I don't know about all of you, but numbers really tickle my fancy… especially new types of numbers! While watching the debut of The Golf Channel's coverage of the PGA Tour, I noticed they had a new number on their leader board. I came to find out this was their Win Zone statistical systems which output how the system thought each player would finish in the tournament based on the information it had at hand as well as two years prior.
The Numbers Game
You may consider yourself a fine player with your three handicap. Or perhaps you frequently play to your 15 handicap. You may even think that Tiger Woods could spot you a stroke per hole and you'd have a close match.
And you'd be right… if you were the three handicap. And Tiger would still probably win.
We've talked about how to calculate your handicap here at The Sand Trap before, but the handicaps of our favorite PGA Tour pros remain a mystery. Sure, we know they're in the "+" realm (which, oddly enough, means better than scratch while worse-than-scratch golfers have signless handicaps), but how far?
Last week's Numbers Game on Tiger and Phil was titled "Part One," so you knew more was coming. If you read the comments, you may have guessed what else was on its way. Erik suggested that averaging the entire field may show that Tiger plays the tougher fields, but that the numbers get a lot closer simply due to the fact that a PGA Tour field has 144 players, many of whom are ranked 300th or worse. Erik suggested that we look at the average rank of the top players in the field and the number of players ranked a certain rank or better.
I chose the number 30, so this week we'll look at the average rank of the top 30 players and the number of players ranked 30th or higher in the Official World Golf Ranking.
It's been said that Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods differ in schedule in one critical way: Tiger plays (and excels) at events with stronger fields while Phil Mickelson excels at weaker-field events.
I've compiled a list of statistics from last season which speak to this statistic. Bear in mind that one season is far from representative (particularly given Tiger's eight wins, two majors, and father's death which forced an extended break). To illuminate true patterns, an entire career (or at least, say, the most recent five years) would have to be examined. The manner in which I've compiled these numbers is assuredly a less than scientific way of determining which player is playing in the toughest events.
Welcome to my first The Numbers Game column. I'm David Mosher, a new staff member here at The Sand Trap, though many will know me as "underparnv" in our forum.
This first week I'll be talking about the Official World Golf Ranking. First, I want to explain how they work. Then I'll take a look at how they have affected the top ten in the past five years. We all know Tiger has dominated them with Vijay having a stint at the top, but what about the rest of the players? How have the rankings separated the top ten in points?
This will be my last Numbers Game for a while. I've got a few things taking up my time and will be stepping back. I'll be doing a review or two and hanging around, but The Numbers Game will be in the hands of another person come January.
That being said, I thought it would be good to hit some of the highlights over the past year and a half. This week it's the best of The Numbers Game.
Another edition of Nuggets for this week's The Numbers Game. I've stuffed the column full of numbers and tidbits I collected while perusing stats and columns around the web. From majors to the "other" Singh, this week should provide even a golf nut with a couple facts they weren't aware of.
2006 was marked by extrordinary play from a number of players. Some we've come to expect it from, and some we wouldn't. This week in The Numbers Game, I thought I'd show some facts and figures from these players and just how impressive and sometimes ugly it got.
I know there is still one tournament left. Sure the numbers may change a little bit, but that won't stop me from comparing 2006 to last year.
Is Driving Distance up? What about accuracy? Are the top performers in these stats making more or less money? These are just a few things I'll be answering this week in The Numbers Game.