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The Numbers Game

The PGA Championship

Aug. 11, 2005     By     Comments (0)

The Numbers GameThis year's PGA is being held at Baltusrol. The numbers are already rolling in. 7,392: The longest par-70 in PGA Championship history. 500: Two of the par fours will be longer than this. 647: The length of #17… which happens to be 17 yards longer than it was in the 1993 US Open.

So you get the picture. This year's PGA will be a test for sure. Predicting the PGA this year may be a bit more complicated than picking the long hitters. As I've talked about previously, there are more important things than mashing the ball 300+ yards… but it may help a bit this week and is factoring into my predictions.

Fairways and Greens? Not Exactly!

Aug. 4, 2005     By     Comments (4)

The Numbers GameA couple weeks back I discussed driving distance and accuracy. Neither really stood out as being a major factor in scoring average or earnings. In fact, when I removed the top earners, the numbers leveled out even more so. I suggested, that greens in regulation and putting average would play a larger role (or factor) in money and scoring.

This week in The Numbers Game, I'm finding the answer to the above suggestion and sharing what I've found. Was I right?

More Stats!

Jul. 28, 2005     By     Comments (0)

The Numbers GameDuring a recent trip to the PGA Tour's stat website, I stumbled across some more stats that they are keeping. Yup, that's right, more numbers in which to drown myself. Stats such as proximity to hole, GIR % from other than fairway, average distance of putts made and others popped up and got my interest.

This week in The Numbers Game, I'm taking a closer look at a few of these to answer a question or two I had. Also I wanted to throw out a few factoids for you to chew on.

What’s in the Bag?

Jul. 21, 2005     By     Comments (12)

The Numbers GameA simpler Numbers Game this week. Instead of looking at stats, I decided to examine the bags of the guys on the PGA tour. Specifically, the equipment of all the players who won tournaments this year. My motivation behind this is to look beyond the advertising and claims of the manufacturers about having the '#1 Driver on Tour." The following lists comprise every piece of golfing equipment used to win every PGA tournament this year. Period.

So what were the results? Read on to find out.

Driving: Distance vs. Accuracy

Jul. 14, 2005     By     Comments (3)

Damn technology today. It is making the game obsolete. Or is it? Guys on tour are hitting the ball longer and scoring lower and winning more money. Or are they? This issue has been a hot button for a while and only seems to be getting hotter. Companies, ruling bodies, snooty chairmen, and golf giants like Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman are lining up on sides blaming golf balls, equipment, and the tides… well, maybe not the tides, but you get my drift.

This week I'm going to look a little closer at a couple numbers to see which means more money and lower scores: driving distance or driving accuracy? Is a longer ball better for a PGA Tour player than a straighter ball? Let's find out.

THE Open

Jul. 7, 2005     By     Comments (2)

It's Thursday, which means that it's time for The Numbers Game again. It is also time for the third major of the year: The British Open. This time it is back at the Old Course at St. Andrews. Lots of bump and runs, punch shots into the wind, and 30-yard putts. There will be quite a variety of skills to admire and to watch. What I like most about the British Open is that Johnny Miller isn't commentating. Sorry, I still tend to feel this way in the weeks following the U.S. Open.

Back to the task at hand. For The Open, I decided to look into the past to see what types of players fared well. Were they long hitters? Were they accurate with their irons? Or were they better at putting? I was curious to see what the numbers said when looking at the top finishers from Opens past. I was also hoping this would possibly give us some insight into how this year's Open might pan out.

The Most Important Stats: Yours

Jun. 30, 2005     By     Comments (8)

Welcome to The Numbers Game. Over the following weeks I will try to extract some sense from all of the numbers in golf. There is more to golf than just +1, -1 or for the less fortunate, quad, triple, snowman… well, you get what I'm talking about. No need to bring those things up. I'm going to look at statistics such as Greens in Regulation (GIR), Driving Accuracy, Putts per GIR, etc. and others in future articles to dig deeper into the players on tour and how they are performing. I may extrapolate some data to make predictions or I may look into the history and leave the conclusions to you. Hopefully we'll all have some fun doing it.

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