Here’s how long it takes PGA Tour players to hit 6 kinds of shots, according to ShotLink

January 14, 2020
How long does it take PGA Tour players to hit each type of shot?

It takes the average PGA Tour player 38 seconds to play a shot, according to ShotLink data released by the Tour as part of a its new pace-of-play initiative. One of the goals of the new policy will be to target individual players who are particularly slow. As part of that process, the Tour broke out the average time it takes to play each type of shot, from tee to green.

TEE SHOTS

Slowest 10%: 52 seconds

Average player: 43 seconds

Fastest 10%: 33 seconds

Tee shots take the least amount of time for the average player, besides putting. That makes sense; when you’re on the tee you’re more likely to have a plan already in place.

“GOING FOR IT” SHOTS

Slowest 10%: 60 seconds

Average player: 44 seconds

Fastest 10%: 30 seconds

This is where the slow get slower (and the fast get faster). The slowest 10% of players take fully double the amount of time as the fastest players, which seems significant.

LAY-UP SHOTS

Average player: 44 seconds

Slowest 10%: 52 seconds

Fastest 10%: 33 seconds

I’m surprised this category isn’t faster, and that the same average time to lay up as to go for it. (J.B. Holmes comes to mind.) But I guess the detail-oriented approach to laying up is one of the reasons top pros are as good as they are?

APPROACH SHOTS

Slowest 10%: 55 seconds

Average player: 44 seconds

Fastest 10%: 31 seconds

Again, here you see a wide disparity between the slowest and fastest. Hard not to be reminded of Brooks Koepka’s commentary after watching Bryson DeChambeau take extra-long over one wedge shot. “I just don’t understand how it takes a minute and 20 seconds, or a minute and 15 to hit a golf ball — it’s not that hard,” Koepka said at the time.

AROUND THE GREEN SHOTS

Slowest 10%: 63 seconds

Average player: 50 seconds

Fastest 10%: 38 seconds

This is interesting because it’s the first real major change in average time. In general, Tour pros have an extremely regular cadence of shot-playing (as you’ll see in the chart below). Every full-swing shot takes 43-44 seconds, on average. But things get trickier around the green, and players slow down accordingly. The slowest players average over a minute per shot! That’s interesting.

ON THE GREEN SHOTS

Slowest 10%: 40 seconds

Average player: 33 seconds

Fastest 10%: 25 seconds

This data is hard to parse through because I assume tap-ins basically skew it all by taking just a few seconds each. Also, when everyone is on the green it’s slightly easier to prepare while other players are hitting their putts, which can make for some simpler, faster play. Still, when players take a long time on the greens, people start to notice.

Check out the full chart below:

The PGA Tour broke down ShotLink data for each type of shot.
PGA Tour

It’s refreshing to see the Tour taking action and responding to calls for further transparency — and insightful to see these numbers. Stay tuned to GOLF.com for a more extensive breakdown of the changes going forward.

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