Titleist golf ball study; Finally, some facts added to the debate

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  • ByeBye Members Posts: 1,309 ✭✭


    This topic makes for some great debate. IMO, if they roll the golf ball back for everyone......it will be a dead story within 6-12 months. We will all adjust and it will be no big deal. Now if they choose bifurcation......that's where it gets really interesting for me. Either way I hope the USGA is also taking a serious look at what will make the game easier and faster for the average golfer. That's where the game needs help desperately.






    I agree, we will still need a ball to play with and it will be the same for everyone. Bifurcation could potentially cause more problems than it solves.



    To be fair they are looking at speeding up the game and as Uhit suggests in an earlier post, if we the players get on with it and play ready golf theatre will help a lot.



    I truly hate lines on golf balls and people using them as an alignment aid.
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  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    rawdog wrote:

    Uhit wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    Uhit wrote:

    rawdog wrote:


    Here's data from 2017. It seems there was interest in learning how Spieth is able to score better than the golfers in his range. I had 2017 data on hand, so I filtered strokes gained data to only include players within 5 yards of Spieth's driving distance (so 290.6 - 300.6).



    It looks like in 2017, Spieth is doing it with approach shots. Even short game and putting combined don't equal the whopping .779 strokes per round he's gaining on his peers. Altogether, he has a 1.545 stroke advantage on the guys with similar distance.



    This will be interesting to reproduce with 2015 data, his outlier year.




    When the data you show are correct, then the SG Tee 0.276 have to stem from his driving accuracy, which has to be better than that of his peers (with comparable driving distance).

    Otherwise your data is not correct.




    In a raw sense, yes, his accuracy would likely be better. This doesn't necessarily mean more FIRs, though I'll take a look at that. It could just mean more open looks to the green, regardless of lie, and/or fewer OB shots.



    I'll include FIRs when I do 2015.




    You see, SG is missing something, and is sometimes more obfuscating, than revealing.



    Maybe Spieth just knows when and where to miss, a tad better, than his peers...

    ...and this has nothing to do with driving distance, and is not that easy to grab with SG.



    What if this knowledge also has helped Tiger, Jack etc.?



    Distance is not the problem, neither is the ball a problem...

    ...the problem is in between the ears...

    ...golf is known for that.




    Well, that's why people prefer SG over traditional stats like FIR - because not all misses are created equal. We know intuitively that a "good" tee shot is some combination of long, accurate and in bounds! But you're right, it's hard sometimes to tease out the nuances.



    So, here, I present to you 2015 Jordan Spieth. Tell me what you see here. I see a guy who hit more fairways, and was closer to the center of the fairway that his peers. This would tell me by law of averages, fewer big misses, perhaps better misses. To gain .398 strokes off the tee without adding distance is impressive.



    His advantage over his peers was pretty mixed between long game and short game. He was just flat-out good. So, it's my opinion that we can't just say the difference between him and his peers was purely short game. It was about 50/50 each.



    This was a fun exercise. Thanks for the good discussion.



    EDIT: Accuracy is measured in feet to center of fairway.




    Well, the differences in accuracy are tiny - to say the least...



    ...and distance is playing no role in this case.



    This shows, that he just made less mistakes than others - during a whole season.



    That made his success - his strength between the ears.
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,262 ✭✭
    rawdog wrote:


    Here's data from 2017. It seems there was interest in learning how Spieth is able to score better than the golfers in his range. I had 2017 data on hand, so I filtered strokes gained data to only include players within 5 yards of Spieth's driving distance (so 290.6 - 300.6).



    It looks like in 2017, Spieth is doing it with approach shots. Even short game and putting combined don't equal the whopping .779 strokes per round he's gaining on his peers. Altogether, he has a 1.545 stroke advantage on the guys with similar distance.



    This will be interesting to reproduce with 2015 data, his outlier year.




    Spieth probably had the best iron game on Tour in 2017.
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,262 ✭✭
    rawdog wrote:


    I re-did the Top 30 to show earnings per event. The Top 12 are all above-average in distance. 80% of the top 30 are above-average in distance. This is further highlighted in my scatter plot, where I highlight the Top 30. A lot of guys to the right of the average. If you're earning big money, you're longer than average.




    I think the discussion should mostly be about the top 30 on tour. When you include all 190 or so you can get really bad numbers for the weaker players.



    The question in my mind is "what do the top 30 or so players do that keeps them on top"? I suspect they don't have a big weakness in any area of their game.



    Other questions;



    Would Spieth have won more events if he drove the ball as far as Rory (+20 yards)? My guess is no.



    Would Rory have won more events if he hit his irons like Spieth (Spieth had about 1 more GIR per round, or four per event)? My guess is yes. More GIRs means more chances for birdies.
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭

    rawdog wrote:


    Here's data from 2017. It seems there was interest in learning how Spieth is able to score better than the golfers in his range. I had 2017 data on hand, so I filtered strokes gained data to only include players within 5 yards of Spieth's driving distance (so 290.6 - 300.6).



    It looks like in 2017, Spieth is doing it with approach shots. Even short game and putting combined don't equal the whopping .779 strokes per round he's gaining on his peers. Altogether, he has a 1.545 stroke advantage on the guys with similar distance.



    This will be interesting to reproduce with 2015 data, his outlier year.




    Spieth probably had the best iron game on Tour in 2017.




    No doubt about that one.
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  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭

    rawdog wrote:


    I re-did the Top 30 to show earnings per event. The Top 12 are all above-average in distance. 80% of the top 30 are above-average in distance. This is further highlighted in my scatter plot, where I highlight the Top 30. A lot of guys to the right of the average. If you're earning big money, you're longer than average.




    I think the discussion should mostly be about the top 30 on tour. When you include all 190 or so you can get really bad numbers for the weaker players.



    The question in my mind is "what do the top 30 or so players do that keeps them on top"? I suspect they don't have a big weakness in any area of their game.



    Other questions;



    Would Spieth have won more events if he drove the ball as far as Rory (+20 yards)? My guess is no.



    Would Rory have won more events if he hit his irons like Spieth (Spieth had about 1 more GIR per round, or four per event)? My guess is yes. More GIRs means more chances for birdies.




    Hey, I've got some range time and then I'm playing some bball tonight... these will have to wait!



    But I do have some thoughts on how we can get some approximate answers. We'll never know for sure, but it's fun to make assumptions based on the most sound math we can use.



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    Aldila Rogue Black, 9.5* @44.5"
    In1Zone Single Length Fairway Woods

    Graffaloy ProLaunch Axis Blue @41.5" 5W = 19*
    Graffaloy ProLaunch Axis Blue @41.5" 7W = 23*
    Cobra F7 One Length Irons
    Nippon Modus 105 Stiff @ 36.5"
    6I = 24* 7I = 29* 8I = 34* 9I = 39* PW = 44* GW = 49* SW = 54* LW = 59*
    Odyssey #9 HT Metal X Milled @33.5"
    Maxfli SoftFli
  • ray9898ray9898 Members Posts: 765 ✭✭




    Other questions;



    Would Spieth have won more events if he drove the ball as far as Rory (+20 yards)? My guess is no.



    Would Rory have won more events if he hit his irons like Spieth (Spieth had about 1 more GIR per round, or four per event)? My guess is yes. More GIRs means more chances for birdies.




    ...but the accuracy increase by being nearly 2 clubs closer also gives potential for more/better birdie looks. It can't be ignored.
  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day.... Members Posts: 25,753 ✭✭

    rawdog wrote:


    I re-did the Top 30 to show earnings per event. The Top 12 are all above-average in distance. 80% of the top 30 are above-average in distance. This is further highlighted in my scatter plot, where I highlight the Top 30. A lot of guys to the right of the average. If you're earning big money, you're longer than average.




    I think the discussion should mostly be about the top 30 on tour. When you include all 190 or so you can get really bad numbers for the weaker players.



    The question in my mind is "what do the top 30 or so players do that keeps them on top"? I suspect they don't have a big weakness in any area of their game.



    Other questions;



    Would Spieth have won more events if he drove the ball as far as Rory (+20 yards)? My guess is no.



    Would Rory have won more events if he hit his irons like Spieth (Spieth had about 1 more GIR per round, or four per event)? My guess is yes. More GIRs means more chances for birdies.






    dont know about that one..plus 20 yards probably puts 5 more wedges in JS hands a round.... has to equal at least 1 stroke a round.. likely 2... thats HUGE!
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  • new2g0lfnew2g0lf Members Posts: 3,363 ✭✭
    edited Dec 12, 2017 #280


    This topic makes for some great debate. IMO, if they roll the golf ball back for everyone......it will be a dead story within 6-12 months. We will all adjust and it will be no big deal. Now if they choose bifurcation......that's where it gets really interesting for me. Either way I hope the USGA is also taking a serious look at what will make the game easier and faster for the average golfer. That's where the game needs help desperately.




    A ball rollback for everyone creates problems for everyone, pro's, amateurs, golf courses and golf equipment manufacturers. You can't cut 10% from all of our iron and wood shots and not have it impact our index. Our indexes will need to be adjusted or all courses will have to be re-evaluated.



    Many courses will not play as they were designed for the majority of golfers unless new tee boxes are created.



    Manufacturers will have to formulate a new conforming ball that lacks the performance of previous versions and have to get them certified by the USGA. The manufacturers and golf stores will take a huge loss from having an inventory of non-conforming balls The pre-owned / refurbished ball market will likely be wiped out until enough of the new conforming balls are lost.



    Tournament directors at club, amateur, college and pro levels will have to ensure non-conforming balls are not used intentionally or accidentally.



    Older players, new golfers and some ladies will become more frustrated playing the game given a 10% loss in distance.



    The rollback introduces a host of new problems to the entire sport and industry in hopes of ensuring pro's don't figure out a way to hit the new conforming ball too far that would result in more whining from Jack and others.
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  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day.... Members Posts: 25,753 ✭✭
    new2g0lf wrote:



    This topic makes for some great debate. IMO, if they roll the golf ball back for everyone......it will be a dead story within 6-12 months. We will all adjust and it will be no big deal. Now if they choose bifurcation......that's where it gets really interesting for me. Either way I hope the USGA is also taking a serious look at what will make the game easier and faster for the average golfer. That's where the game needs help desperately.




    A ball rollback for everyone creates problems for everyone, pro's, amateurs, golf courses and golf equipment manufacturers. You can't cut 10% from all of our iron and wood shots and not have it impact our index. Our indexes will need to be adjusted or all courses will have to be re-evaluated.



    Many courses will not play as they were designed for the majority of golfers unless new tee boxes are created.



    Manufacturers will have to formulate a new conforming ball that lacks the performance of previous versions and have to get them certified by the USGA. The manufacturers and golf stores will take a huge loss from having an inventory of non-conforming balls The pre-owned / refurbished ball market will likely be wiped out until enough of the new conforming balls are lost.



    Tournament directors at club, amateur, college and pro levels will have to ensure non-conforming balls are not used intentionally or accidentally.



    Older players, new golfers and some ladies will become more frustrated playing the game given a 10% loss in distance.



    The rollback introduces a host of new problems to the entire sport and industry in hopes of ensuring pro's don't figure out a way to hit the new conforming ball too far that would result in more whining from Jack and others.






    Bifurcation answers 99% of that... and the handicap issues wipe themselves out after 20 rounds....
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  • North TexasNorth Texas Members Posts: 4,103 ✭✭
    raynorfan1 wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    raynorfan1 wrote:



    There are NO numbers or statistics you can point out that will change the attitude behind this "idea". They want Dustin Johnson to hit the same club into #13 at Augusta, from the same spot in the fairway as Jack did in 1975. Or Tiger in 1998. Or Bobby Jones in 1935. Or something.




    Correct. I love you guys on the stats train doing solid work. But this isn't about stats. This is the anchored putter thing all over again - nobody can conclusively demonstrate that it's more effective, but the old men in blue jackets are offended by how it "looks".




    I understand what you're saying, but I think it's clearly been demonstrated that hitting the balls further is a more effective way to play golf. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point.



    Agree there was no demonstrated advantage to anchored putters. At the top level of sport, games evolve. People figure them out. Strategies change. Don't panic.




    It's always been the case that long hitters are at an advantage - nobody is bothered by that truism.



    They don't like the optics of guys hitting nine irons from the same spot where Ben Hogan hit a legendary one iron.




    I seriously do not understand how anyone can be okay with the optics of guys hitting nine iron from the same spot Ben Hogan hit one iron. Five iron or maybe even six iron, yes. But definitely not nine iron. That's an indication that the ball goes too far if there ever was one.
  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,884 ✭✭

    raynorfan1 wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    raynorfan1 wrote:



    There are NO numbers or statistics you can point out that will change the attitude behind this "idea". They want Dustin Johnson to hit the same club into #13 at Augusta, from the same spot in the fairway as Jack did in 1975. Or Tiger in 1998. Or Bobby Jones in 1935. Or something.




    Correct. I love you guys on the stats train doing solid work. But this isn't about stats. This is the anchored putter thing all over again - nobody can conclusively demonstrate that it's more effective, but the old men in blue jackets are offended by how it "looks".




    I understand what you're saying, but I think it's clearly been demonstrated that hitting the balls further is a more effective way to play golf. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point.



    Agree there was no demonstrated advantage to anchored putters. At the top level of sport, games evolve. People figure them out. Strategies change. Don't panic.




    It's always been the case that long hitters are at an advantage - nobody is bothered by that truism.



    They don't like the optics of guys hitting nine irons from the same spot where Ben Hogan hit a legendary one iron.




    I seriously do not understand how anyone can be okay with the optics of guys hitting nine iron from the same spot Ben Hogan hit one iron. Five iron or maybe even six iron, yes. But definitely not nine iron. That's an indication that the ball goes too far if there ever was one.




    I'm sure when Byron Nelson was winning everything in sight there were people who couldn't understand why anyone can be okay with the optics of that upright, quick swing with steel shafts when everyone knew golf was supposed to be played with a long, patient swing waiting for hickory shafts to whip around and catch up.
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  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    new2g0lf wrote:



    This topic makes for some great debate. IMO, if they roll the golf ball back for everyone......it will be a dead story within 6-12 months. We will all adjust and it will be no big deal. Now if they choose bifurcation......that's where it gets really interesting for me. Either way I hope the USGA is also taking a serious look at what will make the game easier and faster for the average golfer. That's where the game needs help desperately.




    A ball rollback for everyone creates problems for everyone, pro's, amateurs, golf courses and golf equipment manufacturers. You can't cut 10% from all of our iron and wood shots and not have it impact our index. Our indexes will need to be adjusted or all courses will have to be re-evaluated.



    Many courses will not play as they were designed for the majority of golfers unless new tee boxes are created.



    Manufacturers will have to formulate a new conforming ball that lacks the performance of previous versions and have to get them certified by the USGA. The manufacturers and golf stores will take a huge loss from having an inventory of non-conforming balls The pre-owned / refurbished ball market will likely be wiped out until enough of the new conforming balls are lost.



    Tournament directors at club, amateur, college and pro levels will have to ensure non-conforming balls are not used intentionally or accidentally.



    Older players, new golfers and some ladies will become more frustrated playing the game given a 10% loss in distance.



    The rollback introduces a host of new problems to the entire sport and industry in hopes of ensuring pro's don't figure out a way to hit the new conforming ball too far that would result in more whining from Jack and others.




    They could experiment with a local rule, that allows distance restricted (Range-) balls for certain tournaments - and avoid the risk to screw up the golfing community and the golfing industry.



    However, the data show, that we have since about 15 years stability - which shows, that the ball is neither the problem, nor the solution to a made up problem (if there is a problem at all).



    Btw. how many golfer started playing golf after 2002?



    It would be a dumb decision, to skew the stability, perceived by the generation of golfers, who has to carry the game into the future.
  • bscinstnctbscinstnct Members Posts: 26,327 ✭✭

    bscinstnct wrote:
    Ever see this? Surprised many...



    [url="http://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/7743715/tiger-woods-driving-not-putting-made-difference-bay-hill"]http://www.espn.com/...erence-bay-hill[/url]



    "Mark Broadie, a professor at Columbia University's business school, is a pioneer of the strokes-gained approach to PGA Tour statistics."





    "Over the years, Broadie has looked very closely at the strokes-gained performance of [url="http://www.espn.com/golf/player/_/id/462/tiger-woods"]Tiger Woods[/url]. Broadie used PGA Tour ShotLink data from 2003 to 2010 to determine that Tiger gained 3.2 strokes per round over the average tour player. The biggest chunk of those strokes gained during that period came from his long game (2.08), with his short game (0.42) and his putting (0.70) accounting for the rest."




    Not surprised at all. His iron play was way better than anybody else. I suspect that his long game (2.08) gain was 100% irons. Or maybe over 100% since he was so wild off the tee.




    Youd be surprised at how highly ranked TW was in sg driving in his prime. Often in the top 10.



    Myth: TW was a terrible driver.



  • ShilgyShilgy Members Posts: 11,382 ✭✭
    bscinstnct wrote:


    bscinstnct wrote:
    Ever see this? Surprised many...



    [url="http://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/7743715/tiger-woods-driving-not-putting-made-difference-bay-hill"]http://www.espn.com/...erence-bay-hill[/url]



    "Mark Broadie, a professor at Columbia University's business school, is a pioneer of the strokes-gained approach to PGA Tour statistics."





    "Over the years, Broadie has looked very closely at the strokes-gained performance of [url="http://www.espn.com/golf/player/_/id/462/tiger-woods"]Tiger Woods[/url]. Broadie used PGA Tour ShotLink data from 2003 to 2010 to determine that Tiger gained 3.2 strokes per round over the average tour player. The biggest chunk of those strokes gained during that period came from his long game (2.08), with his short game (0.42) and his putting (0.70) accounting for the rest."




    Not surprised at all. His iron play was way better than anybody else. I suspect that his long game (2.08) gain was 100% irons. Or maybe over 100% since he was so wild off the tee.




    Youd be surprised at how highly ranked TW was in sg driving in his prime. Often in the top 10.



    Myth: TW was a terrible driver.
    And it was not just superior length.
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  • Sean2Sean2 #TheWRX (Callaway Trip) Members Posts: 30,826 ✭✭
    bscinstnct wrote:


    bscinstnct wrote:
    Ever see this? Surprised many...



    http://www.espn.com/...erence-bay-hill



    "Mark Broadie, a professor at Columbia University's business school, is a pioneer of the strokes-gained approach to PGA Tour statistics."





    "Over the years, Broadie has looked very closely at the strokes-gained performance of Tiger Woods. Broadie used PGA Tour ShotLink data from 2003 to 2010 to determine that Tiger gained 3.2 strokes per round over the average tour player. The biggest chunk of those strokes gained during that period came from his long game (2.08), with his short game (0.42) and his putting (0.70) accounting for the rest."




    Not surprised at all. His iron play was way better than anybody else. I suspect that his long game (2.08) gain was 100% irons. Or maybe over 100% since he was so wild off the tee.




    Youd be surprised at how highly ranked TW was in sg driving in his prime. Often in the top 10.



    Myth: TW was a terrible driver.




    I don't know, he had the single vehicle accident not too long ago. ;-)
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  • bscinstnctbscinstnct Members Posts: 26,327 ✭✭
    Sean2 wrote:

    bscinstnct wrote:


    bscinstnct wrote:
    Ever see this? Surprised many...



    [url="http://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/7743715/tiger-woods-driving-not-putting-made-difference-bay-hill"]http://www.espn.com/...erence-bay-hill[/url]



    "Mark Broadie, a professor at Columbia University's business school, is a pioneer of the strokes-gained approach to PGA Tour statistics."





    "Over the years, Broadie has looked very closely at the strokes-gained performance of [url="http://www.espn.com/golf/player/_/id/462/tiger-woods"]Tiger Woods[/url]. Broadie used PGA Tour ShotLink data from 2003 to 2010 to determine that Tiger gained 3.2 strokes per round over the average tour player. The biggest chunk of those strokes gained during that period came from his long game (2.08), with his short game (0.42) and his putting (0.70) accounting for the rest."




    Not surprised at all. His iron play was way better than anybody else. I suspect that his long game (2.08) gain was 100% irons. Or maybe over 100% since he was so wild off the tee.




    Youd be surprised at how highly ranked TW was in sg driving in his prime. Often in the top 10.



    Myth: TW was a terrible driver.




    I don't know, he had the single vehicle accident not too long ago. ;-)




    Sean! Rofl.



    You made my evening ; )



    Hope your holidays are shaping up beautifully.
  • MedicMedic Members Posts: 9,421 ✭✭
    Fitness levels.

    Fitting processes.

    Shaft technology.

    Club head technology.

    Course maintenance improvements.

    Coaching technological advances.

    Course knowledge available.

    The use of high speed video for training.

    And, of course, the ball.



    If anyone can think of anything I left off of the list as far as "things that really have led to more distance" please feel free to add them. My question is, "If you assert that the ball must be changed are you not taking the position that all of the other factors that had led to more distance are not all that profound?"

    In other words, if you change the ball but you don't change the other things on the list, will the elite players still find a way to make up for the distances lost and still tear courses apart? Can not help but wonder given the grooves rule of 2010 and how it really didn't cause that much of an uproar at the highest levels of play.
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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,884 ✭✭
    Medic wrote:


    Fitness levels.

    Fitting processes.

    Shaft technology.

    Club head technology.

    Course maintenance improvements.

    Coaching technological advances.

    Course knowledge available.

    The use of high speed video for training.

    And, of course, the ball.



    If anyone can think of anything I left off of the list as far as "things that really have led to more distance" please feel free to add them. My question is, "If you assert that the ball must be changed are you not taking the position that all of the other factors that had led to more distance are not all that profound?"

    In other words, if you change the ball but you don't change the other things on the list, will the elite players still find a way to make up for the distances lost and still tear courses apart? Can not help but wonder given the grooves rule of 2010 and how it really didn't cause that much of an uproar at the highest levels of play.




    No the ball is the only thing on the list they think they can change. If they roll back the ball, they want it to be enough to undo the “ProV1 effect” plus some extra to undo all those other factors. And if players pick back up the lost 25-30 a few years hence, what the heck just roll back the ball again no worries!



    It’s all about “optics” and Nicklaus and Hogan and mom and apple pie, the ball is just the easy fall guy.
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    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 
  • North TexasNorth Texas Members Posts: 4,103 ✭✭
    Medic wrote:


    Fitness levels.

    Fitting processes.

    Shaft technology.

    Club head technology.

    Course maintenance improvements.

    Coaching technological advances.

    Course knowledge available.

    The use of high speed video for training.

    And, of course, the ball.



    If anyone can think of anything I left off of the list as far as "things that really have led to more distance" please feel free to add them. My question is, "If you assert that the ball must be changed are you not taking the position that all of the other factors that had led to more distance are not all that profound?"

    In other words, if you change the ball but you don't change the other things on the list, will the elite players still find a way to make up for the distances lost and still tear courses apart? Can not help but wonder given the grooves rule of 2010 and how it really didn't cause that much of an uproar at the highest levels of play.




    Take the ball out of the equation and you would see still a gradual increase over the years in driving distance due to all the other factors you listed. Totally expected and normal. Started in the 80's and is even going on now despite claims that distance has leveled off which is simply not true. For proof of that just take a look at median driving distance through the years. Or take a look every 5 years of how many players average 300+, how many 290+, and how many 280+ and so on.



    However look at what happened in the period around 2000 and the years just before and after and you will see an abnormal increase due to primarily the ball and the size of the driver clubhead. Quite simply the ruling bodies fell asleep at the wheel.



    Again, driving distance will naturally progress over the years due to the factors that Medic listed above. Nothing wrong with that. But the evidence is there that there was an abnormal increase that was due to the ball and the driver size and you are in denial if you don't see that.



    And, good lord, can we quit with the ridiculous notion that older players like Nicklaus are simply wanting to protect their legacy. That is beyond stupid.
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,262 ✭✭

    raynorfan1 wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    raynorfan1 wrote:



    There are NO numbers or statistics you can point out that will change the attitude behind this "idea". They want Dustin Johnson to hit the same club into #13 at Augusta, from the same spot in the fairway as Jack did in 1975. Or Tiger in 1998. Or Bobby Jones in 1935. Or something.




    Correct. I love you guys on the stats train doing solid work. But this isn't about stats. This is the anchored putter thing all over again - nobody can conclusively demonstrate that it's more effective, but the old men in blue jackets are offended by how it "looks".




    I understand what you're saying, but I think it's clearly been demonstrated that hitting the balls further is a more effective way to play golf. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point.



    Agree there was no demonstrated advantage to anchored putters. At the top level of sport, games evolve. People figure them out. Strategies change. Don't panic.




    It's always been the case that long hitters are at an advantage - nobody is bothered by that truism.



    They don't like the optics of guys hitting nine irons from the same spot where Ben Hogan hit a legendary one iron.




    I seriously do not understand how anyone can be okay with the optics of guys hitting nine iron from the same spot Ben Hogan hit one iron. Five iron or maybe even six iron, yes. But definitely not nine iron. That's an indication that the ball goes too far if there ever was one.




    And some will say Hogan should have been using a gutta percha golf ball. How can anybody be OK with Hogan hitting a one iron where Old Tom Morris used to hit a three wood?
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,262 ✭✭
    bscinstnct wrote:


    bscinstnct wrote:
    Ever see this? Surprised many...



    http://www.espn.com/...erence-bay-hill



    "Mark Broadie, a professor at Columbia University's business school, is a pioneer of the strokes-gained approach to PGA Tour statistics."





    "Over the years, Broadie has looked very closely at the strokes-gained performance of Tiger Woods. Broadie used PGA Tour ShotLink data from 2003 to 2010 to determine that Tiger gained 3.2 strokes per round over the average tour player. The biggest chunk of those strokes gained during that period came from his long game (2.08), with his short game (0.42) and his putting (0.70) accounting for the rest."




    Not surprised at all. His iron play was way better than anybody else. I suspect that his long game (2.08) gain was 100% irons. Or maybe over 100% since he was so wild off the tee




    Youd be surprised at how highly ranked TW was in sg driving in his prime. Often in the top 10.



    Myth: TW was a terrible driver.




    Not a myth at all. Read Hank Haney's book. He said his driving accuracy was so bad that he encouraged Tiger to hit a three wood off the tee.. Tiger's driving accuracy was one of the worst ever on the PGA Tour.



    Here are some examples of his pitiful driving accuracy;





    2001: 145th

    2002: 107th

    2003; 142nd

    2004: 182nd

    2005: 191st

    2006: 139th

    2007: 152nd
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,262 ✭✭


    Take the ball out of the equation and you would see still a gradual increase over the years in driving distance due to all the other factors you listed. Totally expected and normal. Started in the 80's




    Actually, it started over 100 years ago.




    and is even going on now despite claims that distance has leveled off which is simply not true.




    Obviously, you are not looking at the stats. Look at the last ten years. There has been no increase in distance.
  • bscinstnctbscinstnct Members Posts: 26,327 ✭✭

    bscinstnct wrote:


    bscinstnct wrote:
    Ever see this? Surprised many...



    [url="http://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/7743715/tiger-woods-driving-not-putting-made-difference-bay-hill"]http://www.espn.com/...erence-bay-hill[/url]



    "Mark Broadie, a professor at Columbia University's business school, is a pioneer of the strokes-gained approach to PGA Tour statistics."





    "Over the years, Broadie has looked very closely at the strokes-gained performance of [url="http://www.espn.com/golf/player/_/id/462/tiger-woods"]Tiger Woods[/url]. Broadie used PGA Tour ShotLink data from 2003 to 2010 to determine that Tiger gained 3.2 strokes per round over the average tour player. The biggest chunk of those strokes gained during that period came from his long game (2.08), with his short game (0.42) and his putting (0.70) accounting for the rest."




    Not surprised at all. His iron play was way better than anybody else. I suspect that his long game (2.08) gain was 100% irons. Or maybe over 100% since he was so wild off the tee




    Youd be surprised at how highly ranked TW was in sg driving in his prime. Often in the top 10.



    Myth: TW was a terrible driver.




    Not a myth at all. Read Hank Haney's book. He said his driving accuracy was so bad that he encouraged Tiger to hit a three wood off the tee.. Tiger's driving accuracy was one of the worst ever on the PGA Tour.



    Here are some examples of his pitiful driving accuracy;





    2001: 145th

    2002: 107th

    2003; 142nd

    2004: 182nd

    2005: 191st

    2006: 139th

    2007: 152nd




    Here are his sg off the tee.



    Keeping in mind that 2004 was the 1st year the stat was recorded and prior was possibly even stronger.



    2004 31st (distance, 9th)

    2005 4rth (distance, 2nd)

    2006 3rd. (Distance, 12th)

    2007 8th. (Distance, 12th)



    Can only imagine his sg off the tee in 2000-2003.



    Guys would kill for this "pitiful" driving.



    Myth busted.

  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    edited Dec 13, 2017 #296

    Medic wrote:


    Fitness levels.

    Fitting processes.

    Shaft technology.

    Club head technology.

    Course maintenance improvements.

    Coaching technological advances.

    Course knowledge available.

    The use of high speed video for training.

    And, of course, the ball.



    If anyone can think of anything I left off of the list as far as "things that really have led to more distance" please feel free to add them. My question is, "If you assert that the ball must be changed are you not taking the position that all of the other factors that had led to more distance are not all that profound?"

    In other words, if you change the ball but you don't change the other things on the list, will the elite players still find a way to make up for the distances lost and still tear courses apart? Can not help but wonder given the grooves rule of 2010 and how it really didn't cause that much of an uproar at the highest levels of play.




    Take the ball out of the equation and you would see still a gradual increase over the years in driving distance due to all the other factors you listed. Totally expected and normal. Started in the 80's and is even going on now despite claims that distance has leveled off which is simply not true. For proof of that just take a look at median driving distance through the years. Or take a look every 5 years of how many players average 300+, how many 290+, and how many 280+ and so on.



    However look at what happened in the period around 2000 and the years just before and after and you will see an abnormal increase due to primarily the ball and the size of the driver clubhead. Quite simply the ruling bodies fell asleep at the wheel.



    Again, driving distance will naturally progress over the years due to the factors that Medic listed above. Nothing wrong with that. But the evidence is there that there was an abnormal increase that was due to the ball and the driver size and you are in denial if you don't see that.



    And, good lord, can we quit with the ridiculous notion that older players like Nicklaus are simply wanting to protect their legacy. That is beyond stupid.




    I think you have in a miraculous way missed that one:



    http://www.golfwrx.c...ns-on-pga-tour/



    Btw



    You will find, that the size of the driver was not as important for the increase in distance, than that they are made out of titanium.



    The funny thing is, that this chart still doesn´t take into account, what the courses with enhanced fairways contributed to that increase! image/read.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':read:' />



    And last, but not least, you see, that driving distance kept about the same since more than a decade.
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,262 ✭✭
    bscinstnct wrote:


    bscinstnct wrote:


    bscinstnct wrote:
    Ever see this? Surprised many...



    http://www.espn.com/...erence-bay-hill



    "Mark Broadie, a professor at Columbia University's business school, is a pioneer of the strokes-gained approach to PGA Tour statistics."





    "Over the years, Broadie has looked very closely at the strokes-gained performance of Tiger Woods. Broadie used PGA Tour ShotLink data from 2003 to 2010 to determine that Tiger gained 3.2 strokes per round over the average tour player. The biggest chunk of those strokes gained during that period came from his long game (2.08), with his short game (0.42) and his putting (0.70) accounting for the rest."




    Not surprised at all. His iron play was way better than anybody else. I suspect that his long game (2.08) gain was 100% irons. Or maybe over 100% since he was so wild off the tee




    Youd be surprised at how highly ranked TW was in sg driving in his prime. Often in the top 10.



    Myth: TW was a terrible driver.




    Not a myth at all. Read Hank Haney's book. He said his driving accuracy was so bad that he encouraged Tiger to hit a three wood off the tee.. Tiger's driving accuracy was one of the worst ever on the PGA Tour.



    Here are some examples of his pitiful driving accuracy;





    2001: 145th

    2002: 107th

    2003; 142nd

    2004: 182nd

    2005: 191st

    2006: 139th

    2007: 152nd




    Here are his sg off the tee.



    Keeping in mind that 2004 was the 1st year the stat was recorded and prior was possibly even stronger.



    2004 31st (distance, 9th)

    2005 4rth (distance, 2nd)

    2006 3rd. (Distance, 12th)

    2007 8th. (Distance, 12th)



    Can only imagine his sg off the tee in 2000-2003.



    Guys would kill for this "pitiful" driving.



    Myth busted.




    Nobody would kill for being 191st in driving accuracy.
  • North TexasNorth Texas Members Posts: 4,103 ✭✭



    Take the ball out of the equation and you would see still a gradual increase over the years in driving distance due to all the other factors you listed. Totally expected and normal. Started in the 80's




    Actually, it started over 100 years ago.




    and is even going on now despite claims that distance has leveled off which is simply not true.




    Obviously, you are not looking at the stats. Look at the last ten years. There has been no increase in distance.




    You have to dig deeper into the stats to get what I'm saying.



    And I just used the 80's because the PGA Tour website starts at 1980 for the driving distance stats. But yes, it has been going on for 100 years or so.
  • North TexasNorth Texas Members Posts: 4,103 ✭✭
    Uhit wrote:


    Medic wrote:


    Fitness levels.

    Fitting processes.

    Shaft technology.

    Club head technology.

    Course maintenance improvements.

    Coaching technological advances.

    Course knowledge available.

    The use of high speed video for training.

    And, of course, the ball.



    If anyone can think of anything I left off of the list as far as "things that really have led to more distance" please feel free to add them. My question is, "If you assert that the ball must be changed are you not taking the position that all of the other factors that had led to more distance are not all that profound?"

    In other words, if you change the ball but you don't change the other things on the list, will the elite players still find a way to make up for the distances lost and still tear courses apart? Can not help but wonder given the grooves rule of 2010 and how it really didn't cause that much of an uproar at the highest levels of play.




    Take the ball out of the equation and you would see still a gradual increase over the years in driving distance due to all the other factors you listed. Totally expected and normal. Started in the 80's and is even going on now despite claims that distance has leveled off which is simply not true. For proof of that just take a look at median driving distance through the years. Or take a look every 5 years of how many players average 300+, how many 290+, and how many 280+ and so on.



    However look at what happened in the period around 2000 and the years just before and after and you will see an abnormal increase due to primarily the ball and the size of the driver clubhead. Quite simply the ruling bodies fell asleep at the wheel.



    Again, driving distance will naturally progress over the years due to the factors that Medic listed above. Nothing wrong with that. But the evidence is there that there was an abnormal increase that was due to the ball and the driver size and you are in denial if you don't see that.



    And, good lord, can we quit with the ridiculous notion that older players like Nicklaus are simply wanting to protect their legacy. That is beyond stupid.




    I think you have in a miraculous way missed that one:



    http://www.golfwrx.c...ns-on-pga-tour/



    Btw



    You will find, that the size of the driver was not as important for the increase in distance, than that they are made out of titanium.



    The funny thing is, that this chart still doesn´t take into account, what the courses with enhanced fairways contributed to that increase! image/read.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':read:' />



    And last, but not least, you see, that driving distance kept about the same since more than a decade.




    Okay, we're looking at a chart provided by the USGA who want to justify their position. Think about it.



    Dig deeper in the stats to see what I'm am talking about.
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    edited Dec 13, 2017 #300

    rawdog wrote:


    I appreciate the nice tone. I enjoy talking about this stuff! You and I agree on #2. I think the game is just evolving, and I enjoy the fact that I am using the same equipment as the pros. I know I stink compared to them. Me playing a "normal" ball and them playing a rolled back ball would take the fun out of it. Like I needed "help." I do, but I enjoy the delusion a bit image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    My only critiques of your work is that I'd look at Earnings Per Event rather than just earnings. I'd also look at the reasons why scoring is flat on the PGA tour. Longer courses.




    Why use earnings per event? That number can be skewed since event payouts vary tremendously. Scoring average might be a better measure. Agree scoring is a better measure. But you guys were referencing money lists earlier, so I used money. I didn't think a guy who played 15 events and a guy who played 20 events could be fairly compared without controlling for how many events they played.



    Another good analysis is to graph scoring vs all of the the "strokes gained" stats to see which one correlates best. Ask and you shall receive. More commentary below.




    I re-did the Top 30 to show earnings per event. The Top 12 are all above-average in distance. 80% of the top 30 are above-average in distance. This is further highlighted in my scatter plot, where I highlight the Top 30. A lot of guys to the right of the average. If you're earning big money, you're longer than average.




    I agree with your numbers, but being above average isn't a very high bar. Spieth is above average and everybody calls him a short hitter (on this board) and even talk about how he must increase his distance to remain competitive.



    I'm on this board and I don't think he needs to do anything differently off the tee. He already has an advantage off the tee with his distance and accuracy.




    Then I would take another look at the Titleist charts. How they can say courses haven't changed length over the years or major-winning scores haven't gone down is beyond me. There are clear (likely statistically-significant) trends there. Scores trend down, lengths trend up.




    But scores have been flat for a decade. Not at the majors, which is what Titleist used in their report. I even posted their exact slides. Agree PGA scores have been flat, but that's because they play longer courses. I also posted this data.


    Then let's look at courses on the PGA Tour. They've gotten longer over the years, no doubt. The last chart shows average course grows roughly proportionate to tee shot distance.



    Again, I don't want to roll back the ball. I like the natural evolution of the game, and I think this issue is being blown out of proportion. I just don't like the way Titleist has presented it.



    I trust you'll look at this with an open mind. Thanks for the good discussion.




    I appreciate your graphs. This thread discussion has wandered all over the place to the point where I'm not sure what the core debate is.



    My position on the ball roll back issue is that it's not needed because distance and scoring has stabilized over the past ten years.




    Below are plots showing how each area of the game relates to scoring. Read it as you move from left to right, you move from being worse than the field to better than the field at that skill. Vertical axis is total strokes gained, a comparable measure to scoring average.



    All skills have positive correlations. Obviously, the better you are at a specific skill, the better you are overall. What I see is that short game and putting are more tightly grouped than approach shots or tee shots. Meaning, not many have really separated themselves from the pack. Whereas, with tee shots and approaches, you start to see more variation in the values.



    It's tough to draw conclusions from this data. But if you look at the standard deviation of each category, you'll find:



    STD Dev Tee= .415

    STD Dev Approach = .367

    STD Dev Short = .211

    STD Dev Putting = .312



    There's almost double the variation of skill off the tee versus on the putting green. I'd be interested in hearing thoughts on why this might be.

    What I see is that short game and putting are more tightly grouped than approach shots or tee shots. Meaning, it's not too easy to sep
    Cobra LTD Driver
    Aldila Rogue Black, 9.5* @44.5"
    In1Zone Single Length Fairway Woods

    Graffaloy ProLaunch Axis Blue @41.5" 5W = 19*
    Graffaloy ProLaunch Axis Blue @41.5" 7W = 23*
    Cobra F7 One Length Irons
    Nippon Modus 105 Stiff @ 36.5"
    6I = 24* 7I = 29* 8I = 34* 9I = 39* PW = 44* GW = 49* SW = 54* LW = 59*
    Odyssey #9 HT Metal X Milled @33.5"
    Maxfli SoftFli
  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,884 ✭✭

    Uhit wrote:


    Medic wrote:


    Fitness levels.

    Fitting processes.

    Shaft technology.

    Club head technology.

    Course maintenance improvements.

    Coaching technological advances.

    Course knowledge available.

    The use of high speed video for training.

    And, of course, the ball.



    If anyone can think of anything I left off of the list as far as "things that really have led to more distance" please feel free to add them. My question is, "If you assert that the ball must be changed are you not taking the position that all of the other factors that had led to more distance are not all that profound?"

    In other words, if you change the ball but you don't change the other things on the list, will the elite players still find a way to make up for the distances lost and still tear courses apart? Can not help but wonder given the grooves rule of 2010 and how it really didn't cause that much of an uproar at the highest levels of play.




    Take the ball out of the equation and you would see still a gradual increase over the years in driving distance due to all the other factors you listed. Totally expected and normal. Started in the 80's and is even going on now despite claims that distance has leveled off which is simply not true. For proof of that just take a look at median driving distance through the years. Or take a look every 5 years of how many players average 300+, how many 290+, and how many 280+ and so on.



    However look at what happened in the period around 2000 and the years just before and after and you will see an abnormal increase due to primarily the ball and the size of the driver clubhead. Quite simply the ruling bodies fell asleep at the wheel.



    Again, driving distance will naturally progress over the years due to the factors that Medic listed above. Nothing wrong with that. But the evidence is there that there was an abnormal increase that was due to the ball and the driver size and you are in denial if you don't see that.



    And, good lord, can we quit with the ridiculous notion that older players like Nicklaus are simply wanting to protect their legacy. That is beyond stupid.




    I think you have in a miraculous way missed that one:



    http://www.golfwrx.c...ns-on-pga-tour/



    Btw



    You will find, that the size of the driver was not as important for the increase in distance, than that they are made out of titanium.



    The funny thing is, that this chart still doesn´t take into account, what the courses with enhanced fairways contributed to that increase! image/read.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':read:' />



    And last, but not least, you see, that driving distance kept about the same since more than a decade.




    Okay, we're looking at a chart provided by the USGA who want to justify their position. Think about it.



    Dig deeper in the stats to see what I'm am talking about.




    There's not "dig deeper" required. Everyone hit the ball farther in 2004 with solid multilayer urethane balls and titanium drivers with graphite shafts than they had in 1994 with crappy wound balls and wooden drivers with steel shafts. Fact. Indisputable and not actually disagreed with by anyone on the planet at any time during the past decade.



    Then the distance elite players hit the ball resumed its very, very slow and gradual increase at about the same rate that had obtained for decades before. There was a one-time jump in distance over a period of just a couple years and then everything went on as before.



    You hated it then, you hate it now, you will hate it until the day you die. And after all this time, you're thinking someone is finally going to right this historic disfigurement of the game. You will finally be vindicated after whinging about this for year after year after year.



    That's not a "stats" argument. It's rehashing ancient history.
    “1lb beefstak, with
    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 
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