Every Shot Counts Review

Normally when I travel I forgo my typical non-fiction business books and find a trashy Clive Cussler adventure novel to read.

However, on my recent trip out to New York City I came across the new book Every Shot Counts by Mark Broadie – and figured it would be worth a read.

Every Shot Counts is essentially a book about shaking up the way stats are kept in golf.  Traditionally we’ve tracked stats that have very little relevance towards actually improving your game.

Greens in regulation don’t necessarily mean a whole lot if we can’t tell how we got there in the first place.

Putts per round can be misleading, because it doesn’t factor in how good the approach shot is or the distances of your putts.

Broadie is an advocate for a new method of golf stat tracking called “strokes gained” – and that’s exactly what this book is all about.

Recently the PGA Tour has actually adopted the strokes gained statistic for putting and now use it as one of their primary indicators of putting performance.

What does it mean exactly?

Essentially the putting strokes gained method shows how a player putted compared to other players on tour.

If he gained one stroke on putts, it means that because of his good putting, he shot one stroke lower than the average of the other players in a tournament.

As an example, let’s say a golfer holes out from 30 feet. If the tour average for a 30 foot putt is 2.0 strokes, then that person would gain 1 stroke on the putt.

It’s More than Just Putting…

What’s interesting about Every Shot Counts is that he then takes it and applies it to more than just putting. He uses the same metric for approach shots, drives, and more.

It’s a fascinating way to look at golf stats, but more importantly, some of the conclusions he’s come up with because of it defy traditional logic for what’s important in golf.

Some of the key things that are covered in the book are:

  • Long approaches are more important than putts
  • Distance is more important than accuracy
  • Out of bounds is even more dangerous than you think it is

He goes on to cover a handful of other key ideas that will change the way you think about the game and how you practice it.

While I loved the concept overall, by the end of the book, I was a little overloaded on stats.  It got a little dry at times, and the stories, while making an excellent case for the Strokes Gained methodology, all felt a bit similar by the end.

The Exciting Thing About Strokes Gained

While I was reading this on the plane, there was one thought that I kept coming back to, and that was:

“This is great, but I’m not a pro. There’s no way I’ll be able to get all of the same statistics and information that they have, so why is this valuable to me?”

The question was answered just a couple days later when I found myself at The Course at Yale with the Arccos Golf team. This new round tracking solution, will actually calculate all of your strokes gained information for you, and then make it easy to dissect the information after the round.

It truly makes this way of tracking your golf stats feasible, useful, and most importantly fun.  They still have a few months before it officially hits the market, but their competitor Game Golf has been for sale for awhile. They just recently pushed out an update to improve their stats, but hopefully they will continue to update, and potentially work some of this information into their system – as I think it would make it much more useful than just the traditional stats currently offered by them and every other stat app out there.

Worth reading?

It’s definitely worth reading, because this is such a dramatic jump from where we’ve historically been in terms of stats for golf. As I said, it can get a little dry and math-y at times, but that’s ok considering it will help you completely rethink your approach to course management and practice.

Pick up your copy of Every Shot Counts on Amazon

Grab It

Good Things

  • New, interesting concepts
  • Lots of statistical data to back up ideas
  • It's all about golf!

Bad Things

  • A little dry at times
  • Lots of numbers
  • Stories all seemed similar after awhile

The Breakdown

New Ideas
Personal Affinity

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  1. Andy

    Great review Sean! I’ve read through it once, and am re-reading portions again. I agree, it’s a bit dry in place (how could a stats book not be?!) but all in all a great read. I’m REALLY looking forward to the apps to help track this stuff in my game. Keep up the great work!

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