Strokes Gained Performance in the Wind

The Fantasy Golfanac considers windy rounds to be any round where the average wind is at least 14 mph for the day. It’s near impossible to consider wind by wave and/or player as gusts can come and go by the hour or even by the minute. So using the entire day grabs an overall feel for whether it was a windy day or not but this is not an exact science.

This data should be taken as a supplement to prior research, not a leading factor AKA use this as a tiebreaker if needed, on weeks with heavy winds in the forecast.

* Minimum 30 Rounds to Qualify.
** Adjusted to the strength of competition.

Top 25 Performers in the Wind (since 2014)

Rory McIlroy (3.234 sg:total)
Jason Day (3.162 sg:total)
Jordan Spieth (2.883 sg:total)
Sergio Garcia (2.8 sg:total)
Dustin Johnson (2.697 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (2.611 sg:total)
Jon Rahm (2.418 sg:total)
Phil Mickelson (2.289 sg:total)
Henrik Stenson (2.198 sg:total)
Matt Kuchar (2.152 sg:total)
Rickie Fowler (2.134 sg:total)
Paul Casey (2.114 sg:total)
Justin Rose (2.104 sg:total)
Adam Scott (2.083 sg:total)
Bill Haas (2.043 sg:total)
Brooks Koepka (1.996 sg:total)
Patrick Reed (1.925 sg:total)
Jimmy Walker (1.862 sg:total)
Bubba Watson (1.85 sg:total)
Daniel Berger (1.776 sg:total)
Gary Woodland (1.768 sg:total)
Kevin Chappell (1.765 sg:total)
Pat Perez (1.724 sg:total)
Charl Schwartzel (1.715 sg:total)
Tony Finau (1.709 sg:total)

Top 25 Wind Specialists
(Wind vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Kevin Tway (1.298 sg:wind vs. 0.422 sg:total)
Tim Herron (0.184 sg:wind vs. -0.568 sg:total)
Danny Willett (1.544 sg:wind vs. 0.867 sg:total)
Alex Cejka (1.253 sg:wind vs. 0.666 sg:total)
Brian Gay (0.846 sg:wind vs. 0.26 sg:total)
Billy Hurley III (1.299 sg:wind vs. 0.731 sg:total)
Padraig Harrington (0.88 sg:wind vs. 0.317 sg:total)
George McNeill (1.36 sg:wind vs. 0.865 sg:total)
Tyler Aldridge (0.434 sg:wind vs. -0.061 sg:total)
David Toms (1.18 sg:wind vs. 0.718 sg:total)
Brian Davis (0.515 sg:wind vs. 0.076 sg:total)
Nick Taylor (1.13 sg:wind vs. 0.694 sg:total)
Jason Day (3.162 sg:wind vs. 2.726 sg:total)
Ben Martin (1.269 sg:wind vs. 0.843 sg:total)
Jason Gore (0.683 sg:wind vs. 0.284 sg:total)
Pat Perez (1.724 sg:wind vs. 1.338 sg:total)
Ricky Barnes (0.941 sg:wind vs. 0.561 sg:total)
Kelly Kraft (0.612 sg:wind vs. 0.237 sg:total)
Chesson Hadley (0.768 sg:wind vs. 0.393 sg:total)
Jeff Overton (0.827 sg:wind vs. 0.459 sg:total)
Sergio Garcia (2.8 sg:wind vs. 2.434 sg:total)
Kevin Chappell (1.765 sg:wind vs. 1.409 sg:total)
Scott Piercy (1.371 sg:wind vs. 1.023 sg:total)
Bill Haas (2.043 sg:wind vs. 1.702 sg:total)
Brandon Hagy (1.067 sg:wind vs. 0.727 sg:total)

Top 25 Wind Anti-Specialists
(Wind vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Harold Varner III (0.211 sg:wind vs. 0.913 sg:total)
Matt Every (-0.978 sg:wind vs. -0.321 sg:total)
Miguel Angel Carballo (-1.168 sg:wind vs. -0.524 sg:total)
K.J. Choi (0.057 sg:wind vs. 0.639 sg:total)
Alex Prugh (-0.443 sg:wind vs. 0.135 sg:total)
Justin Hicks (-0.479 sg:wind vs. 0.055 sg:total)
Fabian Gomez (-0.005 sg:wind vs. 0.494 sg:total)
Justin Leonard (-0.16 sg:wind vs. 0.331 sg:total)
Keegan Bradley (1.042 sg:wind vs. 1.522 sg:total)
Andres Romero (-0.186 sg:wind vs. 0.274 sg:total)
Jim Furyk (1.548 sg:wind vs. 2.004 sg:total)
Michael Putnam (0.038 sg:wind vs. 0.484 sg:total)
D.A. Points (-0.472 sg:wind vs. -0.039 sg:total)
Davis Love III (-0.289 sg:wind vs. 0.135 sg:total)
Patrick Rodgers (0.268 sg:wind vs. 0.692 sg:total)
Justin Thomas (1.525 sg:wind vs. 1.943 sg:total)
Henrik Stenson (2.198 sg:wind vs. 2.604 sg:total)
Andrew Svoboda (-0.324 sg:wind vs. 0.08 sg:total)
Brendan Steele (1.149 sg:wind vs. 1.546 sg:total)
Wes Roach (-0.345 sg:wind vs. 0.041 sg:total)
Zach Johnson (1.337 sg:wind vs. 1.719 sg:total)
Justin Rose (2.104 sg:wind vs. 2.472 sg:total)
Ben Crane (0.15 sg:wind vs. 0.517 sg:total)
Derek Fathauer (0.004 sg:wind vs. 0.37 sg:total)
Soren Kjeldsen (0.69 sg:wind vs. 1.048 sg:total)

Last Updated: October 31st, 2017

Golfer Quotes

Q. Do you like the windy conditions? Do you prefer the wind? Obviously with a good ball striking day, the windier it gets, the better.
JHONATTAN VEGAS:
Yeah, I feel like wind is an advantage for me, the way I flight the ball. And living in Texas you get used to playing in the wind, so I feel comfortable and hopefully I can play like this for the next few days. -2018 TOC

Q. We’ve talked about this about three thousand times, but just for the benefit of this time in explaining to others, you grew up in the wind, talk us through what sort of things you had to deal with to get to this point of talent in this sort of breeze.
MARC LEISHMAN:
Yeah, I grew up in it. I enjoy playing in it, which is helpful. When you enjoy playing on certain golf courses or certain conditions it’s easy to play well. So I played well in the wind before and I think growing up in it certainly helps. It just takes a little imagination, I think, that you’re reading the — well, that you’re, you got to trust what the wind’s going to do to your ball and deal with it if it doesn’t do that or hopefully you get a birdie chance if it works out. -2018 TOC

Q. When you go back to midsummer and what you’ve been able to do since midsummer last year and into the fall and now this week, has anything changed, or is it just a matter of your game’s coming together?
BRIAN HARMAN:
I switched golf balls, and it’s made a huge difference. I wasn’t a very good wind player, and I switched golf balls — and I know it’s kind of like a Titleist commercial, but honestly, when I switched, I was 90th in the world. I won the first week I put it in, and I’m just able to flight the ball so much better than I used to be able to, and the wind doesn’t seem to take it as much. -2018 Sony

This article has 38 comments

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  7. Thanks Josh,

    This is Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

    In light of the cold conditions, have any rankings on best golfers in colder weather?

    Reply
  8. Can someone explain the meaning of :
    1. (Wind vs. Expected Strokes Gained)
    2. Wind Anti-Specialists
    Does Anti-specialist mean they are bad wind players? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • SG: Wind is the adjusted strokes gained per round when playing on a day where average wind speeds were greater than 14 mph.

      Expected Strokes Gained= baseline performance for all round (adjusted to strength of field)

      Wind Anti-Specialists are the golfers whose performance in windy rounds is the lowest when comparing to their baseline. So yes, Anti-Specialists would be bad wind players in this instance.

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for the excellent and prompt response! Great article btw. Very interesting info. Have a wonderful evening!

        Reply
  9. Hi Josh –
    I use your specialist documents weekly in my DFS preparation. Is there anyway we can get an update on this document; looks like 4.3.17 was the last update?
    Thank you

    Reply
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  11. Hi Josh –
    I use your specialist documents weekly in my DFS preparation. Is there anyway we can get an update on this document; looks like 4.18.17 was the last update? Much appreciated.
    Thank you

    Reply
  12. Hi Josh –

    Just hoping we can get a refresh on all the relevant sheets for the USO. Good luck in DK this week.

    Thank you.

    Reply
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    • Haha all about consistency. Some golfers pick up a reputation based on one event or one round played in the wind.

      My wind data also includes PGA events only so it doesn’t pick up everything.

      Reply
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  15. I find it difficult to believe Mc Ilroy is the best wind player. Any time I have seen him he has played poorly. Also he hits the ball so high it is more difficult to get control of it.

    Reply
    • This was a big problem for Rory early in his career. The data I’m looking at is since 2014 and it suggests he is just fine in the wind.

      There is nothing subjective here. I’m just showing the data.

      Distance is a big part of wind performance in the long term. Having an extra 15 yards in your tank can help carry hazards or go for a green where others may be forced to lay back in the same situation. So it may not always look pretty but guys like DJ, Rory, J Day, JB, etc. can attack in the wind despite their high ball flight.

      Reply

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