The Proof is in the Putting

Jason Day reached the pinnacle of golf on March 27th, 2016 becoming the number one ranked golfer in the world. A significant contribution to Day’s success was his putting throughout his stretch of PGA Tour wins in 2015 and 2016. Starting with the RBC Canadian Open, Jason Day had the TaylorMade Ghost Spider Tour in the bag when he edged Bubba Watson by one stroke to hoist the trophy on that final day of the tournament. Following that win, Day notched three more wins in 2015, most notably his first ever Major at the PGA Championship. The trend continued for Day in 2016, adding three more wins to his repertoire. It would be ill-advised to assume that just one golf club is the sole reason for Day’s success, but the numbers don’t lie. A new statistic, adopted in 2011, tracks the amount of strokes gained through putting. ShotByShot.com created a statistic that measures the probability of making each putt based on distance and assigning a certain value to each distance. ShotByShot.com provides an example below of how Strokes-Gained Putting is measured:

Let’s say a golfer has an 8-foot putt, which the stats say a player should make 50 percent of the time. The putt is given a value of 1.5. If the golfer makes it, he/she gains 0.5 strokes on the field. If the golfer misses it, he/she loses 0.5 strokes on the field (Golf WRX 2016).

Essentially, the longer the putt, the higher the amount of strokes gained on the field. Unfortunately, based on the information provided, the statistical analysis could only go as far back as 2004. For those unfamiliar with the PGA tour, Tiger Woods had a run of 264 consecutive weeks as the world number one in golf from 1999-2004 (Golf Today). Had Strokes-Gained Putting existed during that run, this article may have a far different focal point.

Listed below is a chart of the Strokes-Gained Putting for each of the world number one golfers from 2004-2016:

The spread is astonishing. Prior to 2016, no one had even topped 0.97 Strokes-Gained. Not only did Jason Day top the 1.0 mark, but he cleared it by 0.13, which is the largest spread between any two consecutive golfers listed. Tiger Woods, whom arguably has the greatest career any golfer on this list, is nearly 0.3 strokes behind Day. Given the information provided, it can be inferred that Jason Day, statistically, had the greatest putting season ever. It is beyond a mere coincidence that Day’s putting performance sky-rocketed since switching to the TaylorMade Ghost Spider Tour, and other tour pros are noticing.

Rookie golfer Jon Rahm, of the TaylorMade team, captured his first win on tour at the Farmers Insurance Open, sealing the win by sinking a 60 foot eagle putt on the 18th hole. Yet again, the TaylorMade Ghost Spider Tour contributed to a tour victory. Current world number one golfer Dustin Johnson, whom has been a part of the TaylorMade team since 2007, previously had a Titleist Scotty Cameron putter in his bag up until the 2016 season when he too made the switch to the Ghost Spider Tour. Upon switching putters, the current number one and number two golfers in the world are now both carrying TaylorMade’s masterpiece in their arsenal. Once again, no single club will win a golf tournament, but the question has to be asked what makes this putter so special.

The TaylorMade Ghost Spider Tour has a few key features that differentiate it from the competition. The putter has a Pure Role™ system on the face of the putter that helps the golf ball maintain its line through the putt. As stated on PutterZone.com, the putter, “… features a redesigned seamless crown as well as vibration dampening foam between the body and frame for enhanced feel and audio feedback.”  Below is an image breakdown of the Pure Role™ system:

The Ghost Spider Tour also features two counter-balance weights at the back of the putter head to provide an even weight distribution. Needless to say, this putter is one of the most innovative on tour. TaylorMade, having the number one driver on tour for years, now has a seat at the table for the argument of the best putter on tour. With three wins in 2017 already, the Ghost Spider Tour is on a roll, with no signs of stopping.

Sanders, Peter. “Did Jason Day just have the best putting year of any Tour pro ever?” http://www.golfwrx.com/410910/did-jason-day-just-have-the-best-putting-year-of-any-tour-pro-ever/. Golf WRX. 12 November 2016.