The “70% Rule” is still the winning formula on the PGA Tour

by Peter Sanders

In 1989, Peter Sanders founded Golf Research Associates, LP, creating what is now referred to as Strokes Gained Analysis. His goal was to design and market a new standard of statistically based performance analysis programs using proprietary computer models.
A departure from “traditional stats,” the program provided analysis with answers, supported by comparative data. In 2006, the company’s website,, was launched. It provides interactive, Strokes Gained analysis for individual golfers and more than 150 instructors and coaches that use the program to build and monitor their player groups.

Peter has written or contributed to, more than 60 articles in major golf publications including Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Golf for Women.

From 2007 through 2013, Peter was an exclusive contributor and Professional Advisor to Golf Digest and Peter also works with PGA Tour players and their coaches to interpret the often confusing ShotLink data.

Zach Johnson has been a client for nearly five years. More recently, Peter has teamed up with Smylie Kaufman’s swing coach, Tony Ruggiero, to help guide Smylie’s fast-rising career.

In June of 2010, a year before the Tour launched Strokes Gained Putting analysis, I published an article on my blog ( “PGA Tour Winner’s – 70% Rule.”

I had been studying the winners of each tour event for years and realized that they all had specific success in three simple stats–and that the three stats must add up to 70 percent

Greens in Regulation – 70%
Scrambling – 70%
1-Putts from 5 to 10 feet – 70%
Not every one of the three had to equal 70 percent, but the simple addition of the three needed to equal or exceed 70 percent. For example, if GIR’s were 68 percent, then scrambling or putting needed to be 72 percent or higher to offset the GIR deficiency—simple and it worked!

I added an important caveat. The player could have no more than three ERRORS in a four-round event. These errors being

Long game: A drive hit out of play requiring an advancement to return to normal play, or a drive or approach penalty.
Short game: A short game shot that a.) missed the putting surface, and b.) took 4 or more total strokes to hole out.
Putting: A 3-putt or worse from 40 feet or closer.
In his recent win in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Kevin Na broke the rule… by a bit. He was all good on the 70 percent part of the rule

GIR’s: 75 percent
Scrambling: 72 percent
1-Putts 5-10 ft.: 73 percent
But not so good on the three-error limit

Long game: Two driving errors and one approach penalty (three errors).
Short game: A chip/pitch shot that missed the green and took FIVE strokes to hole out (one error).
No wonder it took a playoff to secure his win! But there was another stat that made the difference…

The stat that piqued my interest in Kevin’s win was connected to my 70 percent Rule. It was his strokes gained: putting stat: +3.54, or ranked first. He gained 3.5 strokes on the field in each of his four rounds or 14 strokes. I have never seen that, and it caused me to look closer. For perspective, I ran the putting performance of all of the event winners in the 2019 Tour season. Their average putting strokes gained was +1.17.

Below, I charted the one-putt percentages by distance range separately for Kevin Na, the 2019 winners, and the tour 2019 average. I have long believed that the 6–10-foot range separates the good putters on Tour from the rest as it is the most frequently faced of the “short putt” ranges and the Tour averages 50 percent makes. At the same time, the 11-20 foot ranges separate the winners each week as these tend to represent birdie putts on Tour. Look at what Kevin did there.

All I can say again, I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS. Well done Kevin!

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Bad performances can linger for a long time with some golfers.

You can probably relate to how profoundly a bad game, routine or shot can hurt future performances...

There are many examples in golf where just one bad shot can set off a domino effect...

A golfer who hits a triple-bogey then finds them-self in a slump over the next several holes...

A golfer who was in the lead then on Sunday loses by one-shot leading to a loss of confidence for the next competition...

Why does it seem that a one bad performance can snowball and affect future competitions?

This effect is not the fault of a lack of skills. One bad game doesn’t rob you of your athletic talents and abilities. The issue at play is often a “memory” issue.

Follow this logic for a moment...

You have practiced, prepared and trained for a certain competition that goes a bit awry...

You make a few mistakes or just are not fully on top of your game and you are devastated by the result. Now, your memory kicks in.

You can’t seem to shake the memories of that bad performance. The memories of that performance seem to haunt you. As you prepare for the next competition, these bad memories creep to the forefront of your mind.

As the next competition commences, those images are replayed over and over in your mind stirring negative emotions and hurting your confidence.

Many golfers have trouble bouncing back when they carry the weight of “bad memories” or negative images of previous performances.

In professional sports, top athletes talk about the importance of having a “short memory” or forgetting about a bad performance and moving on to the next competition.

The L.A. Rams had a forgettable game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth game of the 2019 season. The Rams lost 55-40 but it was the way the team lost that was the problem.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff committed four turnovers with the last one leading to the game-deciding touchdown. Some veteran players committed costly penalties and the Rams’ defense had difficulty stopping Tampa Bay’s offense.

After the game, Goff talked about the importance of erasing the memory of the defeat and focusing on the next game.

GOFF: “Let this one go by as quick as possible and move on.”

A strategy to move on from the poor team performance was offered by Rams safety Eric Weddle.

WEEDLE: “Burn the film, quite honestly. Burn it and move on.”

Smart advice from Weedle. Replaying a bad game in your mind only contributes to further performances.

Moving on from a bad performance requires that you focus forward and not relive the past.

Moving On from a Bad Performance

Instead of replaying the images of mistakes and losses, visualize yourself performing successfully in your next competition.

Visualization helps you focus on performing well in future competitions rather than allowing memories of past performances to dominate your mind.

Strive to use past competition as a learning experience. What can you improve in the next week of practice based on your last competition?

By PGTAA member Dr. Patrick Cohn
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TecTecTec – Amazon’s top-selling golf laser rangefinder brand – has expanded its selection of technologically advanced golf gear with the launch of ULT-G, an innovative and affordable GPS Golf Watch.

Exceptionally durable, stylish and comfortable, the ULT-G ($119.99) provides golfers quick and accurate distances to the front, middle and back of greens, as well as hazards and doglegs. Available for a one-time purchase of $119.99, with no subscription required, TecTecTec is giving users instant access to precise satellite-measured yardages at over 38,000 courses around the world.

“Our goal has always been to provide golfers with high-tech, quality products at attainable prices, and the ULT-G perfectly aligns with this philosophy,” says Renan Lore, Director of TecTecTec. “Whether a player prefers a laser rangefinder or a wearable golf GPS watch, they can find a product that fits their needs within our expanding catalog.”

The company is known throughout the golf industry for its renowned line of rangefinders, which feature an ultra-clear, multi-layered optical lens for excellent visual clarity and 6x magnification with diopter adjustment. Among the most popular models are the new ULT-X, and the Amazon category leader, the VPRO 500.

All purchases through the company’s website include customary free shipping, a two-year warranty, and a “love it or your money back” 30-day full refund guarantee. For more information, visit

About TecTecTec
Founded in 2014, TecTecTec is headquartered in France with representation in Houston and Bali, Indonesia. The company provides golfers and hunters worldwide with high-quality products sold directly to consumers at affordable prices by eliminating middlemen. Progressive thinking, innovative research and development, manufacturing with the tightest quality controls and unwavering customer support led to TecTecTec rangefinders becoming annual bestsellers on Amazon. Beyond golf and hunting products, TecTecTec manufactures cameras, drones, projectors, security systems and speakers.
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Travel & Course Reviews


“Céad Míle Fáilt”
(A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!)

Ireland Golf outdid itself in 2019.

This was the year that Irish golf took center stage. Not only did an Irishman, Shane Lowry, win The 148th British Open, but Royal Portrush, the site of the championship, received compliments from both the players and the attendees.

The R&A did an outstanding job in not only preparing the course, a “real proper links”, but all the ancillary infrastructure — player friendly and definitely visitor friendly. 237,000 tickets were sold and probably another 100,000 were needed.

Portrush putting green.
The Open shop was stocked to the rafters and the merchandize flew out of the store as though they were giving everything away for free.

A trip to the Emerald Isle, whether for a golf trip, a vacation, or a whiskey experience, is definitely a bucket list item. The pace of life is remarkably sedate and Irish welcomes really are as warm as the legend suggests. The “greenness” of Ireland is everywhere you travel.
Ireland is famous for having a third of the world’s links courses, making devotees of seaside golf chomping at the bit.

As for whiskey lovers and enthusiasts, there are more than 30 whiskey distilleries spread across Eire. The “water of life” has been distilled in Ireland since the sixth century and with the iconic distilleries of Jameson’s, Tullamore, Bushmills and D.E.W. beckoning, there is no better time to explore the island’s whiskey story. Also take time to visit Glendalough, Clonakilty and Echlinvilole to sample a new generation of whiskey makers.

As for golfing, Ireland has iconic venues such as Ballybunion, Portmarnock, Royal County Down and Lahinch as their standard bearers, but there are so many more outstanding courses that most golfers have never experienced. A review of 6 courses follows that merit your consideration and a visit in your future travel plans.

This is the course that Padraig Harrington won the Irish PGA in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Rory McIlroy won the Irish Amateur in 2006 and where Tiger set the links record at 67.Be familiar with the first rule of Irish golf: Ignore the weather forecast! Showers are predicted every day, but I was lucky to have a total of just 5 hours of rain over the six courses I played during 7 days of golf. By being a seaside links, the wind, of course, does blow often. Be prepared to learn how to hit shots that stay below the wind and have patience to only hit a shot in between gusts, if possible. As locals like to say, “The weather is as dry as the locals’ humor”.

Ireland’s west side, also referred to as the Wild Atlantic Way, the world’s longest defined coastal touring route, holds some terrific seaside courses that are half as expensive and twice as much fun as better-known venues — and you don’t need to call a year in advance for a tee time. This is the Ireland that existed before Ballybunion became the Pebble Beach of Europe. In fact, the western coast of Ireland can lay claim to the finest array of links courses in the world (sorry, Bandon Dunes and St. Andrews).

The Wild Atlantic Way includes magnificent beaches, cliffs, bays and surfing seas stretching from remote Malin and the northern headlands to near sub-tropical waters and gardens ending in tranquil Kinsale Harbour in the south. It is a must to explore!

And along the way it enables and enhances some of the world’s greatest links golf!

Without any fear of contradiction, playing The European Club was the highlight of my trip!
The European Club is just 30 minutes south of Dublin.
Not only is the European Club ranked in the World’s Top-100 Golf Courses, but its owner and designer, Pat Ruddy, the “Master of the Links”, is in my Top 100 most interesting, magnanimous and fascinating people in golf, whom I have been fortunate enough to meet and spend time with in their company.

Golf Magazine USA ranked The European Club in their World Top 100 Golf Courses list in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Pat Ruddy is synonymous with Irish golf —  from his personal collection of over 6,500 golf books, to his exceptional golf design skills. Many courses around Ireland have some sort of a Pat Ruddy touch. He is a walking encyclopedia of every aspect of links style golf courses.

Golf Magazine, in collaboration with ten other international golf magazines, nominated the course in their The 500 Greatest Golf Holes in the World, wherein
three holes are from the links of The European Club.

The par-4 seventh, measuring 470-yards, was named as one of the Worlds 100 Best Holes.

The par-5 thirteenth and par-3 fourteenth were named amongst the Worlds 500 Best Holes.

On a broader scale, nine of the Top-40 Golf Courses in Ireland, per Golf Digest, have been designed or substantially redesigned by Pat Ruddy and nine of his venues are listed in the Top-100 Golf Courses in Great Britain & Ireland.

Of all the courses I have played in Ireland on my two trips there, The European Club, on the County Wicklow coastline, about 30 miles from Dublin is, by far, my favorite. This is a course I could play every day. The flow of the course is its USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Every hole follows a natural progression and that of marvelous and thoughtful design.

The European Club is extremely challenging off the back tees and views of the infamous railway-sleeper lined bunkers only add to the difficulty. Caveat: Offline hits are prejudicial to say the least, but the saving grace is that the beach is in play on the back nine!
The course boasts 20 holes (two additional par threes) and that back nine will live long in my memory with holes like 11, 12, 15 and 17 utterly captivating.

The restaurant food is above par and the service exemplary.

Depending on the time of year, green fees range from €120 (November 1 to March 31) to €225 (April 1 to October 31 with July 1 – July 31 at €250).

County Sligo (Rosses Pt) Golf Course

18 holes, par 71, 6609 yards. Links.

This is an awesome golf course! It is often referred to as the “Grand Dame” of Northwest Ireland golf courses. I daresay that if this course was located elsewhere, other than northwest Ireland, it would join the ranks of “must play” a la Ballybunion or Lahinch, as County Sligo is widely regarded as one of the greatest championship links courses in Ireland.

The 125-year old course is located in the picturesque village of Rosses Point and known locally as ‘The Point’. The original 9-hole course, founded in 1894, is now a world class 27-hole complex with modern facilities and a spacious clubhouse.

The west side of the course is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The view to the north is dominated by Benbulben; an impressive glacier cut rock formation bearing a strong resemblance to Cape Town’s Table Mountain. The east has great views of the Dartary Mountains, while the south vista is completed by Knocknarea.

The traditional links layout was designed by Harry Colt who was reputed to have been influenced by the layout of St Andrews Old Course in his creation of County Sligo. Colt utilized the natural contours of the dune-covered landscape, rather than moving large amounts of earth during its design. On the fairways you’ll play from crisp turf, while the undulating greens are defended by plenty of deep sand traps. The end result is a course filled with dramatic flowing fairways, elevated tees, and raised plateau greens.

The 7th, 8th and 14th holes are all stunning, due to the crossing of Mahon’s Burn – a meandering stream awaiting any miss-hit shots!
County Sligo, in my opinion, serves the best fish and chips that I have tasted in Ireland!

Rates are between €115 and €205 depending on the time of year and hour of play.
I highly recommend the Radisson Blu Hotel in Rosses Point, County Sligo as the best place to stay. It is modern, with great rooms and food service, especially at the bar.
Tel: 00353 71 914 0008.


Narin & Portnoo Golf Course, Portnoo, County Donegal, Ireland

18 holes, par 73, 6269 yards. Links.

The Narin & Portnoo Golf Club was formed as a 9-hole course in 1930, until it was extended to the full 18 in 1965. Many regard this to be one of the most natural courses of all time, but it hasn’t quite received the recognition it deserves. Maybe this is because of its remote location.
Liam McDevitt is the new owner. Liam is from Donegal, but now based in New York.

McDevitt instituted a major redesign of the course and refurbishment of the clubhouse.

Gil Hanse of the United States did an exemplary job of turning this truly spectacular setting into a true test of pure links golf. playing Narin & Portnoo Golf Course will need all their skills to effectuate a range of different shots. With the course’s tight doglegs, cavernous terrain, raised greens and twisting fairways, players will need to have their wits about them if they’re looking to score well.

The signature par three is played over a gorge onto a two-tiered green where making par is anything but easy. If you’re looking to play a simple, old-fashioned and rewarding links course, then Narin & Portnoo is the place for your golf vacation.

Rates are €60 during off season and €120 normally. Caddies are available, as are carts (buggies).

Donegal Golf Club, Murvagh, County Donegal, Ireland

18 holes, par 73, 7453 yards. Links.
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Donegal Bay and a designated Special Area of Conservation, it is one of the longest golf courses in Europe, measuring a massive 7,453 yards from the championship tees. Golf Course was originally designed by Eddie Hackett, a legend of Irish golf course architecture and is often referred to as the Muirfield of Ireland. This links course is built on a promontory of 182 acres that extends out into the Atlantic Ocean. The course, built on land of geological significance, was inhabited in past centuries, and the earliest of Irish maps indicate this.

The original clubhouse was a caravan, to be replaced some months later, by a railway carriage. In 1976, a new clubhouse was built.  We had lunch in the clubhouse and the food at the restaurant was terrific!

The course, a par 73 for both men and women, consists of five Par 5’s, four Par 3’s and nine Par 4’s, stretching over 7400 yards from the tips, with five regulation tees from each hole, plus a beginner tee.

Over the years the course has been re-molded by the “Master of Links design”, Pat Ruddy, with Pat still dropping by to lend his expertise to the club and help it continuously evolve.

The outside loop plays along the dunes and the ocean, providing stunning views of the surrounding area. The inner loop is more protected, however, the constantly changing sea breeze provides a continuing test for both pro and amateur golfer. Despite its length, the course is an easy walk, broken up by the outstanding views, wildlife and display of fauna and flora that continues to change and evolve throughout the year.

Darren Clarke, the 2011 Open Champion and member of the Course, states that Donegal Golf Club is “one of my favorite courses in the world”.

Donegal is an easy walk and a welcome break from the roller coaster dunes found on other links courses. The panoramic views of Donegal Bay and the surrounding countryside are sensational and the peninsula itself is steeped in local and ancient history.
One of my many favorite holes during my visit was Hole 5 – Valley of Tears – 196 yards.

With no fairway, this par 3 is certainly a challenge. Aim at the bunker back left from the tee. Fail to carry the valley, and you are left with a testing shot from an extremely deep bunker. The bowl shape of the green is forgiving, feeding the ball toward the pin, if it is placed kindly, This hole gives up more holes-in-one here than any other hole on the course, but just hit your best shot of the day to the green and walk on.

Green Fees November – March April & October May – September
18 Holes €50 €100 €130


Cruit Island Golf Club, Kincasslagh, County Donegal, Ireland 


18 Holes, Par 68, Length 5141 yards
Roughly 40 minutes farther north from Portnoo on the Donegal Coast lies a golf course that has been described as simply one of the greatest 9-hole courses on earth. The course is set on the edge of the wild and rugged Atlantic Ocean — next stop America! You will savor unrestricted panoramic views that will take your breath away, especially its iconic 6th hole hitting over the Atlantic Ocean onto the green on the cliff edge.
The views afforded by Cruit Island are outstanding, on a par with world favorites such as Pebble Beach, Old Head, Kingsbarn in Scotland, Pinnacle Point in South Africa, and Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand. Cruit Island is a true natural 9-hole links course where every shot must be methodically thought out.

Cruit Island Golf Club (pronounced “Crutch” Island), is purely and simply a must visit. Place it on your bucket list.
What’s so great about the course is that you can play there for about one tenth of the cost of the aforementioned “name” courses!
Rates are €35 per person!


Concra Wood Golf Club, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan
18 Holes, Par 72, 6635 yards
This was one of the nicest courses I got to play. So different from the true links courses, yet overall most enjoyable in all aspects such as setting, views, flow, operations staff and FUN to play. Concra Wood is a beautiful and evocative setting for a golf course.
The golf course was designed by two of Ireland’s golfing legends: Christy O’Connor Junior and Senior.
Image result for concra wood golf course photos Overlooking Lough Muckno, a lake, the shape and flow of the golf course are perfectly complemented by the drumlins that roll across the countryside. The wooded landscape tilts down into Lough Muckno. The views are spectacular, stretching across the Monaghan Drumlins to the Cooley and Mourne Mountains to the east, and the Slieve Gullion and Mullyash Mountains to the north. And all the while you are surrounded by the lake and its scattering of islands, including Black Island, Otter Island, Crane Island and White Island. It is a unique setting that golfers, fishermen and walkers will love.

This easy rhythm adds to the beauty of the course and its challenges, and it will inspire every golfer who chooses to play here. Woods and trees stretch their way elegantly around the course and between holes to give Concra Wood a truly natural touch.
This challenging course! It is a tough walk and accurate driving will help your score and prevent the loss of many golf balls in the water or gorse. There are plenty of hills between tees and on some holes. I suggest a cart. The course has a great club house with outstanding food and drink.
Rates range from €50 to €85

Ireland is a great country for its outstanding scenery, friendly citizens, plentiful whiskey and some of the best golf I have ever experienced. I look forward to my third visit to Ireland in the not too distant future.

A special word of thanks go to my hosts, Rory Mathews of Fáilte Ireland and Bernard McMullan of Tourism Ireland.

Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. Visit www/ to see all the latest mental strategies and equipment reviews. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his previous book, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf”, updated for 2011, is still in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s best seller list. His latest book, “The Right Mind for Golf”, is now in its 7th reprint is available on Amazon and at the Torrey Pines golf course
He can be reached at

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