Tiger Woods is an astounding creature. Let’s have a look at his statistics to see if we can determine why – and how – Tiger goes on being Tiger.

The Numbers GameI’ve been waiting to look at Tiger’s stats in awe. Well, the time has come. Tiger has had an amazing season and without a doubt and in my mind he has rightfully earned Player of the Year honors. If Vijay’s putting hadn’t left him at crucial points of the year, I might be talking more about him than Woods.

Let’s go down the list, shall we?

The PGA Championship: Part 2

Distance was a factor, but did not rule the PGA Championship. It is still all about hitting greens.

The Numbers GameWell, that was one of the better PGA Championships that I’ve seen in a while. I wish I could have watched the end of it, but like many other people, I was stuck at work checking the updates on the web. It went down to the wire with an up and down by Lefty at the 18th.

Now all the talk going into the PGA was about how the long hitters were going to dominate at Baltusrol. Phil did win and Tiger came back from a rough start and, in my opinion, probably would have at least been in a playoff if the round on Sunday hadn’t been suspended. Last week I even used driving stats to help predict who was going to win…which didn’t work out the way I thought. So what did the final numbers of the top 10 look like? Read on to find out.

The PGA Championship

Baltusrol is being called a beast this year. According to the numbers, Tiger should be able to tame it and win this year’s PGA but there are a few other golfers that could make a run at it.

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!

Fairways and Greens? That may not apply to today’s game. Looking at the numbers, golfers should change that line of thinking.

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?

Gary Player: Officially Senile

Gary Player thinks that there are three kinds of golf: amateur golf, pro golf, and tournament golf. Huh?

He’s back. I’m telling you these former golfing gods just can’t let it go. He said it back in May and in an article earlier this week, Gary Player states again that governing bodies need to pull back modern clubs and balls and that they are making a mockery of the sport. “What they have to do, and it’s unanimous among the pros that play golf and understand the game, is they have to cut the ball back.”


More Stats!

The PGA Tour’s stats website has a lot more information than I previously imagined. Let’s take a look at some of the more obscure stats on tour.

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?

Instead of crunching the statistics this week, we take a peek inside the bags of Tour winners.

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

What do the numbers behind driving tell us? Lower scores? More winnings? The answers may surprise you a bit.

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

Numbers from past Opens provide some insight into this how this year may play out.

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.