Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Investigating factors that improve golf scores by comparing statistics of amateur golfers in repeat scramble strokes and one-ball conditions

Takeru Suzuki, John Patrick Sheahan, Isao Okuda, Daisuke Ichikawa


This study investigated how scores and statistics of amateur golfers changed when self-scramble (SC) was compared to normal play. Participants took two (SC2) to three (SC3) golf strokes each. Scores under these conditions were compared with those from normal round (NR) play to determine to what extent the scores and statistics would improve. Means, standard deviations, repeated measures one-way ANOVA, and a forward stepwise multiple regression analysis were performed for data analysis. The mean total score over nine holes by NR plays was 46.6 strokes, with a significant reduction of 7.7 strokes and 10.6 strokes under SC2 and SC3 conditions, respectively. Even when the three play conditions’ total scores decreased significantly for all subjects, the putt rate was around 38%, suggesting that the ratio of the number of putts per score did not change when play conditions changed. Stepwise multiple regression analysis for NR and SC2 using total score as the dependent variable and each statistic as the independent variables showed that greens in regulation (GIR) predicted 51.2% of the total score for NR; GIR and the One-Putt rate predicted 87.3% of the total score for SC2. These findings indicate that GIR is the most important factor for reducing non-professional golfers’ total scores. This study suggests that players gain experience in reducing their golf scores in a format that is similar to an actual game of golf.


Performance analysis; Non-professional golfers; Greens in regulation; Putt rate


Broadie, M. (2012). Assessing golfer performance on the PGA TOUR. Interfaces, 42(2), 146–165.

Broadie, M. (2014). Every shot counts: Using the revolutionary strokes gained approach to improve your golf performance and strategy. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Broadie, M. (2019). Quantifying the penalty for missing on the short side.

Broadie, M., & Ko, S. (2009, December). A simulation model to analyze the impact of distance and direction on golf scores. Paper presented ath the Proceedings of the 2009 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC), Austin, TX.

Browning, R. (2018). A history of golf: The royal and ancient game. Whitefish, MT: Literary Licensing, LLC.

Chae, J. S., Park, J., & So, W. Y. (2018). Ranking prediction model using the competition record of ladies professional golf association players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 32(8), 2363–2374.

Dorsel, T. N., & Rotunda, R. J. (2001). Low scores, top 10 finishes, and big money: An analysis of professional golf association tour statistics and how these relate to overall performance. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 92(2), 575–585.

Fried, H. O., Lambrinos, J., & Tyner, J. (2004). Evaluating the performance of professional golfers on the PGA, LPGA and SPGA tours. European Journal of Operational Research, 154(2), 548–561.

Hasegawa, Y., Koyama, S., & Inomata, K. (2013). Perceived distance during golf putting. Human Movement Science, 32(6), 1226–1238.

Ishikura, T. (2010). Learner–regulated feedback enhances ball putting learning. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 32, S89–S89.

Karlsen, J., & Nilsson, J. (2008). Distance variability in golf putting among highly skilled players: The role of green reading. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 3(1_suppl), 71–80.

Lee, T., Ishikura, T., Kegel, S., Gonzalez, D., & Passmore, S. (2008, 07/01). Head–putter coordination patterns in expert and less skilled golfers. Journal of Motor Behavior, 40, 267–272.

McDaniel, K. D., Cummings, J. L., & Shain, S. (1989). The “yips” A focal dystonia of golfers. Neurology, 39(2), 192–192.

Pelz, D., & Mastroni, N. (2004). Putt like the pros: Dave Pelz's scientific way to improving your stroke, reading greens, and lowering your score. London, UK: Aurum.

Pfitzner, C. B., & Rishel, D. T. (2005). Performance and compensation on the LPGA tour: a statistical analysis. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 5(3), 29–39.

PGA TOUR Champions, PGA TOUR Inc. (2018a). Categories-Approach the green.

PGA TOUR Champions, PGA TOUR Inc. (2018b). Statistics » Around the green » Scrambling.

PGA TOUR Champions, PGA TOUR Inc. (2018c). Statistics » Putting » One-Putt Percentage.

PGA TOUR Champions, PGA TOUR Inc. (2018d). Statistics » Putting » Putts Per Round.

R&A. (2019). The Official Guidebook to the Rules of Golf. Hamlyn.

Sams, L. D. (2015). Perceptual differences in children learning to play golf with traditional or modified (scaled) equipment (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Smith, A. M., Adler, C. H., Crews, D., Wharen, R. E., Laskowski, E. R., Barnes, K., & Smith, J. (2003). The 'yips' in golf: a continuum between a focal dystonia and choking. Sports Medicine, 33(1), 13–31.

Stöckl, M., Lamb, P., & Lames, M. (2013). The ISOPAR method: A new approach to performance analysis in golf. Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, 7, 1–15.

Stöckl, M., & Lamb, P. F. (2018). The variable and chaotic nature of professional golf performance. Journal of Sports Sciences, 36(9), 978–984.

Suzuki, T., Manabe, Y., Arakawa, H., Sheahan, J. P., Okuda, I., & Ichikawa, D. (2019). A comparison of stroke distance error from dominant and non-dominant putting stance in professional and novice golfers. International Journal of Golf Science, 7(1), 1–15.

Tanaka, Y., & Sekiya, H. (2010). The influence of audience and monetary reward on the putting kinematics of expert and novice golfers. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 81(4), 416–424.

Tanaka, Y., & Sekiya, H. (2011). The influence of monetary reward and punishment on psychological, physiological, behavioral and performance aspects of a golf putting task. Human Movement Science, 30(6), 1115–1128.

Toms, M. (2017). Routledge international handbook of golf science. London, UK: Routledge.


Copyright (c) 2018 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.