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Low scores in relation to par

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Does it matter to you whether or not a 59 is 11 under or 13 under. Also, do you think sometimes a higher score could be better than a 59, depending on the course and day of tournament. For example, was Sergio Garcias or Tigers 61 at Firestone on the weekend with tighter pins cut better than say Justin Thomas' 59 at the Sony Open?

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I think both the score as well as the score in relation to par matter. For example, 59 on a par 72 is better than a 59 on a par 70 course.  

I think there is some merit to a 61 being a better round than a 59 on an "easier" course, but that is mostly going to be subjective and difficult so assess for a couple reasons. 


Course yardage, fairway speed, green speed, even course shape, pin location, rough thickness etc all play a factor. If someone fades the ball and most of the pins are on the right, good chances are they would be able to attack more pins on that same course compared to someone that draws the golf ball.

Its difficult to just make a blanket statement about that, not all 61s are better than all 59s, it really has to be looked at and compared on a course by course, round by round basis.

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5 hours ago, klineka said:

I think there is some merit to a 61 being a better round than a 59 on an "easier" course, but that is mostly going to be subjective and difficult so assess for a couple reasons. 

 

I tend to disagree here. Lowest score wins. Also, usually when playing a Par 70 couse the PGA Tour usually knocks two good par 5's into long par 4's. Yardage is yardage. I would say shooting 59 on a par 72 is fantastic, but the scoring distances are usually longer on a par 70 tour course. 

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13 minutes ago, kpaulhus said:

I tend to disagree here. Lowest score wins. Also, usually when playing a Par 70 couse the PGA Tour usually knocks two good par 5's into long par 4's. Yardage is yardage. I would say shooting 59 on a par 72 is fantastic, but the scoring distances are usually longer on a par 70 tour course. 

Lowest score does win, but that doesnt automatically mean that a 59 on an easy course is a better round of golf than a 61 on a harder course. Shooting a 59 on my local muni course is way easier than shooting a 61 on a PGA course. A 61 at a US Open is much more difficult to accomplish than a 59 at the Sony Open.

I guess it just comes down to your definition of "better". In black and white terms of scoring, yes the lowest score wins. But comparing a 59 on one course and a 61 on another course isnt exactly comparing apples to apples. But in terms of difficulty of the round or the quality of golf that is required to shoot a certain score, that is where the subjectivity and opinion aspect come into play.

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1 hour ago, kpaulhus said:

I tend to disagree here. Lowest score wins. Also, usually when playing a Par 70 couse the PGA Tour usually knocks two good par 5's into long par 4's. Yardage is yardage. I would say shooting 59 on a par 72 is fantastic, but the scoring distances are usually longer on a par 70 tour course. 

That doesn't make any sense, Kyle.

A par 70 course has two long par fours. But… say they take a 500 yard par four and turn it into a 550-yard par five. Twice. Thus, par 72… a 59 is a better score on that course than on the one that's 100 yards shorter.


There are plenty of times a 61 is better than a 59. Just look at the 62 we saw shot this year at the British Open. Johnny Miller's 63 was better - he beat the average score by far more, and he was one of three scores below 70 that day IIRC.

Scores further from the standard deviation are better scores, in many ways, over just the "lowest score" overall.

Otherwise I'll shoot awesome scores playing the local par-32 course all day… with a few 260-yard par "fours".

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

That doesn't make any sense, Kyle.

A par 70 course has two long par fours. But… say they take a 500 yard par four and turn it into a 550-yard par five. Twice. Thus, par 72… a 59 is a better score on that course than on the one that's 100 yards shorter.


There are plenty of times a 61 is better than a 59. Just look at the 62 we saw shot this year at the British Open. Johnny Miller's 63 was better - he beat the average score by far more, and he was one of three scores below 70 that day IIRC.

Scores further from the standard deviation are better scores, in many ways, over just the "lowest score" overall.

Otherwise I'll shoot awesome scores playing the local par-32 course all day… with a few 260-yard par "fours".

I guess what I was getting at is if the Par 70 and Par 72 are the same lengths then I would think the 59 on Par 70 is better, right?

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Just now, kpaulhus said:

I guess what I was getting at is if the Par 70 and Par 72 are the same lengths then I would think the 59 on Par 70 is better, right?

Why?

Par is kind of irrelevant at that point.

I could call the same course a par 93 and it would still be 7132 yards or whatever. Par is kind of irrelevant, except that it resets the hole (i.e. a single hole playing 7132 yards would probably be about a par 30 or something).

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

A single hole playing 7132 yards would probably be about a par 30 or something.

OT, but that would be an interesting concept... 

Edited by CarlSpackler

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I think that to truly compare which is the better score it would have to take into account a number of things
a) as iacas stated, score vs what the field did that day - std dev, and to the next best scores
b) weather, did the score occur when the conditions changes significantly during the day - early vs. late (or even first vs last ones out)

And to go counter to the Par doesn't matter point - they could stretch a course out and add 100-150 yards to say 4 par 4's, make them par 5's and call it a par 76 course. Of course 150 extra yards means that the long hitters would have to play a 7 or 8 iron into those holes instead of a wedge - but they could score a -15 or -16 for the round; if their putter was hot.

And to the idea of playing the course as 1 long hole - in reality you'd need to play 1 hole out and 1 hole back. But I think I could cut the corner and get home on the 1st hole in 12 shots and make a birdie for a quadruple albatross {wink}

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19 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

Doesn't the course rating come into effect?   

No, it an individual score not a handicap. And plus the rating is different when set up with PGA Tour.

Edited by Seals

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I came up with this formula: total par < 1% of total yardage = longer (and harder) while total par > 1% of total yardage = shorter (and easier). For example, the PGA Championship (Quail Hollow) was 7,600 yards at par 71 which follows the former equation while the Travelers Championship (TPC River Highlands) was 6,841 yards at par 70 which follows the latter equation. Somebody was bound to shoot 58 at TPC River Highlands, the course is short in relation to par and the course rating was 73 so yeah... but I won't acknowledge any modern low scores until somebody shoots 14-under.

Edited by golfdu

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I think that a low score should be compared to what the whole pga tour would shoot on that day in average, not the current field or the course par or rating.

Examples:
A- It`s better to shoot 60 when the rest of the field shoot 70 in average than shooting 59 when the rest of the field shoot 65 in average.
B_ It`s better to shoot 5 under the field when the field it`s filled with top100 players than shotting 5 under the field while the field it`s filled with players not in the top100. 

I think doing math between both aspects in the examples will give us a better perspective of how low a round was and you can compare it to another round of another tournament of another year.   

 

 

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