Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
CraiginKSA

How accurate are touring pros?

18 posts in this topic

I was watching the golf on Friday.  Tiger was hitting his second shot into a par 5.  He had 257 to the flag, into the wind.  His ball landed on the green and rolled 1 YARD to the right of the pin!

The math on that shot says that he was less than 1/4 of a degree off-line - arctan (1/257)! (assuming he was aiming at the flag).  Obviously, he isn't that accurate on every shot as he missed the cut.  For that shot though, he was damn near perfect.

For a 300 yard drive, if they are just 2 degrees off line, that tranlates into a miss of 10 yards.  As some of the fairways are only 20-30 yards wide, that's not a great margin of error.

On that shot where he hit it in the bush and didn't apply the rule properly and was assessed the penalty, he was say 30 yards off-line on a 280 yard drive - still only 6 degrees! Even that shot that Rory hit behind the bleachers was say 30 yards off line on a 265 yard shot - (arctan (30/265) = 6.5 degrees).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Want to get rid of this advertisement? Sign up (or log in) today! It's free!

From PGA Tour statistics, from 225-250 yards, the best player last year, Davis Love, averaged 39 feet from the hole. Tiger Woods averaged 48 feet. So they rarely hit it to a couple feet.  But those are the ones you see on TV.

A good rule of thumb for a "tour quality" shot is 5%. So, from 200 yards, that would be 10 yards, or 30 feet.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be clear, very few fairways are only 20 or even 30 yards wide on the PGA Tour. The U.S. Open fairways are often thought to be the narrowest and they're still 23+.

I recommend this article: http://thesandtrap.com/b/the_numbers_game/angles_of_error .

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Johnny Miller had his caddie calculate half yardages, so Johnny could either have 150 or 150.5 He actually said this in a clinic I attended when I was a kid

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Originally Posted by mvmac

Johnny Miller had his caddie calculate half yardages, so Johnny could either have 150 or 150.5    He actually said this in a clinic I attended when I was a kid

Johnny Miller is kind of a tool, though. He spreads that little anecdote around whenever he talks about himself, which is often. He likes to think it needed to be done to match his peerless game, even though I don't remember him knocking too many within 18 inches at any time. I doubt his caddy really measured to the half yard considering laser rangefinders weren't really around yet.

As for fairways, it's worth noting that even though they average over 20y wide or whatever, the players are often aiming for a specific spot, often expecting a certain approach yardage. There are hazards in the way that make them effectively narrower or shallower, they need to get an angle at the green, and Pete Dye is a hardcore troll. Often though, the players aren't so concerned with hitting the fairway as they are with getting a clear shot with a short club at the green.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I am pretty sure I heard the same thing about greg norman. Personally I take it as a bit of joke.

Here is a question. Imagine you hit the ball at the exact same spot on the club at the exact same speed, how close together on average do you think it will land? Little things hitting the ball a little different (edge of dimple versus right on), wind, grass friction on launch, roll on land and so on would make me believe that worrying about sub  yard accuracy on anything over about 50 yards is a waste of brain cells.

Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

Johnny Miller is kind of a tool, though. He spreads that little anecdote around whenever he talks about himself, which is often. He likes to think it needed to be done to match his peerless game, even though I don't remember him knocking too many within 18 inches at any time. I doubt his caddy really measured to the half yard considering laser rangefinders weren't really around yet.

As for fairways, it's worth noting that even though they average over 20y wide or whatever, the players are often aiming for a specific spot, often expecting a certain approach yardage. There are hazards in the way that make them effectively narrower or shallower, they need to get an angle at the green, and Pete Dye is a hardcore troll. Often though, the players aren't so concerned with hitting the fairway as they are with getting a clear shot with a short club at the green.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted by CraiginKSA

I was watching the golf on Friday.  Tiger was hitting his second shot into a par 5.  He had 257 to the flag, into the wind.  His ball landed on the green and rolled 1 YARD to the right of the pin!

The math on that shot says that he was less than 1/4 of a degree off-line - arctan (1/257)! (assuming he was aiming at the flag).  Obviously, he isn't that accurate on every shot as he missed the cut.  For that shot though, he was damn near perfect.

For a 300 yard drive, if they are just 2 degrees off line, that tranlates into a miss of 10 yards.  As some of the fairways are only 20-30 yards wide, that's not a great margin of error.

On that shot where he hit it in the bush and didn't apply the rule properly and was assessed the penalty, he was say 30 yards off-line on a 280 yard drive - still only 6 degrees! Even that shot that Rory hit behind the bleachers was say 30 yards off line on a 265 yard shot - (arctan (30/265) = 6.5 degrees).

Does this take into account that pros do not hit straights shots?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this take into account that pros do not hit straights shots?

How does that matter? He's asking about accuracy only. (Well, he said accuracy although I think what he really meant was precision) Oh and not good with multiquote on mobile but x129 I agree with you regarding the half yard nonsense of Norman and miller. Way too many uncontrollable variables for somebody to claim that level of precision.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Originally Posted by CanuckAaron

Does this take into account that pros do not hit straights shots?

When you read Jack Nicklaus' stratgey for why he played that high fade his whole career, the bottom line was, if he hit a straight shot and missed by 10 yards, he would be 10 yards away from the pin.  If he aimed 5 yards left of the flag and the shot went straight it would be 5 yards left of the flag.  If he hit a 10 yard fade, then he would still be 5 yards away, but right of the flag.  If he hit that perfect fade, then he would be right on the stick.

So, yes, the pros don't hit it perfectly straight, but they are still very accurate.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted by iacas

To be clear, very few fairways are only 20 or even 30 yards wide on the PGA Tour. The U.S. Open fairways are often thought to be the narrowest and they're still 23+.

I recommend this article: http://thesandtrap.com/b/the_numbers_game/angles_of_error .

Erik, thanks for this great article!  I'm sending it to all my engineering buddies. Now I have scientific, trigonometric proof why I yip 3 footers all the time.  It's not me, it's the very nature of golf that's working against me!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted by mvmac

Johnny Miller had his caddie calculate half yardages, so Johnny could either have 150 or 150.5    He actually said this in a clinic I attended when I was a kid

There was a great quote/joke by Bernhard Langer about the yardages on sprinkler heads.  He asked, "is that to the front of the sprinkler or the back?"

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted by Golfingdad

How does that matter? He's asking about accuracy only. (Well, he said accuracy although I think what he really meant was precision)

Oh and not good with multiquote on mobile but x129 I agree with you regarding the half yard nonsense of Norman and miller. Way too many uncontrollable variables for somebody to claim that level of precision.

I thought it would matter because the curve will compensate somewhat for a shot that starts off line. If a shot is curved into a target it will actually increase the available target area because of the angle of approach to the given target. For example on a dogleg left if a right handed player hits a draw they are effectively providing themselves with a much larger target and margin of error than a golfer who plays a straight shot.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it would matter because the curve will compensate somewhat for a shot that starts off line. If a shot is curved into a target it will actually increase the available target area because of the angle of approach to the given target. For example on a dogleg left if a right handed player hits a draw they are effectively providing themselves with a much larger target and margin of error than a golfer who plays a straight shot.

You're right that they are providing themselves a larger margin for error but not a larger target. As far as the precision question goes, they are still aiming at the flag (well not always but they're aiming at some tiny spot). So just because they play smart and provide themselves the best leave if they miss, it doesn't really affect how much they miss by. OP should check out the touring pros track man thread for some numbers. Granted these are practice numbers but it gives some sort of idea. Especially Luke Donald's... He hits a handful if shots to a bunch of different distances and you can see just how good he is at hitting those. Ill link if when I get to an actual computer. :) EDIT: Here's the link: http://thesandtrap.com/t/54229/trackman-figures-from-some-tour-players/0_30#post_660229 Check out Luke's PDF in post #1. (Well, all of them really, but that one in particular is pretty cool)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Fairways hit % and Greens in reg stats are all you need to know. that's what stats are for.............

They're obviously pretty good.......but very human too.  They miss their share of shots too, just like us hackers.  LOL

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it depends on the club for me. For Someone like Phil who hits a 100 yard wedge shot, he's probably trying to hit an exact spot on the green, with the spin he wants to get the exact position he wants. A long iron, i think there aim might be something like one side of the green or another. They might aim at an exact spot, but there probably accepting a higher level of variance.

Best pro's average 30-33' to the pin from the fairway, so just saying. But there wedge game the best pro's are down to about 12'-13'

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I have played golf with several tour pros and to the average Joe out playing golf, touring pros are damn accurate.  Unless you are a very low handicap golfer already, play with someone who is a 2 or 3 handicap and remember that they are not good enough to make it on Tour.  Watch and see how much better they are than you are.  See how much more accurate they are.  Then think...this person is a 2 or 3 handicap and is not good enough for Tour. Then think...just how good and how accurate is a guy who is a +3 or so handicap.  Trust me...they really are that good and that accurate.  Yes, they will  hit errant shots but they are doing so under an extreme amount of pressure.  They are playing for their livelyhood, not just drinks afterwards or a few bucks in skins.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • 2016 TST Partners

    GAME Golf
    PING Golf
    Lowest Score Wins
  • Posts

    • This is a fundamental that is that ruins so many golf swings before they start. Let's look at why. Bending at the waist is physically easier - it takes less work from your legs to bend over and your body naturally avoids work.  The big problem is that you are out of balance by the time you reach the top of your backswing and worse... Your upper body weight is not over your legs which means a ground up swing is dead. Through your transition your weight needs to be firmly planted over your loaded legs so 1) you can linger in your transition in balance until your forward weight shift happens and 2) So that your lower legs are in a position of leverage to get your weight moving and to have enough spring to keep pushing until your weight has made it all the way to your left foot.  So, if you don't love your swing check for this setup flaw. So, many people who swing over the top don't realize they had no chance way back from their setup. 
    • Good topic. I voted breaking 80 is harder. Obviously the two are connected but if push came to shove I think more golfers could learn how to avoid making doubles than be taught or acquire the skills to break 80. Breaking 80 for many golfers would mean significantly raising the level of their games, while not making a double is more about avoiding the big miss and game planning/course management. More specific to the OP's question relating to a golfers that shoots in the low 80's and is trying to break through, it could be one or other, most likely a combo of both. For myself, like @The Recreational Golfer I've had more rounds in the 70's than double bogey free rounds so could you say it's "easier" for me to shoot in the 70's than avoid making a double? Yes and no, depends on how you look at it. Even though I messed up on one or two individual holes I had to play fairly solid golf the other 16/17 holes to break 80, IMO that's more difficult than avoiding making a double. Even on a round where I didn't make a double I had to perform at a consistent level for 18 holes to break 80. If you told me I had to play 10 rounds where I had to break 80 and 10 rounds where I couldn't make a double, I think the latter would be easier for me. 
    • Good to hear. An observation for you... When you start getting your lower body into it guess what?  You start doing work!  And that takes fitness.  Some people have an illusion of an effortless golf swing. But in reality, it's effortless for your wrists but more work for your legs and core.  So, keep is mind as you go from hitter to swinger your fitness, core, and lower body strength demands go up. 
    • I'll answer your question with another question: If you drop the 3H, what would you hit for a 215 yard shot, or even a 210 or 205 yard shot? Are you comfortable gripping down on your 4-wood to cut distance off of it by that much? I personally don't see much issue with keeping the 3H in the bag since it isn't actually hurting anything. You say the other alternative is to drop the 4-wood, but why do you feel that you must drop anything at all? It's okay to have a 10 yard gap. If it really concerns you, though, I would think that the best way to go would be to swap from a 4-wood to a 3-wood. This would increase the gap between your 3H and the next longer club without affecting the gap between the 3 and 4 hybrid, which seems to be a number you like better for a gap. I'm just a little confused why you'd drop down to 13 clubs if the hybrid isn't costing you strokes. I know I find hybrids easier to hit than a wood that I'm trying to hit shorter than usual. I absolutely hate to hit a 3/4 3-wood to cover the cap between a full 3-wood and my 3-iron, but the number for a 3/4 3-wood is such a rare distance that I'd much rather have consistent gaps up through a 3-iron than a big jump from a 4i to a 3H. In my case a 3H would hurt my game, but it doesn't seem like yours is doing you any harm and could be protecting you from an awkward 4 wood shot.
    • This might not be the most helpful for balls and gloves (though I do see golf ball deals pop up at least once a week), but golfwrx's classified section is a great place to get deals on a lot of stuff. I got my AD-DI shaft there for $130, along with my KBS shafts from 3-LW for another $150 for the set. The AD-DI was used for a week (didn't have a mark) and the KBS shafts clearly only ever had a grip installed on the 7-iron. Good deals there, at least from what I've found, but mostly on clubs and shafts (though they do have golf balls in their classifieds every so often).  The nice part about that is they also have a WTB forum, where you post what you want and people come to you. That's actually what I did for the iron shafts. I posted about what I wanted and I had about 7 responses to choose from within 24 hours, so it's pretty active. For golf balls other than ProV1's that would be your best bet for finding them.
  • TST Blog Entries

  • Images

  • Today's Birthdays

  • Blog Entries