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  1. I've been thinking lately about the short game and putting, specifically proximity to the hole from around the green. I don't actually know how close I should be getting to the hole at my skill level. Game Golf tells me I'm 97% < 5 yards within 25 yards (I wish they would break this down more), but let's say I average 12' from the hole. A PGA Tour pro makes ~30% of those putts. A Tour-level putter I most certainly am not; I might make < 10% of my 12' putts. I'm not scrambling at the rate I should be and I don't know if the problem is with my short game or my putting. If I don't hit it within 5-6', I don't have a realistic expectation of making the putt. I'd bet that means I'm 50% from about that distance. I know I have room for improvement in putting. My short game has gotten better to the point where I feel like I'm hitting the ball consistently well but I'm misjudging what it's going to do when it hits the green, so I feel like I could get it closer more often. So where's the point of diminishing returns? Do I spend more time on the short game and try to get the ball closer, or do I work on my putting and try to increase that make %? Is it even reasonable (for me) to expect to be within 12' from nGIR, or to make 25% of 12' putts? Given limited resources (time), what priority is going to affect scores the most?
  2. I started tracking my Strokes Gained in a spreadsheet for my past four rounds and here are my averages (I was a 6 hcp, now up to a 9): Tee: -3.19 Approach: -7.06 Short: -0.93 Putting: -1.67 (I've been missing 3-6 footers lately) Recover: -0.94 Wow. I knew my ball striking was bad, but not this bad. Yesterday I hit two tee balls OB, plus chunked an iron off the tee on a par 3. Wow. I guess the old adage "the best way to improve is to work on your short game" doesn't really apply to me. I've taken numerous lessons from different coaches trying to improve, but seems like I only get worse <sigh>.
  3. https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02438.2017.html. Below is a screenshot of 2017 leaders. Not exactly the "who's who" of 2017. These guys had over 85% of their drives classified as "good." The worst on tour had somewhere shy of 80%. When you compare that list to money leaders and to Strokes Gained/Tee to Green, you see very little similarity. See spoiler below for 2017. Why does this "Good Drive" statistic do so poorly in predicting overall success? Why doesn't it correlate much with Strokes Gained- Tee to Green? Those two lists in the spoiler above have pretty good correlation. Here's the definition of a "Good Drive," per the PGA: My thoughts: The definition allows for the short hitters to be hitting "good" drives, even if they are further back in the fairway. Those players are still getting up and around the green with their approaches (which is all that the stat measures)- and likely ending up with longer putts. So there's a lot of "leeway" in what is good, and perhaps too much leeway to discriminate between the best drives and the worst drives. There really isn't too much separation from the best to the worst in this stat, rendering it somewhat meaningless. They're all very consistent, as we'd expect at that level. The best have 85% good drives and the worst have 75% good drives. And those are the extremes! The vast majority of players differ by only 5% in their number of good drives. For 5%, that's less than a shot difference in the number of good drives per round, and plenty of room to make that up that difference in the quality of each drive (i.e., length primarily). Anyway, just felt like posing a question or two about it. Feel free to chime in, if you have thoughts. The more I think about it, isn't this statistic going to very similar to Near GIR (nGIR)? Basically how often are you on or near the green. I tried to find a PGA statistic on near GIR, but only found a lot of GIR percents by range.
  4. Somewhat recently GAME GOLF changed up the info you see when you click "Insights." http://www.gamegolf.com/insights What used to be the old view: Now requires you to click "View Insights." Instead you see a view like this: This is a little confusing at first, but here's your quickie guide to how this works: This is where you set up your comparison. You can compare yourself to yourself or to other golfers, like scratch golfers or 15 handicappers. You can compare your last round, your last 5, 10, etc. You can narrow it down to a date range, and do all sorts of other things. These numbers are the somewhat confusing part. The smaller grey number is the second thing, the "base" against which you are comparing yourself. In this image, the smaller grey number is the "3 Rounds" number - I lost 0.64 strokes off the tee, gained -0.47, -0.77, and -0.52 strokes in the other areas (presumably against a scratch golfer). So the grey numbers are the standard for comparison, and then the white numbers with the arrows are what you're comparing: in this case, the "Last Round." You can see I improved to saving -0.19 strokes off the tee, and that is a positive trend, so it's got a downward green arrow. I previously saved -0.77 strokes with my short game, but only managed -0.57 the last time, so even though it's still negative (a gain), I've trended negatively so I get a red upward arrow. These are where the grey and white numbers (with red or green arrows) show up in a bar chart form. Simply that. The grey numbers above are represented by the grey bars. The white numbers are represented by the green or red bars that correspond to a green or red arrow. So that's the top part. Below that, we get some interesting grids and graphics: This section's a bit easier to digest. The blue numbers correspond to the blue shapes, the grey to the grey. Pretty straightforward. Unfortunately some of my feedback has yet to be incorporated. See the "0%" in the middle graphic? Is this because I missed 6 greens from which I had a 101-150-yard shot? Or maybe I had 0 approach shots from that distance? Maybe I was 0-for-1? GAME GOLF should add (the sooner the better!) some actual data here. 0% (0/0) would concern me a lot less (and 0% (0/6) would concern me a lot more!) than just saying "0%". Scrolling down we see some more relatively easy-to-understand graphs, that also have some similar flaws: The new Notes area is pretty nice. You can add time-stamped notes that remind you when you put that new driver into play, when you began working on your hips not swaying backward, etc. 254 yards or 257, which is it? Well, I hit a hybrid 236 yards and a 3-wood 253 yards, so both are correct. But I can see how this might confuse some people, and honestly… well, I'm not entirely sure of the validity of the stat, but it's easily ignored if you don't value it. There are going to be times when you play a soggy course and hit a bunch of drivers that plug on landing, and other times when you hit a bunch of hybrids off the tee but get roll out. Is there more important information that could go there? Related to "Off the Tee"? I guess not. Again, hopefully sooner rather than later we'll get some numbers here rather than just percentages. I happen to remember that I played 12 holes my last "round" so the 75% number is easy to figure out - I missed three greens. But did I get up and down 1 out of 1 times, and fail to get a sand save 2/2 times for my 0%, or was I never in a bunker and scrambled 3/3 times? The numbers don't tell me… But it would be so easy for them to say it. Just add "(3/3)" beneath the "100%" or "(0/0)" beneath the 0%. So, I hope that helps. Again, to visit this area on your own account, visit http://www.gamegolf.com/insights. P.S. One last note…Clicking the right arrow on a few of the regions takes you to the appropriate "old" screen that you're used to.
  5. Nothing really new in the piece, it's a good overall intro to what's been happening if you haven't kept pace. I didn't know Day used it in addition to Fowler, Rose and Crane. The tour is still figuring out what to do with all the data, it's basically mostly strokes gained as of now.
  6. This was pointed out in the other thread, but I'd like to create this new thread here to keep track of the updates to GAME GOLF's Strokes Gained stats. As many know, TST has an "Advisory Panel" which aims to do a few things, but high on that list is to increase the communication between real-world golfers, stats geeks like myself and @RandallT, and GAME GOLF for the betterment of the GG platform and, ultimately, for more enjoyment from golfers. https://gamegolf.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2198476 Within the last week or so, GAME has rolled out two improvements to their Strokes Gained portion of the site. Change #1: Comparisons to More than Scratch Golfers Here's a look at my new Strokes Gained insights page: In that screenshot I've compared myself to a 10 handicap. (Yes, they've still got the negative sign backward… strokes gained in this case should be positive. We're working on them to change that… No promises though! ). This is great news if you're a 15 handicapper wanting to see where you need to improve to get down to a 10 - just compare yourself to a 10. Or compare yourself to a typical 15 handicapper to see if you have any glaring weaknesses (or strengths!). Change #2: Strokes Gained for Specific Rounds This was mentioned above by @toursauce, and you might miss it the first time through (as I did), but it's right there in the top-right-hand corner: Choose a few rounds if you want to limit a round with bad weather, a round where you were spraying your driver everywhere, or maybe even a round where you were super-hot with the putter. All of those could throw off your Strokes Gained average. I selected one round where I shot 75 and noted that my putting, normally a strength, was actually a weakness on that day. I gained 0.78, 0.49, and 0.34 strokes with the other three categories, but lost 1.57 putting. That day I hit 61% GIR but had 1.72 putts per hole. http://www.gamegolf.com/player/iacas/round/642797 I'm not 100% sold on my putter costing me there (I had one hole where I played two shortish shots in a row, for example, and I made a few six- and seven-foot putts), but you (and I) shouldn't really look at Strokes Gained in only one round for too much meaning, anyway. So, two cool new additions. Go check 'em out! If you don't have a GAME GOLF unit, what are you waiting for! Yes, GAME GOLF is one of the 2016 TST sponsors, but we've partnered with them because we love what they're doing, and think this is the best system going. It's only getting better, too, and with the TST Advisory Board, will continue to do so.
  7. glinks

    golfmetrics App

    Hello everyone, Mark Broadie just released an app for the Strokes Gained statistics. The name is golfmetrics. http://golfmetrics.com/ Does one of you has tested the app. what are your impressions? Thank you to all
  8. I've written before about how golfers don't seem to understand losing or gaining partial shots. We can't ever hit a shot that counts as only half or three tenths of a shot, after all. A missed five-foot putt counts the same as a drive we pure 285 down the middle. So, I'd like to take a few minutes here to cover partial shots and work our way toward "strokes gained" or lost as it applies to golfers of all levels - including you. The simplest way of looking at strokes gained and partial shots is with putting. From one inch away, every golfer in the world is expected to take 1.0 strokes to hole out. Nobody ever two-putts, nobody three-putts, etc. The same is pretty much true from one foot away, as well: virtually everyone takes 1.0 putts (the true number, even on the PGA Tour, is probably something like 1.00000000000000001, but you get the picture…). From three, the number jumps to something like 1.04 - PGA Tour pros only make about 96% of their three-footers. The other four times, they two-putt. So (96 x 1) + (4 x 2) = 104. 104 strokes for 100 attempts is 1.04 strokes per attempt. In other words, if you have a three-foot putt, and you make it, you actually gain 0.04 strokes against your standard (if your standard is a PGA Tour player). By the standard, you should have taken 1.04 strokes to get the ball in the hole from three feet. You only took one stroke, so you "saved" the 0.04. If you somehow manage to make 100 three-foot putts in a row, that 0.04 strokes saved each time multiplies out to four strokes saved in total. Let's back up a bit farther. From eight feet, a PGA Tour player is about 50/50 to make it. They still almost never three-putt from this range, so let's just keep thing simple and consider that they're either going to hole it or two-putt. If they have 100 eight-foot putts, it would take the average PGA Tour player 150 putts to hole out. So, imagine that this 1.5 is your standard, and you make an eight-foot putt. You've "gained" half a stroke on the average. You were expected to take 1.5 strokes, but you took just one. If you miss an eight-footer on the next hole, you played two eight-footers in three strokes: dead on what you're expected to do. What if you happen to have six eight-foot putts in a row, on the golf course, and you miss them all? While it may feel as though you've given away six strokes, because all of those putts likely felt "makable," you've only given away about three strokes: 12 putts - 6 attempts * 1.5 putts/attempt = 3 strokes "lost." And that's if your standard of comparison is a PGA Tour player. If you want to compare yourself to a bogey golfer, you've actually lost only half that: 1.5 strokes (a bogey golfer takes about 1.75 strokes from eight feet, so 6 * 0.25 = 1.5). From 33 feet, the numbers are 2.0 for a PGA Tour player and about 2.2 for a bogey golfer. You're expected to take two strokes if you're a PGA Tour player, and 2.2 if you're a bogey golfer. Now, again, you can't take 2.2 strokes to hole out, but you can take 11 strokes over five attempts from 33 feet, and 11/5 = 2.2. Every five 33-foot putts, the PGA Tour player will gain a full stroke: it will take them 10 and the bogey golfer 11. Now that this part is understood, let's start putting some pieces together. Consider a golfer putting from B, above, 33 feet away from the hole. If he two-putts, he's going to finish neutral - he won't lose or gain strokes to a PGA Tour player. But let's imagine three scenarios. In the first, he hits his first putt to a foot and then taps in. In the second, he hits it to three feet. He takes his time and makes that. In the third, after horribly judging the speed, he hits his putt eight feet past the hole, but makes it coming back. In each instance he took two putts, but where he gained and lost strokes changes: a) 33', 1' b) 33', 3' c) 33', 8' The math on those start the same: from 33', the player is expected to take 2.0 strokes. It "costs" the player 1.0 strokes to hit the first putt, so at each of the second positions he has already expended one putt. If we look at the strokes gained for each of those distances, we find: a) 2.0, 1.0 b) 2.0, 1.04 c) 2.0, 1.5 In a, the player took one stroke to shave his "expected" strokes from 2.0 to 1.0. He's neither lost nor gained strokes, on either of his two strokes. He was expected to take 2.0 putts from 33', and he put it to a spot from which he's expected to take 1.0 more strokes. In the b and c, though, the numbers don't work out the same. If a player hits his 33' putt, as he does in b, to about three feet, we already know he's expected to take 1.04 strokes from there. So he was at 2.0 expected strokes, and he "spent" a full stroke to get to a position from which he is expected to take 1.04 strokes. He "lost" 0.04 strokes. That he then holed the three-foot putt is great - he "gained" that 0.04 strokes back. He was expected to take 1.04, but it only took him one stroke. c is even worse (and then better) for our player: from 33' he's expected to take 2.0 strokes, but he "spends" a stroke to hit his ball to a position from which he's expected to take 1.5 strokes. He's already hit a putt, and still has "1.5 putts" left, by the averages. So, going from 33' to 8' means our player LOST half a stroke on that putt. If he then holes the eight-foot putt, well, he gains it right back. Just as we saw above. This is how strokes gained (or lost) works: you look at the average number of strokes it takes a certain level of player to hole out from where they were before and after a stroke. If they're 33 feet away on the green (2.0), and they hit it to a position from which they're expected to take 1.2 strokes to hole out, they've lost 0.2 strokes with their first putt. It's the same thing from the tee, or an approach shot, too: even though a player is unlikely to hole out. Standing on the tee, a player is expected to take perhaps 4.0 strokes, and if they advance their ball with their tee shot to a position from which they're expected to take 3.18 strokes, they've lost 0.18 strokes with their tee shot. If they then hit their ball to 20 feet on the green (from which they might be expected to take 1.87 strokes), they've gained back 0.31 strokes (3.18 expected - 1 stroke taken - 1.87 expected strokes from new position). I've told this story a few times. @mvmac and I were playing a soggy course with a little wind coming from the south. The 10th and 12th holes on this course are 460 and 480 yards, and he had a hybrid and a 3-wood, while I had two hybrids, into each of the greens. We managed to hit our shots to about 15-25 feet, and we jokingly said to each other "strokes gained!" after each. Why? Because from 200 to 230 yards, hitting the green at all - let alone getting the ball to only 15 or 25 feet - is a substantial gain in strokes for a single shot. Heck, a PGA Tour player is going to average 1.87 strokes from 20 feet, and averages 3.32 from 220 yards out in the fairway, so that one stroke that took @mvmac and I from 220 yards to 20 feet cost us one stroke but saved us almost half a stroke (against a PGA Tour player): 3.32 - (1 + 1.87) = 0.45 strokes gained. Two-putting from there cost only the 0.13 strokes (2.0 - 1.87). Let's take a look at a hole: Let's imagine the hole is a certain distance and a hole on which you are likely to average 4.2. (If you're a scratch golfer, maybe the hole is 475 yards long, or if you're an 18 handicaper, maybe it's 355 yards long). Standing on the tee at A, you're expected to hole out in 4.2 strokes, which is of course impossible on any given single playing of the hole. That means that you're going to lose or gain 1.2, 0.2, 0.8, 1.8, or 2.8 strokes almost every time you play this hole. You can't break even on any single playing of the hole. But anyway, that's the important number: 4.2. Let's say you hit a good shot from the tee into the fairway to B. Again, to remain somewhat agnostic with respect to various handicaps, let's say you're going to average 3.0 from there. Your tee shot, which "cost" you one stroke, moved you from a spot where you were going to average 4.2 to a spot from which you average 3.0. You've shaved 1.2 strokes by "spending" only one stroke. Let's say that the rest of the positions work out as follows: B: 3.0 C: 3.2 D: 2.7 E: 3.6 Strokes gained (and "expected shots") is based primarily on two things (because adding in other factors could complicate things to the point of being ridiculous): the distance remaining to the hole and the lie of the ball. On the putting green, the lie of the ball is obviously "on the putting green." But from 180 yards, players average lower expected shots from the fairway than they do from the trees, or a fairway bunker. So again, a player expecting to average 4.2 from the tee (A), hits it into B, C, D, and E. If we limit the distances to relative descriptors, we can start to see how these make sense: B: 3.0 - Fairway, medium distance from the hole C: 3.3 - Fairway, long distance from the hole D: 2.7 - Rough, very short distance from the hole E: 3.6 - Fairway bunker, short-ish distance from the hole These four examples demonstrate two things that make strokes gained a pretty reasonable way to assess the value of a shot: the farther a shot is from the hole, the more shots you're expected to hole out, and the worse the lie, the same: the more strokes you're expected to take to hole out. Let's step through a full example. A player standing on the tee at A is going to hit it to C, miss the green in the rough short and right, chip to eight feet, and miss the par putt before tapping in for bogey. Shot Expected Result Expected Strokes Gained ---- -------- ------ -------- -------------- 1 4.2 C 3.3 -0.1 2 3.3 Grsd Rough 2.6 -0.3 3 2.6 8' Green 1.5 +0.1 4 1.5 3" Green 1.0 -0.5 5 1.0 Holed 0 0.0 -------------- Total: -0.8 The tee shot was played from a spot with 4.2 expected shots to a spot with 3.3 expected shots. This cost the player one stroke, but only reduced his expected score by 0.9. Thus, he lost 0.1 strokes. From there, the player hit a mediocre shot: they were in a position to average 3.3, but advanced the ball into a position from which they're expected to take 2.6. They gained only 0.7 strokes at a cost of another full shot. They lost 0.3 strokes. The player hit a slightly better than expected chip - they gained 0.1 strokes by hitting it from a 2.6 position to a 1.5 position (for this one position I'm just using the PGA Tour distance) at a cost of just one stroke - but the player is 1.1 strokes closer. But, then he missed the putt (1.5 expected strokes) and tapped in, losing 0.5 strokes on the two-putt exchange. In total, the player lost 0.8 strokes, but we know that just knowing the expected score from the tee and the score they made: 5 - 4.2 = 0.4 - 0.1 + 0.5. Though the player hit five shots, only two were "neutral" with respect to strokes gained or lost. The player lost partial strokes on the approach shot (which missed the green) and their putt (which missed the hole), but gained a very small 0.1 on a slightly better than expected chip shot. Let's do one more example: A to D to 3 feet and holed for a birdie. Shot Expected Result Expected Strokes Gained ---- -------- ------ -------- -------------- 1 4.2 D 2.7 +0.5 2 2.7 5' Green 1.25 +0.45 3 1.25 Holed 0.0 +0.25 -------------- Total: +1.2 This player hit a big tee shot (maybe it hit the cart path a couple of times) to D. He went from 4.2 to 2.7 expected strokes with one stroke, making up 0.5 strokes with his tee shot. Then, from short range, he hit his shot to five feet from where he's expected to take 1.25 strokes (he's expected to make 75% of his five-foot putts), again saving nearly half a stroke: 2.7 to 1.25 with a cost of one stroke is 2.7 - (1 + 1.25) = 0.45. Then, to wrap up the great hole, he holes the five-footer. These two examples highlight just how many different shots go into making up a score on any given hole: virtually every shot that isn't a tap-in results in an exchange - positive or negative - to the expected strokes. If you play a poorer shot than your comparison standard, you lose strokes. Play a better one than expected and you gain. The funny thing is, too, how people tend to see these shots. Though the player lost shots in the first example on both the tee shot and the approach shot, they're likely to blame a poor chip and a missed putt for the bogey. Yes, they lost strokes with the putt, but they actually gained a 0.1 strokes with the chip. The drive and the approach shot cost them, and the putt - a 50/50 proposition - simply landed heads up instead of tails up. In the second example, the players will likely give themselves credit for the approach shot, but overlook that they got a bigger advantage hitting the ball off the cart path and into the rough, where they gained a full half stroke. They'll also credit their clutch putting, but even if they'd two-putted, the strength of their first two shots would still have netted them 0.2 strokes gained for the hole. So that's it in a nutshell: both strokes gained and how partial shots work when playing golf. The next time you're out there, and you miss a 50/50 putt, take consolation in the fact that you're "owed" one. The next time you hit it to 25 feet from 162 yards, tell yourself that you gained some strokes with that shot (it's better than the PGA Tour average, after all). The next time you hit a good drive, take pride in saving 0.2 strokes or whatever. And, for Pete's sake, if you two-putt from 30 feet, stop kicking yourself for "never making them." Almost nobody does, and for players at your level, that two-putt probably saved you a partial stroke.
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