From yesterday's round. Approach to the green was a little long, and my ball was sitting on the back fringe. Large pile of coyote shit between the hole and my ball. The putt was right to left breaking so luckily my line was maybe 2-3 feet to the right of the turd, and there wasn't much chance of rolling into it, unless I hit a terribly offline putt, or got unlucky with a deflection off a bump in the fringe (which is quite beat up where my ball came to rest).
You're not supposed to change your vote. 😛
The problem with that is that the "shotgun pattern" doesn't account for the putts that go in. Yes, the distributions of both get larger.
Bobby should have studied probability more.
A putt going toward the hole, if mis-directed, can go left or right. Both result in a miss.
A putt that is missing the hole, if mis-directed, can go left or right. One may result in a make, the other is still a miss.
Bumps (if large enough to deflect the ball a little over an inch or so, and if close enough to the hole for a miss to become a make) have a negative outcome 100% of the time when the ball is going in, and a positive outcome 50% of the time when the ball is going to miss.
Or to put it in absolute terms, every bump on a ball that would be going in the middle has a negative outcome - it steers the ball farther away from the center of the hole, and every bump that steers the ball on a putt that's missing has a 50% chance of "helping" by steering it in the right direction.
Nope. You can join Bobby Jones in the statistics/probability class. 🙂
These bumps aren't knocking the ball feet farther away. They're not tees randomly stuck in the ground. They're just bumps on a putting green.
That's the kind of road you can lead yourself down when you don't just look at it logically. 😄
To the majority of you getting this one wrong…
Let's make an extreme example. You have one putter that makes 80% of his putts, and another that makes 50%. The gap is 30% or 0.3 strokes (1.2 versus 1.5).
You introduce enough randomness that 25% of the putts that were going to go in miss and 5% of the putts that were going to miss go in.
The gap is now:
0.8 * .75 + 0.2 * .05 = 61%.
0.5 * .75 + 0.5 * .05 = 40%
What was a 30% gap is now a 19% gap. The gap narrows.
The good putter is punished, even though he's punished at the same "rates" as the bad putter, at a higher "value" because he hits more putts that would have gone in, while the bad putter hits more putts that could potentially only be directed in.
To put it another way, there's a larger possible "negative" adjustment or change for the good putter and a larger possible "positive" adjustment or change for the bad putter.
This is true in pretty much* all cases: the more luck plays a role, the less skill plays a role.
* I'm a "never say never or always" kinda guy. I can't think of a time when an increase in randomness or luck also increases or at least doesn't reduce skill, but again… see the first sentence here in this asterisk.
Why? On 40 foot putts, they both don’t have much of a chance.
It’s the putts inside 15 feet that have the highest Separation Value.
So if a great putter makes 5 of 10 putts at 8 feet (tour average) on tour greens and he missed 1 or 2 more on crappy greens, his percentage changes more. The bad putter is missing more of those anyway, even on good greens.