There are a lot of putting statistics that are used to measure putting on the PGA Tour, but the one that probably is the best at measuring and determining the best putters is the average putts per green hit in regulation. While this statistic also includes factors in proximity to the hole, it tends to be the best indicator of who the most talented players are with the flat stick in their hands.
Unlike strokes gained putting, it’s also a fairly easy statistic to understand. It is simply the total putts attempted on holes where the player hit the green in regulation divided by the number of greens hit in regulation.
Although no measure is perfect, this one tends to have the highest number of instances to look at, and it also doesn’t have to take into consideration variables such as sand saves, greens in regulation percentage, and other short game acumen. While it doesn’t correlate directly to the FedEx Cup standings or Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), the top putters are successful players on Tour.
A big part of his success in his early years on Tour was his uncanny ability to sink a 20-foot putt when he needed it.
5. Jordan Spieth (1.715 putts per green in regulation)
The three-time major champion began the 2020-2021 season by missing four cuts in his first seven events, finishing no better than a tie for 38th. A big part of his success in his early years on Tour was his uncanny ability to sink a 20-foot putt when he needed it.
Since sitting out the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January, his putting has drastically improved, and he hasn’t missed a cut in his last 15 starts, with nine top-ten finishes and a win at the Valero Texas Open, lifting him to second in FedEx Cup point standings and 12th in the OWGR.
4. Patrick Reed (1.709)
The former Masters champion has been struggling since a fifth-place finish in The Memorial, but it hasn’t been because of his putting. Despite the stretch of eight tournaments without a finish better than a tie for 19th, Reed is still in the top 20 in the FedEx Cup standings and is ranked 16th in the OWGR, mostly due to his win in the Farmers Insurance Open.
3. Anirban Lahiri (1.708)
While Lahiri may be a good putter when he reaches the green, his problem is, well, reaching the green. He’s ranked 140th in greens in regulation percentage at 64.35%, but his putting prowess is probably the only reason he’s been able to maintain a standing of 118th in FedEx Cup points.
2. Patton Kizzire (1.707)
Although the two-time PGA Tour winner is well down the list in most statistical categories, his putting bails him out and has enabled Kizzire to make it to 51st in the FedEx Cup point standings with a chance to make it into the top 30 and a spot in the Tour Championship.
1. Cameron Smith (1.692)
The dynamic Australian who sports a mullet is 121st in greens in regulation and 130th in driving accuracy, but he’s first in sand save percentage and second in birdie average, both because of his putting. Smith is 16th in the FedEx Cup point standings and 28th in the OWGR, primarily because of his play on the greens.