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Male Scratch Golfer on the LPGA Tour


iacas
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2 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

...

Having said that, if I did play and practice every day, starting the year where I am now, I would definitely improve (if my back allowed me to). I think I'd make a few cuts and if I got really hot one week I might be able to string some results together. I still don't think I'd be good enough to shoot 268 for four rounds. That's impressive. My vote is no. I do know a few people who could do that and would probably keep their cards, but they're not scratch.

Super interesting. Thanks for sharing. This is an honest question. I've only ever played with a handful of golfers around scratch, and know none well. And I am no expert of LPGA players or setup or the like either. I ask just out of curiosity. Like, I have played with enough ~scratch golfers to have some idea of how good they are, and I'm interested where on the range of as good to scratch man:median PGA the ratio of scratch man:median LPGA is.

You put together 3 straight 72s on fairly hard courses/setups during the one stretch you got to play a ton. Given the rating/slopes I'd guess those courses were in the 7000 yards +/- a few hundred range? One more and that's a 278 for a "tournament". You really think if your job were playing golf for a season that on your "hot" week on a 6,400 yard course you couldn't shoot 268?

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1 hour ago, mdl said:

Super interesting. Thanks for sharing. This is an honest question. I've only ever played with a handful of golfers around scratch, and know none well. And I am no expert of LPGA players or setup or the like either. I ask just out of curiosity. Like, I have played with enough ~scratch golfers to have some idea of how good they are, and I'm interested where on the range of as good to scratch man:median PGA the ratio of scratch man:median LPGA is.

You put together 3 straight 72s on fairly hard courses/setups during the one stretch you got to play a ton. Given the rating/slopes I'd guess those courses were in the 7000 yards +/- a few hundred range? One more and that's a 278 for a "tournament". You really think if your job were playing golf for a season that on your "hot" week on a 6,400 yard course you couldn't shoot 268?

One more 72 would be 288, not 278. The courses in question were about 7,000, 6,700 and 6,600 (this one has quite a bit of water around albeit that you have to hit a fairly poor shot to go in it if you're not careful). I certainly have loose shots that I hit that cost me, but we're talking 20 shots over a four round event and that's to the 120th ranked lady. That's a lot of shots. And it's shots that aren't easy to come by. The easy pickings are reducing bogeys. That's just a matter of tightening up a few swings around the place. Making more birdies is hard. Shooting 64 needs plenty of birdies. 

I didn't really understand what you meant in your first paragraph. I think that a scratch man is probably 8-10 shots a round worse than the median PGA tour player. They're playing longer, tighter courses with faster greens and the pins cut so tight to the edge. I played a tournament near me in July 2019 at Bethpage Black. They put the pins in the Thursday/Friday pin locations from the PGA Championship. I was on 7 or 8 when I found that out and I had been thinking my god these pins are ridiculous. If I had to play pins like that all the time my scores would definitely go up, so that 8-10 is probably conservative. I'd think that the very top LPGA players are probably 2-3 shots a round worse than a median PGA Tour player. Annika missed the cut by a stroke when she played at Colonial. That was picking the course that she thought gave her the best chance to do it. I'm not sure whether any women have made a PGA tour cut, but if they did I'd not expect them to finish much better than DFL if they did. Then 120th scoring average is about 4 shots worse than 1st (Nelly Korda in 2021 with 68.8 and 120th was 72.4). Looks like 78th, which is median was 71.5, so about three shots worse. Add those together and the median LPGA player is probably about 6 shots worse than a median PGA Tour player. I think that hangs together reasonably well with Erik's difference in mens vs womens course ratings for the same tees. That would make the median LPGA about 2-4 shots better than a scratch male. I'd think that passes the smell test too. On that basis, scratch man: median LPGA is about 1/3 of the scratch man:median PGA difference. Is that what you meant?

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1 hour ago, Ty_Webb said:

One more 72 would be 288, not 278. The courses in question were about 7,000, 6,700 and 6,600 (this one has quite a bit of water around albeit that you have to hit a fairly poor shot to go in it if you're not careful). I certainly have loose shots that I hit that cost me, but we're talking 20 shots over a four round event and that's to the 120th ranked lady. That's a lot of shots. And it's shots that aren't easy to come by. The easy pickings are reducing bogeys. That's just a matter of tightening up a few swings around the place. Making more birdies is hard. Shooting 64 needs plenty of birdies. 

I didn't really understand what you meant in your first paragraph. I think that a scratch man is probably 8-10 shots a round worse than the median PGA tour player. They're playing longer, tighter courses with faster greens and the pins cut so tight to the edge. I played a tournament near me in July 2019 at Bethpage Black. They put the pins in the Thursday/Friday pin locations from the PGA Championship. I was on 7 or 8 when I found that out and I had been thinking my god these pins are ridiculous. If I had to play pins like that all the time my scores would definitely go up, so that 8-10 is probably conservative. I'd think that the very top LPGA players are probably 2-3 shots a round worse than a median PGA Tour player. Annika missed the cut by a stroke when she played at Colonial. That was picking the course that she thought gave her the best chance to do it. I'm not sure whether any women have made a PGA tour cut, but if they did I'd not expect them to finish much better than DFL if they did. Then 120th scoring average is about 4 shots worse than 1st (Nelly Korda in 2021 with 68.8 and 120th was 72.4). Looks like 78th, which is median was 71.5, so about three shots worse. Add those together and the median LPGA player is probably about 6 shots worse than a median PGA Tour player. I think that hangs together reasonably well with Erik's difference in mens vs womens course ratings for the same tees. That would make the median LPGA about 2-4 shots better than a scratch male. I'd think that passes the smell test too. On that basis, scratch man: median LPGA is about 1/3 of the scratch man:median PGA difference. Is that what you meant?

That's exactly what I meant. Thanks! Super informative breakdown!

And... I'm embarrassed about the bad arithmetic 😬 When I was thinking of it as a 10 shot improvement, with the courses being shorter, it felt harder to believe it was so unlikely.

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4 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

I'd think that the very top LPGA players are probably 2-3 shots a round worse than a median PGA Tour player. Annika missed the cut by a stroke when she played at Colonial.

As you noted that was a hand-picked course that gave her the best chance for success. And she was an all-time great.

4 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

Add those together and the median LPGA player is probably about 6 shots worse than a median PGA Tour player.

The top 30 are six shots worse. The gap grows from there.

The LPGA Tour is nowhere near as deep.

The Symetra Tour is significantly weaker than the KF Tour.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

As you noted that was a hand-picked course that gave her the best chance for success. And she was an all-time great.

The top 30 are six shots worse. The gap grows from there.

The LPGA Tour is nowhere near as deep.

The Symetra Tour is significantly weaker than the KF Tour.

2021 scoring averages on the PGA Tour, the 98th ranked player (there are 196 on the list, so he's median) had a scoring average of 71.1. Jon Rahm had a scoring average of 69.3, so roughly 2 shots a round better. LPGA numbers for top 30 range from 68.8 to 70.6, so about 69.7 on average. If the median PGA tour player is 6 shots better than that, then their scoring average would be about 63.7, which pegs Rahm at 62. I know he's good, but I find it a stretch to imagine he would average 62 on LPGA tour courses. Comfortably believe he'd shoot 62 with some regularity, but I'd think there would be more 65s and 66s than 58s and 59s.

I agree that the LPGA tour is nowhere near as deep (that's pretty clear from the scoring averages where the men 1.8 strokes goes from 1st to 98th and the LPGA it goes from 1st to 30th) and the Symetra Tour is well weaker relatively than the KF Tour. 

All that said, if you stuck the LPGA top 30 players on PGA tour courses, the scoring difference would be much higher and probably would be 6 shots comfortably from top 30 LPGA to median PGA Tour. But given that we are talking here about a male scratch playing on the LPGA tour, it seems reasonable to me to make that comparison on LPGA tour courses, not PGA tour ones.

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It’s not linear.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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On 7/29/2009 at 11:13 PM, iacas said:



I am impressed with the consistency of the LPGA players. They rarely hit the ball crooked... but I think the guy's length advantage could help here. If he can hit 3W the majority of the time, and less clubs into greens with a smoother swing, I think he too could be awfully consistent.


What do you think?

I am trying to reconcile the 3 wood consistency off the tee discourse with this:

On 11/7/2021 at 9:18 AM, iacas said:

There's a misperception in golf that by hitting 3-wood, you're often making the "smarter play." After all, everyone knows you give up distance:

Driver-v-3-wood-off-the-tee-distance.jpg

So, golfers know that they're going to have an extra two to three clubs in, but they believe that they'll hit the fairway more readily, and thus, be in a better position to score well on the hole. In reality…

driver-vs-3-wood.jpg

Golfers hit the fairway about 1% more often.

In essence, the only time to hit 3-wood instead of driver off the tee are when (assuming you don't have the driver yips or something bizarre):

  • Driver will go too far and will reach trouble that you can stay short of with the hybrid.

That's it. I know I made it a list, but doing so amused me. 😄

Now, sure, there are rare folks who can "draw" their 3W but can't draw their driver, and on sharper doglegs maybe they have to hit a draw. But like those with the driver yips, those people are rare, and they probably can't draw their 3W as reliably as they think, anyway.

The driver is the most forgiving club in the bag. Sure, it has the most potential to go offline, but the 20-30 yards the 3W costs you do NOT make up for a 1% increase in fairways hit. Particularly since the shorter shots should find more than 1% more fairways just by the nature of them traveling less distance. I rarely see people cold top it off the tee with their driver — the thin ones usually still go 200 or so. But I have seen people top the ball 20 yards with their 3-woods while trying to "do the smart thing."

 

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6 hours ago, Esox said:

I am trying to reconcile the 3 wood consistency off the tee discourse with this:

In what way?

You quoted an entire post.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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17 hours ago, iacas said:

In what way?

You quoted an entire post.

One post says the LPGA players rarely hit the ball crooked, but with his length the guy would have an advantage because he could hit the 3 wood most of the time for consistency.

Yet the other post says to hit the driver, because 3 wood consistency is a fallacy. 

Unless I am misreading these posts........

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8 hours ago, Esox said:

One post says the LPGA players rarely hit the ball crooked, but with his length the guy would have an advantage because he could hit the 3 wood most of the time for consistency.

Yet the other post says to hit the driver, because 3 wood consistency is a fallacy. 

So, two things.

  1. Did you notice the dates of the posts? 🙂
  2. Did you notice how the post said "swing smoothly"? Even if the stats are what you'd expect, a smooth swing could change those stats.

Beyond that, I'll refer you to the post I made a week ago:

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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11 hours ago, iacas said:

So, two things.

  1. Did you notice the dates of the posts? 🙂
  2. Did you notice how the post said "swing smoothly"? Even if the stats are what you'd expect, a smooth swing could change those stats.

Beyond that, I'll refer you to the post I made a week ago:

How the heck did a post from '09 hit the top of my feed? That explains it. LOL

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  • 2 weeks later...

For me the hardest challenge the scratch golfer would have is putting together 4 good rounds.  No doubt our hypothetical guy can play one or even two good rounds, but can he consistently shoot 4 under par rounds.  If he can do that may get close to the top of the leaderboard, but winning gets a lot harder.  If he can't be consistent can make cuts maybe.  Honestly, winning on the LPGA tour would be difficult.  The best lady golfers are very good indeed

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22 minutes ago, pganapathy said:

For me the hardest challenge the scratch golfer would have is putting together 4 good rounds.  No doubt our hypothetical guy can play one or even two good rounds, but can he consistently shoot 4 under par rounds.  If he can do that may get close to the top of the leaderboard, but winning gets a lot harder.  If he can't be consistent can make cuts maybe.  Honestly, winning on the LPGA tour would be difficult.  The best lady golfers are very good indeed

Most everyone agrees to the talent level of the LPGA. What gets tiresome is the comments and/or attitude regarding the comparison to the PGA. We can all respect the LPGA and recognize their talent.
But when that starts to bleed into comparing with the PGA, it gets annoying real fast. Things like, ‘ Inbee Park is top three if not the best putter out there, and that includes the men.’ No she’s not. ‘Lexi Thompson  really smashes that driver. She’s a long hitter even for the men’s standard.’ No she’s not. So when these attempts are made by various LPGA players to play with the men it’s just plain silly. 
The commercial were Lexi says to the camera regarding Phil Mickelson and driving, ‘ hitting it past this guy.’ Yeah. Ok. It’s wrong to insult and mock the LPGA players. But it’s just as disingenuous to promote the ladies as being competitive with the PGA. They’re not. And that’s not a problem. It’s just the way it is.

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14 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Most everyone agrees to the talent level of the LPGA. What gets tiresome is the comments and/or attitude regarding the comparison to the PGA. We can all respect the LPGA and recognize their talent.
But when that starts to bleed into comparing with the PGA, it gets annoying real fast. Things like, ‘ Inbee Park is top three if not the best putter out there, and that includes the men.’ No she’s not. ‘Lexi Thompson  really smashes that driver. She’s a long hitter even for the men’s standard.’ No she’s not. So when these attempts are made by various LPGA players to play with the men it’s just plain silly. 
The commercial were Lexi says to the camera regarding Phil Mickelson and driving, ‘ hitting it past this guy.’ Yeah. Ok. It’s wrong to insult and mock the LPGA players. But it’s just as disingenuous to promote the ladies as being competitive with the PGA. They’re not. And that’s not a problem. It’s just the way it is.

This kind of thing happens a lot. I remember when Ronda Rousey was undefeated. There were actually people who said she could compete with the best male MMA fighters! Huh? It was ridiculous. And it's not just limited to a male/female thing. Almost every year when Alabama is undefeated, I hear barstool talk about how Alabama could beat half the NFL teams or words to that effect. People love hyperbole. 

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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The Hyper Bowl...there's an idea.  

In der bag:
Cleveland Hi-Bore driver, Maltby 5 wood, Maltby hybrid, Maltby irons and wedges (23 to 50) Vokey 59/07, Cleveland Niblick (LH-42), and a Maltby mallet putter.                                                                                                                                                 "When the going gets tough...it's tough to get going."

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1 hour ago, pganapathy said:

Honestly, winning on the LPGA tour would be difficult.

Nobody's ever said the guy would or could win, not even 12+ years ago when this topic was started.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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1 hour ago, Piz said:

The Hyper Bowl...there's an idea.  

I'm sure I could compete in that. ... I say that after my fourth cup of coffee. 

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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7 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I'm sure I could compete in that. ... I say that after my fourth cup of coffee. 

It promises to be the greatest thing...EVER!...to have not happened yet.

In der bag:
Cleveland Hi-Bore driver, Maltby 5 wood, Maltby hybrid, Maltby irons and wedges (23 to 50) Vokey 59/07, Cleveland Niblick (LH-42), and a Maltby mallet putter.                                                                                                                                                 "When the going gets tough...it's tough to get going."

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