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Papa Steve 55

Watching The Pros Putt With the Pin In…

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On 1/24/2019 at 1:53 PM, Papa Steve 55 said:

It just looks wrong.

Feels wrong doing it too, and the first round of the year one of my playing partners got all upset when I took the pin out claiming I changed the conditions of the putt 🤪

 

On 1/24/2019 at 6:05 PM, David in FL said:

Honestly, I find it more I’ve been watching them drop from knee height!

Although, I took my first drop from casual water inside a bunker today, and really appreciated dropping from the shorter height!

That and dropping for OB with the local rule in effect too.

It’s funny, now I have to change my avatar, because playing as it lies if even further from the new intent of the game now than ever. 😂

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21 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

No I don't care to revise my statements.

You said this:

6 hours ago, Righty to Lefty said:

… they are already have great distance control and so the putts they are making would be going in regardless of the flag being in or out.

I presented these stats:

2 hours ago, iacas said:

From 25-40 feet last year on the PGA Tour, there were 35,465 putts. Of those, 18,758 finished long. But again, of the 35,465, 17.9% finished more than 29" past and 8.3% (almost 3,000 putts just from 25-40') finished outside of 59 inches past the hole.

In fact, in 2018, on all putts outside of 10', roughly 11,000 finished 4' or further past the hole.

To me, those stats say that PGA Tour players do not always have "great distance control" and that any of those putts that hit the hole would have had a greater chance of going in had the flagstick been in the hole.

Hell, on putts of only 25-40 feet, ~3,000 of them finished five feet or more past the hole.

That's a helluva lot of putts that exhibited less-than-great distance control. Putts where the flagstick had the potential to help them.

21 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

The flag shouldn't sway a golfer one way or the other because what are the chances that you even hit it from anything outside probably about 10 feet… slim to none.

It's higher than "slim to none," and the general point here is… what have you got to lose by leaving the flagstick in? You only stand to gain.

21 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

In order for you to even hit the flag your putt had to be online to begin with and if you hit the putt with so much speed that it needed the flag stick to go in the hole in the first place then it was a bad putt to begin with.

Nobody's suggesting that leaving the flagstick in helps a putt that doesn't hit the flagstick. We're simply pointing out that a bad putt (one that's going too fast to go in) can go in with the flagstick in the hole. I'm not sure what you're missing here…?

21 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

Taking the break out of a putt reduces the capture rate of an already small hole to begin with and I don't agree with doing it.

And you get to make that call for yourself. Not everyone else is going to feel the same. Not with the information that's getting out there now.

21 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

You brought up some great stats but how many of those putts would have hit the flag stick and gone in?

They countered your statement that "they all have great distance control."

21 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

Probably not gonna provide that stat and if you did it would be minuscule?

On the PGA Tour, hundreds of putts per year meet these criteria:

  • Hit from outside 10'.
  • Don't go in.
  • Finish more than 4' behind the hole and inline with the middle portion hole.

You're talking about as many as 800 putts per year that meet those criteria. 800 putts that could have been aided by the flagstick, saving not just one but often two shots, as a good number of those were three-putted. And that doesn't count putts that slam into the back corner of the hole and pop up and stay within 4' of the hole, or putts that rebound out sideways and also aren't 4'+ past the hole. Including those putts would only raise that number, possibly into four digits.

21 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

You then used Adams Scott's good putting week to try and prove your point and I am frankly shocked.

No I didn't. You didn't read that correctly.

The Adam Scott bit was simply to point out that a relatively successful golfer at the highest level of the game intends to leave the flagstick in even on short putts where distance control is not a problem, because it gives him another advantage - more confidence on short putts. He wants it in, and in fact left it in for every putt he hit this week.

His stats this week were not why I included that information - his attitude and approach to leaving the flagstick in was, as he now feels he has an advantage he didn't have in 2018.

21 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

You just used his " one off" putting performance to act like he is magically a better putter because he leaves the flag in when I would bet the house that he regresses back to the mean in terms of his putting performance throughout the upcoming season. He had ONE good putting week and you used that as proof?  The nerve !!

This is hilarious coming from you… and again, you completely misread the point of that post. It wasn't at all about the week he had putting. It's about his mental approach to putting even short putts with the flagstick in. He's finding it advantageous, even on short putts for reasons beyond helping putts that are hit too firmly. That was the point of mentioning that, not to call out his putting stats for the week.

Derp.

21 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

Care to revise your statements? 

Not in the slightest.

Edited by iacas
clarified

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26 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

The flag shouldn't sway a golfer one way or the other because what are the chances that you even hit it from anything outside probably about 10 feet....slim to none.  

This statement is meaningless without defining "slim to none". I'll go ahead and define slim to none as less than 3% of the time (which is generous, slim to none could easily mean under 1% to some people) 

That means you are stating that PGA tour players hit the flagstick less than 3% of the time on all putts outside of 10 feet. 

That is factually incorrect. So far for the 2019 PGA tour season, on all putts outside of 10 feet, pros have made 15% of those putts, with some of the top players in this statistic making over 25% of their putts from outside of 10 feet.

If a player is making 15% + of their putts from over 10 feet, there is a MUCH higher chance than "slim to none" that they would be hitting the flagstick if they choose to leave it in.

 

34 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

 Being able to fix any imperfection on the green is far more important than putting with the flag in.  

There are multiple sources of data showing the benefits of putting with the flag in. Do you have any sources of data showing how being able to fix any imperfection on the green is more important than putting with the flag in?

 

Please stop stating things as facts if you don't have data to back up your claims.

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I personally enjoy seeing the pros do the same thing I do during my late October $7 after-5pm-walking rate rounds as I squeeze in 9 holes after work before the sun goes down.

A little over an hour of sunlight means not bothering with the flagstick and valet-jogs between holes.

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1 hour ago, Righty to Lefty said:

Being able to fix any imperfection on the green is far more important than putting with the flag in.  

I agree cleaning up imperfections is a good thing.  But so what? It's a totally tangential item.  These are NOT mutually exclusive rules changes.  You get to do BOTH.

Fixing marks is obvious to the benefit for anyone that's seen a ball roll over a smooth surface and a rough surface.

Anyone that understand physics, also the stick concept is obviously a benefit.  Any collision bleeds off energy from the ball that already got to the hole.  And for those skeptical of this, actual controlled studies show it.  There is no downside at all for any putt (that is not mentally/subjectively based).  You have 4 categories of putts.  

  1. The ball would never have hit the pin at all - This makes no difference.  So it doesn't hurt to have the pin in or out..
  2. The ball has good speed and falls in without the pin.  This makes no difference, ball falls anyway and the contact with the pin just takes off some of energy.  So it doesn't hurt to have the pin in - it helps to take off the energy, but it doesn't change the result.
  3. The ball has so much energy that it misses with or without the pin.  The contact bleeds off energy and the ball ends up closer to the pin - probably MUCH closer.  This is WIN situation (unless the deflection sends it sideway into a hazard of some kind).  (but in both cases I'd still suggest working on your speed control).
  4. The ball is in the energy realm where it misses without the pin but falls in due to the pin - I would suggest this is a good thing.

By the way - I'm listing these in the order that I think I'll see them - only based on my own play.....no other data.

I'm trying to visualize a chip or trap shot where a very unique bounce path lines up perfectly that hitting the stick changes the path from entering the back of the hole vs hitting the stick on the way down and bouncing back....trying to come up with some example of hurt.  But every single example that might hurt on a unique basis just fails if you think of it in terms of probability over multiple samples vs just single outliers....every one.

Edited by rehmwa

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On 1/24/2019 at 3:10 PM, turtleback said:

It will be interesting to see if it really has any measurable effect on scoring.  I'm sure it will be analyzed to death over the next few years and there should be plenty of data at the pro level.

My guess is that it will benefit ams more than pros.

For me it is just another thing golf has done the past few years to give more advantages to bombers. There is no question leaving the flagstick in benefits bad putters, taking the advantage away from good putters. The groove change, and now this makes the game easier for faster swing speed players. Sure they already had the advantage, but this gives them a bigger one.

Not to mention the anchoring thing is still a mess which the USGA has made unpoliceable. I played in a tournament last year, even I could tell he was anchoring, calling him out on it was hard, because I would have to call him a cheater. Would have made for some terrible conversation for the rest of the round. 

I think the USGA is trying, and many of the proposals for 2019 where pretty good, but not this one.

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2 minutes ago, mchepp said:

For me it is just another thing golf has done the past few years to give more advantages to bombers. 

Wouldn't that only be true if the bombers were significantly worse putters than shorter hitting players?

Player X is a bomber and an average putter

Player Y is an average distance hitter and a slightly below average putter.

Wouldn't this rule change benefit player Y more than player X since he is the worse putter?

Unless there is a direct correlation where the top bombers are also the worst putters, (there might be, I don't know if there is or isn't) I dont see how this gives more of an advantage to the bomber. It just gives the advantage to those that are worse at putting, regardless of how far they hit it off the tee.

 

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29 minutes ago, rehmwa said:

I agree cleaning up imperfections is a good thing.  But so what? It's a totally tangential item.  These are NOT mutually exclusive rules changes.  You get to do BOTH.

Great point.

29 minutes ago, rehmwa said:

I'm trying to visualize a chip or trap shot where a very unique bounce path lines up perfectly that hitting the stick changes the path from entering the back of the hole vs hitting the stick on the way down and bouncing back....trying to come up with some example of hurt.  But every single example that might hurt on a unique basis just fails if you think of it in terms of probability over multiple samples vs just single outliers....every one.

The stick does take up a little room, so a very small percentage of putts that are going just the right speed where they'd hit the back edge and lip in could hit the flagstick and, due to the direction in which they're diverted, not spend enough time over the hole to fall quite far enough to get down into the hole.

You could see this in my testing - toward the sides and at speeds where there was a chance the ball might still go in - but it's very rare and more than made up for by the putts that go in when they'd have missed.

(For example, if at a certain speed/distance from center, flagstick in might lead to 35/100 putts going in, and also 10/100 going in without the flagstick. So that means that some percentage of those 65 that missed with the flagstick would have gone in without the flagstick… but they're overwhelmed by the percentage of the 90 that missed without the flagstick that would have gone in with the flagstick. I think you know what I mean…)

19 minutes ago, mchepp said:

For me it is just another thing golf has done the past few years to give more advantages to bombers. There is no question leaving the flagstick in benefits bad putters, taking the advantage away from good putters.

That's not always the case, though.

I think, on the whole, the flagstick will benefit poorer putters more, but consider these times when a better putter benefits more:

  • Better putters are more likely to hit the flagstick from farther away.
  • Better putters are more able to take advantage of the flagstick for aiming from shorter distances (if they choose to do that, which they don't seem to be doing much at all).
  • Better putters may be better able to use the flagstick to help gauge distances, so even misses stay closer.

I still think those benefits are small compared to the benefits to poorer putters, but it's not a given by any stretch, IMO.

19 minutes ago, mchepp said:

The groove change, and now this makes the game easier for faster swing speed players.

The groove change made the game a bit more difficult for the longer hitters. Regular irons often had conforming grooves already, so a shorter hitter was already hitting an 8-iron with conforming grooves while the bomber was the one hitting a wedge, previously with non-conforming grooves and then the conforming ones. I think the groove rule hurt the bombers.

But it's off topic here, so that's all I will get into that.

19 minutes ago, mchepp said:

The groove change, and now this makes the game easier for faster swing speed players.

I'm with @klineka in that you haven't shown a strong correlation there at all. Seems like you're just assuming bombers are bad putters.

19 minutes ago, mchepp said:

I played in a tournament last year, even I could tell he was anchoring, calling him out on it was hard, because I would have to call him a cheater.

Again, off topic for here… but you failed to protect the field. He breached the rules and you let him get away with it.

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No doubt more pros will take notice with DeChambeau winning again and Adam Scott having one of the best putting tournaments of his career. Not saying leaving the flagstick in is the reason why but it'll have more players thinking about it.

1 hour ago, iacas said:

His stats this week were not why I included that information - his attitude and approach to leaving the flagstick in was, as he now feels he has an advantage he didn't have in 2018.

Yep,

gty-1080039314.jpg?w=640

SAN DIEGO — Adam Scott has gained strokes for four consecutive rounds with flagsticks resting in the Torrey Pines cups. “You could probably stroll through my career and not find four straight round…
Quote

“I’m learning as I go, trying to be objective to see if there’s benefit in it,” he said after his second straight 28-putt round. “Some of it’s psychological and more than just the pure science. I don’t know if that’s even provable.”

And just throwing this out there.

Quote

“You could probably stroll through my career and not find four straight rounds of strokes gained putting,” the 38-year-old Australian said after a Torrey Pines North 66.

It’s like there’s a backboard there,” Scott said. “If it’s a breaking putt or if it’s a straight putt, I can aim at [the flagstick] running off the vertical in the dead center of the hole. It’s a nice reference. If it’s a breaking putt halfway between, it’s easier to identify, “Oh it’s that’s left edge, that’s left center,” so the line is in between those two.”

 

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

It's higher than "slim to none," and the general point here is… what have you got to lose by leaving the flagstick in? You only stand to gain

I think this the best rebuttal to all of the arguments. The people that are choosing to leave the pin in are doing so because you only stand to gain a chance that a putt will drop. If it hits the stick so hard that it gets kicked out, it probably wouldn't have dropped with the flag out either. So why not leave it in even for the chance that it helps that one putt?? What are you losing?

Edited by TN94z

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1 hour ago, mchepp said:

For me it is just another thing golf has done the past few years to give more advantages to bombers. There is no question leaving the flagstick in benefits bad putters, taking the advantage away from good putters. 

44 minutes ago, klineka said:

Unless there is a direct correlation where the top bombers are also the worst putters, (there might be, I don't know if there is or isn't) I dont see how this gives more of an advantage to the bomber. It just gives the advantage to those that are worse at putting, regardless of how far they hit it off the tee.

30 minutes ago, iacas said:

I'm with @klineka in that you haven't shown a strong correlation there at all. Seems like you're just assuming bombers are bad putters.

This is somewhat off topic and might be better suited in a separate thread so feel free to move it if necessary, but check out the link below, I just made a quick scatterplot showing where each player finished in 2018 in both strokes gained putting and avg driving distance ranking. I'm not the best at statistical analysis, but I see nothing in the results that indicate that bombers are significantly worse putters than non-bombers, so like I said previously, I think the new flagstick rule benefits bad putters regardless of how far they hit it off the tee.

 

https://public.tableau.com/views/2018PGATourStrokesGainedPuttingRankvs_Avg_DrivingDistanceRank/Sheet1?:embed=y&:display_count=yes&publish=yes

Hover over each dot to see what player it represents. For instances where it was a tie, like two people with T14 for example, I just put them in the order they appeared on the list from the PGA Tour's stat website, so one is 14, and then second T14 is 15. (That was simply quicker than giving them both a 14)

Edited by klineka

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20 minutes ago, iacas said:

But Kevin, where is the best fit line and what's the R2 value? 🙂

Just like in my real-world job, I just build the visualizations with the data and let someone else interpret what the visualization is showing :-P

But now the scatterplot does have the trend line and if you hover over the line it tells you the R-Squared and P-Value, even though I have no idea what they mean. Guess I should have listened more in my college stats class :whistle:

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1 hour ago, klineka said:

This is somewhat off topic and might be better suited in a separate thread so feel free to move it if necessary, but check out the link below, I just made a quick scatterplot showing where each player finished in 2018 in both strokes gained putting and avg driving distance ranking. I'm not the best at statistical analysis, but I see nothing in the results that indicate that bombers are significantly worse putters than non-bombers, so like I said previously, I think the new flagstick rule benefits bad putters regardless of how far they hit it off the tee.

 

https://public.tableau.com/views/2018PGATourStrokesGainedPuttingRankvs_Avg_DrivingDistanceRank/Sheet1?:embed=y&:display_count=yes&publish=yes

Hover over each dot to see what player it represents. For instances where it was a tie, like two people with T14 for example, I just put them in the order they appeared on the list from the PGA Tour's stat website, so one is 14, and then second T14 is 15. (That was simply quicker than giving them both a 14)

Nice random looking plot. The only conclusion I have is the one you already mentioned. :-D

Interesting side note, about half the longest hitters are relatively small in stature...

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40 minutes ago, klineka said:

But now the scatterplot does have the trend line and if you hover over the line it tells you the R-Squared and P-Value, even though I have no idea what they mean. Guess I should have listened more in my college stats class :whistle:

R2 of 1.0 or -1.0 shows perfect correlation (directly or indirectly), while 0 shows absolutely no correlation at all.

The R2 value of your graph was, I believe, 0.015. So, @mchepp, not quite right. The game's longer hitters are about as likely to be a good putter as the shortest hitters. 😉

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So do we start putting an * next to new tournament records set with the pin in? How many shots are we talking about in a 72 hole event, and a years worth of events? Could it be a dozen? More? I think the reasoning that you leave it in is being confirmed even this early in the season. I've seen a bunch hit the stick and drop. I have yet to see one hit it and bounce away. Granted, these guys hit dead center most times.

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6 minutes ago, Papa Steve 55 said:

So do we start putting an * next to new tournament records set with the pin in?

No. Just as we don't put an asterisk for tournaments played under any other previous set of Rules.

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9 minutes ago, iacas said:

No. Just as we don't put an asterisk for tournaments played under any other previous set of Rules.

Oh I know. But I bet you some golf talking head  brings it up this year.

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