The calculator is pretty simple once you get the hang of it and understand the limitations. For each shot you play you just need to enter how far away from the hole you were and where you hit the ball from. There are 6 possible locations to hit the ball from
- Recovery(x)- these are pitch outs or heroic shots from the trees
All distances from the first 5 locations should be measured/estimated in YARDS. Once you get on the green, enter your distances in FEET.
Here is an example of a hole and it's breakdown once you enter it into the calculator.
As you can see, my first shot came from 370 yards off of a tee box. I left the penalty column blank since I did not incur a penalty, however if you happen to incur a penalty this is where you will put a "1" to represent your penalty stroke. The PGA Strokes column will tell you how many strokes it would take the average Tour player to hole out from your location and distance. For this 370 yard hole that is 3.94 strokes. To the right of that, in the Strokes Gained column the calculator will tell you how many shots you gained or loss on each of your shots. In this example I hit a good drive 280 yards into the fairway and this was good for a .17 shot gain on the average Tour player.
My next shot then came from 90 yards in the fairway. From 90 yards in the fairway the average Tour player will hole out in 2.78 shots. I hit that shot onto the green 25 feet away from the hole. This shot resulted in me losing .16 shots vs the average Tour player.
Next I hit my 25 foot putt to a distance of 2 feet away from the hole, again losing a few decimals of a shot vs the average Tour player. I finish the hole by making my 2 foot putt and do not need to enter any more data for that hole. My final putt gained me a whopping .01 shots vs the Tour player.
As you can see, it took me 4 shots to complete the hole and remember from where we hit our tee shot from the average Tour player was going to make a 3.94. The sum of all of our strokes gained and lost on each shot is -.06 and perfectly matches the difference between our score and the Tour average. You will also see that the top ribbon of the calculator has captured all of our shots into the correct categories, and it's also worth noting that values in ( ) represent shots lost. On hole #1 we gained a little bit on our Tee Shot, lost a little on our 50-125 Yard Approach, lost a few more decimal points in the "Over15" feet putting subcategory, and gained .01 shots in the "Under5" feet putting subcategory. Overall not to bad of a hole.
With all that being said, there are a few location specific limitations that I would like to address so that you don't run into any big problems.
Tee Shots(t)- There is no data available for holes <100* yards or >600* yards, so keep your tee shot distance #'s in that range.
Fairway(f), Rough(r), and Sand(s)- There is no data available for shots <10* yards from any of these locations.
Recovery(x)- These are shots where you are in serious trouble and either have to hit a miracle shot or pitch out. There is no data available for shots <81* yards from this location.
Green(g)- Remember, this is the only surface where distances are measured in FEET, not yards. The green is also the surface where recording as accurate of a measurement as possible is very important, especially inside 20 feet where 2-3 feet can make a relatively large difference. Always use whole number(no decimals) and the range of data available is 1* foot up to 100* feet.
*If you put in a distance from a location and there is no data available, the calculator will put a "0" in the PGA Strokes column and your results will be skewed incorrectly. Just do the best you can to make sure all your starting distances/locations have data associated with them. If you have a 5 yard pitch shot from the Rough(r) you are just going to have to put 10 yards in the calculator. If you have a Recovery(x) shot from 50 yards you are just going to have to put in 81 yards in the calculator.
Penalty?- Just to address the Penalty column in a little more detail, ff you have to incur a penalty during your round, put a "1" in the "Penalty?" column in the row that corresponds with the shot that caused the penalty. If you hit it in a hazard and can take a drop then your next shot will be recorded from that drop area, if you have to re-hit then your next shot will be the exact same as the previous shot(resulting in -2 strokes gained for that blunder shot).