Keeping Stats in Golf

Yesterday I mentioned I would show you how I keep my stats when I play. There is nothing spectacular or earth shattering about my process, but the simplicity of my method might be helpful. I try to keep these stats during every round because (good or bad) it will help me focus on specifics during my training regime.

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Golf Stats vs Golf Stats

On and off over the years, I have tracked every kind of golf stat. I have found stats can be both valuable and a waste of time. It really depends on what I want to do with the data. Collecting stats without a plan to use them is just collecting stats. Knowing what to do with them is extremely important because the stat may not actually be the root problem.

Recently, I asked which golf stat was the most important. This is what people said:

As you can see, GIR and # of putts are the stats that the respondents felt were the most important. However, there were four stats and I am not sure we can discount the other two so quickly! Continue reading

Golf Simulators: Pro or Con?

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Golf Simulator at Rhino Sports in Belleville, Ontario.

With the long off-season in Canada (with this year being the exception so far), golfing fanatics will try just about anything to keep our game in tune. We hit balls in the snow, use a dome, and where possible, use a golf simulator. I have only used a golf simulator twice before and never really gave it much thought about their value to my golf game. This year, at the prompting of my wife, I joined the indoor golf league with some friends and we have a standing game on Wednesday nights for 8 weeks starting in January.

The indoor golf league is hosted by Rhino Sports in Belleville, Ontario.  It is a new business and Martin, the owner operator, decided to start the league to try to fill a void for us golfing fanatics. For $226 (tax included), can play 10 rounds of golf on world-class courses between now and 01 April. I met Martin for the first time last Wednesday and he is very up beat and his staff focus on customer service. So far, my experience at Rhino Sports has been very positive.

The simulator is basically a big video game. However, it offers different dimensions that are of value for most golfers looking to improve their game. Check it out:

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Practicing before round

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Spraying all over the place during warm up!

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Some Stats that can help identify areas to work on.

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Interesting stats for research area. Back Spin….Ouch!

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I would take a drive like this all the time.

At this time, using the golf simulator is going to be fun and educational. As the season unfolds, I will drop in my stats and areas where I think I need to focus on in the 2016 season. If you notice anything, don’t be shy!

Have you ever used a golf simulator? Are you in the Pro or Con category?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Golf and Moneyball

Have you ever watched the movie Moneyball?  If not, it is about the “Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.”  Basically, it is about statistics; how to read them, work them to your favor and pray your decisions work out. Statistics are important when talking about a sports team, but are they really that important in golf?

In golf, statistics lie.  You heard it here first, stats mean nothing in golf.  They might be great to keep, fun to watch, but have no real value when predicting the outcome of any tournament, yearly money list or world ranking.  In 2013, the following were leaders on the money list and number of wins:

  1. Tiger Woods               8,553,439         5
  2. Henrik Stenson           6,388,230         2
  3. Matt Kuchar                5,616,808         2
  4. Phil Mickelson             5,495,793         2
  5. Brandt Snedeker         5,318,087        2

These players, who “dominated” the golfing world in 2013, rarely show up on any of the PGA statistic charts.  They show up on one or two, but basically, they are absent. However, a 47 year-old player, Steve Stricker, who had 0 wins in 2013, finished 7th on the PGA money list, and finished 8th in the world ranking, shows up on 5 of the major statistic charts.  Yet, he is considered in the twilight of his career with little chances of winning a Major or any professional tournament.

If Steve Stricker was 24 years old with the same statistics, he would be an up and coming phenom!  He would have the status of Rory McIlroy and be touted as one of the next great golfers.

Statistics do lie.  At this time, McIlroy ( in all likelihood will be one of the golfing greats) did not make the top 5 of any 2013 of the statistical category.  Is this just an anomaly?

I suggest not.  Gone are the days of Tiger Woods dominating the professional tour and the statistical categories.  The number of outstanding unknown players winning tournaments is on the rise.  Except for Webb Simpson, the statistics vs money list applies to the early 2014 golfing season.  As the world of golf grows and new events open up, how will the stats apply to top ranked players who more and more chose to play in places like Dubai vice Phoenix?

Statistics are not a good barometer of the golfing world.  The evolution of golf makes statistics meaningless and at the very least an exercise in futility.

I am a grateful golfer!  See you on the links!