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Database Head

Jordan Spieth's spectacular 2015 season now looks like a fluke that is unlikely to ever happen again

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http://www.businessinsider.com/jordan-spieth-2015-season-unrealistic-2016-9

Some really good points, worth the read.  Not a Spieth guy at all, in fact one of the golfers I actively root against, but.........  He is one of the greatest at the moment, but the expectations put on this kid are completely overblown.

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Not a great article. Very shallow analysis. Only uses a tour trend from two years of driving distance vs. average score. Also left out Jordan's 2013 which was statistically stronger than 2014 (his worst year).

Besides distance is correlated with scoring, but much more weakly than GIR. It's great to hit it far, but far better to hit it far and straight. Jordan's strength at driving in 2013 and 2015 was slightly above average distance (not losing ground) with excellent positioning for the approach. Then he further gained strokes by top 20 iron play. The iron play is down this year, but he's still a top scorer since he's gaining even more strokes with the putter.

In terms of golf excellence, it's where the dots are positioned along the vertical axis, not the horizontal one that matters. Sure above average distance helps your scoring by getting easy birdies on par 5's, but if you don't convert those opportunities you still don't score better despite being longer. The chart proves Jordan is superior at scoring to many longer players despite their relative distance advantage.

What we'd see if 2013 was included that Jordan is consistently in the top 10 scorers. Sure a season like 2015 raises unrealistic expectations, but it's not like it was a flash in the pan. He's clearly shown top level talent across several years. He's a solid ballstriker with proven top level putting (which he could still improve on from short range).

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Found some interesting stats, he really is ALL putter/around the green.  

http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.103.html  142 Total GIR's 

http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.199.html 42 GIR's other than FW.  Surprisingly enough a few years back I noticed a few of his distances, 150, 175 etc he was actually close in prox to the pin from the rough than the fairway.  We aren't talk just 4-5 opportunities either, he was well in the 20's-30's, enough swings to sort of paint a picture.  

http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02330.html T110 less than 100 @  84.66

http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.078.html T155 75-100

http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.079.html 34 < 75 S

http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02332.html 100+ 126 

Solid ball striking is not showing up in these stats.  

He has that abbreviated back swing with what looks like a very strong grip, almost like amature would use to offset an over the top downswing.  He also checks his left elbow out like the classic chicken wing, I can't believe he will ever be good at ball striking with that swing.  It doesn't appear as much on his woods, but mid irons and most certainly his wedges the left elbow creates that 90 L after impact.  

What are you thoughts on his game?  

My first reaction is all putter, but I am a realist and understand he has other parts of his game that are top notch as well.  He is much better around the green.  He is ~30 in sand saves http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.111.html and 5th!!! in scrambling http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.130.html.  

Interesting player, my eyes tell me he has no business hanging with guys like Adam Scott, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson or Rory but he does..... 

@natureboy check this.  http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.114.html  2 in birdies on par 5's.  That really caught me by surprise especially with the average length and poor GIR.  

Edited by Database Head

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9 hours ago, Database Head said:

Found some interesting stats, he really is ALL putter/around the green.  

Solid ball striking is not showing up in these stats.  

He has that abbreviated back swing with what looks like a very strong grip, almost like amature would use to offset an over the top downswing.  He also checks his left elbow out like the classic chicken wing, I can't believe he will ever be good at ball striking with that swing.  It doesn't appear as much on his woods, but mid irons and most certainly his wedges the left elbow creates that 90 L after impact.  

What are you thoughts on his game?

@natureboy check this.  http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.114.html  2 in birdies on par 5's.  That really caught me by surprise especially with the average length and poor GIR.  

Rather than listing links, it might be more informative to write out explicitly what you think is significant. Could not decipher some of your codes and acronyms. Generally you'd probably be better off just using the SG categories (tee, approach, around green, and putting) to compare relative strengths / weaknesses.

I don't think he's a top ballstriker (excellent), but a solid ballstriker (average to very good). In his worst year of ballstriking '14 he still gained 0.320 strokes on the field from long game. This year he's a better driver in strokes gained off the tee than Day who drives it miles past him. Accuracy / consistency matters. Years when his long game is on, he's very accurate and long enough not to lose too much ground.

Pretty swings don't necessarily translate into results. I'd take Jordan's or Furyk's game with their funky swings over Robert Rock's. They clearly work and produce good results. Furyk is generally deadly on approach, but does lack distance for longer courses and isn't very strong out of the rough.

My thoughts are that Jordan's game is clearly not ALL putting / short game. His relative strengths are weighted toward short game, but he's generally a solid all-around player gaining strokes in each facet of the game and really shining in others. Of the original 8 qualifiers for Ryder Cup, he was 4th in long game strokes gained ~ 0.1 strokes / round behind Koepka. Clearly not in DJ's league there, though. Just solid. 

One aspect that may not show up in statistics other than scrambling is his creativity as a shot-maker. Remember at his blown Masters the 18th hole when he was behind the Magnolia tree? He intentionally hit a smother hook to bounce it along the ground under the tree to take any chance of a branch deflection out of the picture. Gave himself a shot to force a playoff. Requires imagination and club control skill. He's not a one-dimensional player.

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Based on the title of the article I don't put a lot of faith into these predictions unless the author has also used his future seeing powers to make billions in the stock market and predict both major world and sports events.

 

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5 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

Spieth gets that putter going again he can win as much as he wants... It doesn't matter how bad you're striking the ball when you're draining 20 footers all the time...lol

I'm not so sure about the bold part.  When the 20-footers are for par, and not for birdie, he's not going to win a whole lot.  

That said, the path forward isn't generally smooth.  I find predictions like this to be more about filling up the demand for product than something that's actually informative.  It seems probable that a single outstanding season is an outlier, a fluke, until another outstanding season comes along.  If Spieth gets back  close to his 2015 form next year, I doubt the same author will be retracting this article in September 2017.  I doubt that anyone will even remember that he wrote it.  But he'll still have been paid for providing content for a webpage for at least one day.

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30 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I'm not so sure about the bold part.  When the 20-footers are for par, and not for birdie, he's not going to win a whole lot.  

That said, the path forward isn't generally smooth.  I find predictions like this to be more about filling up the demand for product than something that's actually informative.  It seems probable that a single outstanding season is an outlier, a fluke, until another outstanding season comes along.  If Spieth gets back  close to his 2015 form next year, I doubt the same author will be retracting this article in September 2017.  I doubt that anyone will even remember that he wrote it.  But he'll still have been paid for providing content for a webpage for at least one day.

Yeah, thats right. Its easy to write him off as a fluke. Especially since his game has looked horrendous at times this year.  Its sensational. Gets the clicks going. I would say his US Open win was a fluke, but i think theres other majors in his future. Speith just isn't going to be the Tiger killer a lot of people were hoping he would be. 

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Theres no such thing as a fluke year. Maybe a fluke win but not a fluke year. I think Jordans problem this year is hes put more pressure on himself and tried to get more distance off tee that he does not need. You cant fall into the distance trap because the other top golfers are hitting it farther. You play your game and not theirs.

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21 minutes ago, Aflighter said:

Theres no such thing as a fluke year. Maybe a fluke win but not a fluke year. I think Jordans problem this year is hes put more pressure on himself and tried to get more distance off tee that he does not need. You cant fall into the distance trap because the other top golfers are hitting it farther. You play your game and not theirs.

I think I agree with you. You can certainly label a win as a "fluke"...but an entire season? I don't think so.

Spieth is an amazing talent, and I'd be shocked if he doesn't have have an impressive career. Perhaps his record won't compare with Tiger...but maybe it will. I'm of the opinion that Spieth's biggest problem is the space between his ears. If he can get past that, he has unlimited potential.

It's also interesting that Database Head identifies Spieth as someone he roots against, but nobody criticizes him for that. Anytime I've noted that Tiger Woods is someone that I root against, I get jumped on as if I'd been convicted of being a child molester. Go figure.

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Dominating season after season is something that very few golfers have done and the ones that did have gone down as the very best in the game.  Spieth isn't Tiger or Jack and the golfers he's playing against are a lot better than the guys Jack and Tiger played against when they dominated.  

 

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1 hour ago, newtogolf said:

Dominating season after season is something that very few golfers have done and the ones that did have gone down as the very best in the game.  Spieth isn't Tiger or Jack and the golfers he's playing against are a lot better than the guys Jack and Tiger played against when they dominated. 

Well said. I agree Jordan doesn't seem to have the combination of relative distance edge (at least in Tiger's early years), consistently top iron play, plus putting that Jack and Tiger had. Trevino or Mickelson level, is more likely in the cards.

It's quite possible for him to repeat 2015 IMO as far as his stats. Results depend on how the other guys play. 2015 was his 2nd best driving season in SG and only .03 strokes per round better than this year. He's putting better than last year (he's improved in SG putting each year on tour) and he's still got room for improvement on shorter putt make %.

His iron play in 2015 was the best of his four seasons, beating 2013 by .14 strokes per round.

Short game in 2015 was the best of his seasons too, but only about .08 strokes per round better than this year.

His overall ballstriking was best in 2015, about .25 strokes per round better than 2013 and .32 strokes better than this year. The margin between his peak year when he put it all together and some of his other season's demonstrated level of skill doesn't seem like that much of a departure from what he's shown he's capable of. Three very strong scoring seasons (between 1.5 and 2.2 SG / round) out of his first four years on tour is very solid.

Peaking so well for each Major as in 2015, may be the harder part to repeat. The top ~ 5 guys (Day, DJ, & Rory) seem more competitively matched than ever.

Spoiler

While I agree fields are deeper than they used to be, I think Hogan, Tiger, Jack, Palmer, Nelson, etc. would have still won about the same in any era they played given the same relative equipment, tech training advantages / disadvantages of that era but there's a thread for that.

 

Edited by natureboy

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You get jumped on for rooting against Tiger because he has alot of lemmings that follow him.Lemmings are them yellow lil creatures that follow each other around like cows going to feeding time.I dont exactly pull for Jordan cause his actions can be irritating especially his commentary about why he misses a putt or shot but hes a good kid and its hard not to like him. The other guy we all know where his morals are.

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On 9/23/2016 at 0:55 AM, Database Head said:

Interesting player, my eyes tell me he has no business hanging with guys like Adam Scott, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson or Rory but he does..... 

@natureboy check this.  http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.114.html  2 in birdies on par 5's.  That really caught me by surprise especially with the average length and poor GIR.  

The idea he has 'no business' hanging with longer hitters conveys an impression that you think golf is basically a long-driving contest. That's why Broadie's SG is such an improvement over traditional stats. Sure distance is valuable, but there's a huge cost to being in the rough or in a 'recover' position on proximity / holding greens, which translates into longer first putts.

Jason Day stayed number one this year largely thanks to his putting. His long game in terms of strokes gained this year was actually worse than Jordan, so in terms of scoring he was a worse ballstriker in 2016. Adam Scott is a better ballstriker than either of them by a lot (~ 1.3-1.4 strokes per round), but gives away a lot of ground with short game and putting.

Jodan's success on par 5's doesn't surprise me. He hits long enough to reach some greens in 2 and he makes long putts and lags it solidly. His short game is sharp enough to give him a makeable putt if he misses or if he lays up.

Edited by natureboy

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10 hours ago, Aflighter said:

You get jumped on for rooting against Tiger because he has alot of lemmings that follow him.Lemmings are them yellow lil creatures that follow each other around like cows going to feeding time.I dont exactly pull for Jordan cause his actions can be irritating especially his commentary about why he misses a putt or shot but hes a good kid and its hard not to like him. The other guy we all know where his morals are.

Lol at you. Pathetic to root against someone. You have no clue of anyone's morals. Most people you think are good guys have skeletons. 

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8 minutes ago, StefanUrkel said:

Lol at you. Pathetic to root against someone. You have no clue of anyone's morals. Most people you think are good guys have skeletons. 

Thats true but im going by who got caught.

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