t again in 2020. That’s probably due to the fact that most roughs on Tour aren’t very rough.
The 23.6 percent correlation between driving accuracy and stroke average is lower than the historical 31.4 percent average, but neither figure inspires an emphasis on finding the fairways. The relationship has not surpassed 30 percent since 2000.
The 2020 leaders were Jim Furyk (74.5 percent), Ryan Armour (73.86), Brian Stuard (71.84), and Brendon Todd (71.36). The Tour average was 60.4 percent; in a course with 14 fairways, that’s 8.4 trips into what passes for the tall grass per round.
And even when the tour lets the rough grow, it doesn’t impact the relationship of the driving accuracy stats to scoring all that much. Consider the top five finishers at the recent BMW Championship at the ultra-tight Olympia Fields. The average rank in driving accuracy of those only five players to beat par was 37th: Jon Rahm was 13th, Dustin Johnson was 18th, Joaquin Niemann was 30th, Hideki Matsuyama was 56th and Tony Finau was 66th.
The bottom line: Pros see long grass and basically shrug.