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ScouseJohnny last won the day on April 2

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111 Multiple Major Winner

About ScouseJohnny

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  1. ScouseJohnny


    No, you're quite right. And I was wondering how others master this strange art. The office brings distractions, too, of course - but one can legitimately place a sign on the door that says, more or less, "Working: leave me alone!"
  2. ScouseJohnny


    Has anyone here ever worked out how to master telecommuting? I have a desk and some dedicated workspace at home. But my wife yells because the coffee machine isn't working, the bath isn't draining, she's had an argument with her sister on the phone and needs to talk, can we order this from Amazon? The dog sits there looking glum because in her mind we should be out hiking; Jehovah's Witnesses knock on the door and won't take a polite "Sorry I'm not interested" for an answer (no joke, that actually happened, today), next door's kid is practicing for Wimbledon against our shared garden wall...tennis ball hits wall, rhythmically, for hour after hour. I appreciate the gesture on the part of my boss as I work on my department's annual report. Tomorrow morning, 6.45am, I'm going to be back in the office. Life is more productive there. And I thought the biggest distraction with telecommuting would be the temptation to go and play golf. It honestly never crossed my mind. I was too busy and stressed out to think about golf.
  3. ScouseJohnny

    Tiger vs. Phil Match Play Showdown for $10M

    Next up, Faldo vs Price?
  4. If you're going to say it, say it. None of this "A source in the locker room suggested...." crap, months after the event. If he's confident in his accusation, then I commend him for making it. At least this way the target of his accusation can refute it, if he wishes, publicly.
  5. In that case bin the thing, go to a pro shop or a Dick's or somewhere, try a few putters and see how you get on. It needn't be an expensive club - but a mallet (with a square face) may inspire confidence...
  6. In many ways, I think, a putter is the club in the bag that is most like a snooker (pool) cue. World championships in those sports have been won with old $30 cues with a twist in them, because they felt right to their owners. How's your putting - with this old putter? That said...yeah, the face should be square.
  7. ScouseJohnny

    Strength and Depth of Field in Jack's Day and Tiger's Day

    It's an interesting question, and no, they did not make a data adjustment for equipment. If the equipment changes were a statistically significant factor, you'd expect to see "stepping" in the graph. In other words, I'd guess you'd see a sharp improvement in performance as persimmon gave way to steel, steel to modern, oversized drivers, etc. As you said, big evolutions in equipment tend to look seismic, not gradual (you mentioned a significant advance around 1995). But there's no stepping in the graph - it's a smooth curve indicating steady, gradual improvement in golfers' performance, which then begins to plateau post-2001. Others like @iacas are far better placed than I to explain why professional golfers have improved so much over the past 50 years. Better instruction methods? Improved scholarships for young golfers? I don't know. Equipment may be a variable in the overall analysis, but it doesn't stand out as a statistically significant factor in overall improved performance for professional players. The big limitation in the study I mentioned is that it drew its data from one competition played on one course. You'd have to re-run the methodology over the three other majors, as a start. However, I'd be surprised if the results were dramatically different. But it's a nice afternoon, and one happily free of work. Time for a quick nine!
  8. ScouseJohnny

    Strength and Depth of Field in Jack's Day and Tiger's Day

    The question in this thread intrigues me. I try to ignore it, but occasionally struggle to do so. It's not so much (for me) whether Tiger is/was "better" than Jack or vice versa, but the exercise in quantitative methodology it could really present for people with the time and inclination to do it (I might have the latter, but certainly not the former), and it seems that many here have both. To my mind, you are comparing the performance of two outliers relative to their fields. That's always the crux of it. In other words, if you have a hypothesis (I don't, by the way), that Nicklaus was a better golfer than Woods but was playing in an era when the overall standard of professional golf was lower than in Woods's time, then Nicklaus's outlier status vs the field, must, logically, be higher than was the case for Woods. In other words, under that hypothesis it's not Jack's fault that he had mediocre competition, and he played his own game irrespective of the field. Statistical analysis of some significance from 2002: Chatterjee, S., Wiseman, F., & Perez, R. (2002). Studying improved performance in golf. Journal of Applied Statistics, (8). 1219. If you seek out the article on Google Scholar, it's actually quite fascinating. It only used scores from the Masters as its data source (which is, admittedly, a limitation), but still, looking at the standard deviation and entropy, the statistical conclusion is: These results indicate a remarkable improvement in performance as revealed by measures of central tendency, variation and shape. The mean and the median scores have declined as have the standard deviation and the entropy of the distribution. The coefficient of variation has also declined. These all indicate improved performance and increased competition. Finally, the shape characteristics of the data reveal that the distributions over time have remained symmetric, while also showing vanishing tails that increase the peakedness of the distributions. Increased peakedness (through decreasing kurtosis) is again a clear indication of improved competition among the top players. Thus golf, like other sports, has shown dramatic improvement in the quality of play over an extended period of time. When I first weighed in on this thread years ago, I argued that you only move in your own times, and hence it's unfair to cross-compare eras. I was quite wrong, in hindsight. The emotional response of someone who had a preference for Nicklaus for emotional reasons (he was my Dad's sporting hero); allowing the emotional to cloud the analytical. Of course one can cross-compare eras. The standard of professional golf has improved dramatically since Nicklaus's era - that is what the statisticians in the article I cited showed (again, based upon Masters' data only). If Nicklaus had the misfortune to be an exceptional outlier in an era of (relatively) mediocre golf, then we would expect to see Jack being far above (his) field. I haven't done the work viz-a-viz Jack vs Tiger relative to their respective fields. As I recall from the Jack/Tiger thread, others have. And, as I recall, that data does not show that Jack beat his fields by a far greater extent than Tiger beat his? If anything, it's the other way around? Meaning Tiger beat better golfers by better margins of victory. One last comment, and then I'll shut up on this for another decade. The "peak" discussed in the 2002 article is also fascinating. The charts level off, indicating that peak performance is approaching, which makes it much harder for an outlier to emerge. It will be interesting to see whether golf produces another Tiger or Jack. My guess would be not. At present, it seems to produce many different major winners, drawn from a condensed, high quality field. I'm sure this just regurgitates arguments many others have made here. But the basic reality seems to be that, during the peak of his career, Woods beat better golfers by better margins of victory than Nicklaus did at the peak of his. What that actually means is probably the topic of the Jack vs Tiger thread, rather than this one, but those are waters where I choose not to tread.
  9. A fair point. I mentioned I have objections. I shall not list or discuss them here.
  10. No. Mostly because I feel very uncomfortable being a tourist in a socio-economic bracket that isn't my own. I don't enjoy Country Club golf for that reason. Something tells me that Mr. Trump isn't providing the muni golf or low key public course experience. As a humble college prof, I couldn't afford or bring myself to pay the green fees for a Trump course in any case, so the point is moot. I'll demur from mentioning political objections to becoming a customer of Mr. Trump.
  11. ScouseJohnny

    Music on the Course - When did this become a thing?

    I guess golf is many things to many people. Personally, in a world full of human-made noise, a big part of golf for me is the fact that is played in an (admittedly, adapted), natural environment - but that's still outdoors in what amounts to a huge park. I want to hear birdsong and not much else.
  12. ScouseJohnny

    RIP Hubert Green, Peter Thompson

    Australia's finest spin bowler, who then commentated on cricket for what felt like the next 150 years. Bit of a legend, all things considered. Edit: good golfer, too. I watched him and Norman in a pro-am at Gleaneagles around 1985, when I was a kid.
  13. ScouseJohnny

    RIP Hubert Green, Peter Thompson

    Next you'll be telling us Richie Benaud got on your tits as well.
  14. And some antivenin, preferably one that works for water moccasins, unless you're damned handy with that machete. Or, alternatively, buy the poor man's prov1. Noodle Soft. A buck a ball at Wallymart.
  15. ScouseJohnny

    RIP Hubert Green, Peter Thompson

    A nice obituary of Thomson, from the press in his home country: https://www.theherald.com.au/story/5483174/thomson-the-golfer-who-was-truly-world-class/ Why it's a good obituary, I think, is because it documents the man's life in the times in which he moved. He was, after all, a non-US golfer who began in the pre-Arnie days of professional golf (a time very few people can still directly recall). Thomson and Palmer were almost exactly the same age, they were born a month apart in 1929. That certainly seems to have had a significant impact on how he approached his profession. He played in the US for a couple of years in the early 1950s, but the Commonwealth ties between Australia and the UK were, I think, likely closer in the 1950s than they are today, the British and the Australians have a lot of shared history in sport (Thomson had been a keen cricketer in his youth), and he turned to the UK, and subsequently to Europe, as the primary venue for his professional career. Even in the days before Palmer reignited the public's interest in golf as a spectator sport, and American purses grew bigger, it would have been very unusual, I think, for an American touring pro to base himself in the UK. But it was a decidedly less unusual decision for an Australian. I like reading about golf's history, and Thomson's life was that of a professional golfer from a bygone age, and something of an unusual story, even for those times.

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