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

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Comments

  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    raynorfan1 wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    raynorfan1 wrote:

    rawdog wrote:


    To me, the answer (what was the question, again?) is just keep equipment rules as they are. Let's see how long it takes to optimize equipment for the current rules (we're pretty close, I'd think).




    I think this is tough ground to defend. Where both the club and the ball are already regulated to "roll back" distance, you're stuck arguing that 317 yards is the "right" number. And I don't know how you arbitrate what the right number is.



    I'd rather roll back the rules and let the engineers loose.




    I don't want to have to be arguing about a number. I'd rather say, "ok, these are the rules for equipment" and then let humans figure out how well they can use it. I don't think you have to pick a number as a target. Besides, human evolution will always make the ball go farther.



    It's maybe a bit of semantics, but it would make more sense to me to figure out what what makes a golf club a golf club or a golf ball a golf ball, and solidify those rules. We've already come a long way in establishing those parameters, now we're arguing about the limits of those parameters (ie, max COR).



    I don't mean to be smart, but rules are what help us figure out what is a golf club and what is a baseball bat. Rules on what a golf club and balls are allowed to be are different from things like anchoring or putting while straddling the line of a putt, which tell us how we can use them.




    I think we're in the same place, except that you might. It realize that the USGA currently has a distance limit of 317 yards (under very specific test conditions). I think the rules should define size and weight, but otherwise let designers go nuts (and I could accept an argument that even size and weight should be for the player to determine).




    I assume you're talking about balls here. I'll admit, I don't know as much about the rules for balls as I do clubs. So thanks for that.



    You may agree, an arbitrary yardage number makes it seem like the rules are less concerned about defining what a golf ball is and isn't and more concerned about how far a ball can and can't go.
    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
  • cxxcxx Members Posts: 3,096 ✭✭
    The other aspect of the emergence of the "power game" is that the tournament venues really catered to the new long hitters by moving the tees back to increase the length. It was the easiest way to lengthen the course but they made it relatively easier for the long hitter. They fell for it. Maybe they thought it was better for TV viewing. Playing more tournaments on shorter, more penal courses could avoid messing with the equipment.



    There is hope for shorter venues. Harbor Town is an interesting example of a short course that is as challenging as it ever was. It's a shot maker's course. Trees, doglegs and trouble around the green make shorter courses hard. Do the long hitters show up at these tournaments?
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    cxx wrote:


    The other aspect of the emergence of the "power game" is that the tournament venues really catered to the new long hitters by moving the tees back to increase the length. It was the easiest way to lengthen the course but they made it relatively easier for the long hitter. They fell for it. Maybe they thought it was better for TV viewing. Playing more tournaments on shorter, more penal courses could avoid messing with the equipment.



    There is hope for shorter venues. Harbor Town is an interesting example of a short course that is as challenging as it ever was. It's a shot maker's course. Trees, doglegs and trouble around the green make shorter courses hard. Do the long hitters show up at these tournaments?




    Ask and you shall receive. I took my season-long driving distance data and paired it up with the winning scores at RBC Heritage (Harbor Town). There is pretty much zero correlation between the two image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    Wesley Bryan and Luke Donald were 1-2. Their season driving distances are each about 14 yards below PGA Tour Average.



    Strokes gained suggests they finished 1-2 despite low strokes gained off the tee. Wesley Bryan won largely due to his approaches (3rd in field) and Luke Donald second largely due to his putting (6th in field).



    However, it looks like most of the top finishers were better than the field average off the tee.
    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
  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    cdnglf wrote:

    Uhit wrote:

    Sean2 wrote:

    Uhit wrote:

    rawdog wrote:


    Yes, very weak correlation between driving distance and success. I read the Titleist book report and it made me laugh. Using inferior stats like putts per round and driving accuracy will not help you build an accurate statistical model. Come on, Titleist, no P-values in your correlations?



    I'm against bifurcation and a rollback, but this PowerPoint (lol) is funny. "Where's the harm?" sounds like a high schooler getting his buddy to try a cigarette.



    Yeah, very little evidence that distance leads to success.






    40 yards longer drives on average, to gain ONE single stroke!



    The graphic also shows, that you are able to gain more than TWO strokes over the field with your short game - Jordan Spieth!





    Even the variance of the short game of Jordan Spieth is bigger, than one stroke... image/read.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':read:' />



    ...again, the variance of Jordan Spieth short game makes a bigger difference, than a variance in driving distance of 40 yards! image/polling.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':polling:' />




    My facility has a very good short game practice area. I spend a lot of time there. However, the vast majority of the members rarely visit it (which is fine by me), and are pounding drivers on the range instead. lol



    My short game in fairly good, I have had more than a couple of scratch golfers tell me they wish they had my short game. BUT, the short game isn't ****, there is no "BOOM BABY!", so for the most part it gets short shrift.



    How often do you see ads on TV promoting a piece of equipment that will enhance one's short game, versus ads that promote distance? I am waiting for an advertisement promoting a putter that will give the golfer 20 more feet of role.



    Distance is good, don't get me wrong, but it seems to me it has become an obsession to the exclusion of other aspects of the game that are just as critical.




    Those, who became most often club masters in our club (7000 yards course), are also not the longest hitters, but have a reliable short game...



    -



    Btw.



    By looking at the graphics again...



    ...If you imagine, that Jordan Spieth would lose his exceptional short game abilities (and the correlated two stroke gain over the field),

    he would have to drive it about 80 yards farther than today (following the trend of the grafics), to compensate this loss with driving distance (>370 yards would be necessary)!



    Which shows once more, that success is stronger correlated to the short game, than to driving distance.



    Drive for show, putt for dough!




    tumblr_m5f4krm42a1qcb58yo2_500.gif




    Great!



    Now we are talking...



    You know, what a trend is within a graphics?

    You know, how to calculate the gradient?



    Well, then you see, that it takes 40 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by one...



    ...now you can extrapolate (to visualize a theoretical scenario), that you would need 80 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by two.



    About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance.
    04.png 80.1K
  • McgeenoMcgeeno Members Posts: 1,965 ✭✭
    I’m sorry if I’ve missed the main points of the argument fellas but:



    Why can’t we narrow the fairways and soften them, add an intermediate cut a few yards wide and then lengthen the rough to 4+ inches and truly penalize crooked drives?



    Instead of 8000 yard courses what am I missing with just making current courses harder?



    I know I’m not fully into current course design but why is that not an option? Instead of seeing fairway balls bound 50 yards down the fairway or having power hitters not care about errant drives 40 yards off line let’s hurt them.



  • McgeenoMcgeeno Members Posts: 1,965 ✭✭
    Adding to that post there was one tournament last year at Harbor Town or something like that and the fairways were soft, accuracy seemed super important, positioning off the tee etc.



    It’s like 7000 yards and the winning scores are always -5 to -15 or so.



  • TsarBombaTsarBomba Members Posts: 698
    Mcgeeno wrote:


    I’m sorry if I’ve missed the main points of the argument fellas but:



    Why can’t we narrow the fairways and soften them, add an intermediate cut a few yards wide and then lengthen the rough to 4+ inches and truly penalize crooked drives?



    Instead of 8000 yard courses what am I missing with just making current courses harder?



    I know I’m not fully into current course design but why is that not an option? Instead of seeing fairway balls bound 50 yards down the fairway or having power hitters not care about errant drives 40 yards off line let’s hurt them.




    Because it doesn't fit their narrative of golf course obsolescence....its just damaged pride.
  • ShilgyShilgy Members Posts: 11,399 ✭✭
    Uhit wrote:




    Great!



    Now we are talking...



    You know, what a trend is within a graphics?

    You know, how to calculate the gradient?



    Well, then you see, that it takes 40 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by one...



    ...now you can extrapolate (to visualize a theoretical scenario), that you would need 80 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by two.



    About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance.
    Hmm, what am I missing? Strokes gained putting last year the leader was Michael Thompson at plus 0.840. There were 3 players with a higher strokes gained off the tee. And those three were all at the top of the OWGR.

    https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02567.2017.html
    WITB
    Tools for the job!

    To paraphrase Dr Seuss: Don't cry because the round of golf is over-smile because it happened . :)

    Game is recovering from total ankle replacement. Getting there and glad to be pain free!
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    Uhit wrote:




    Great!



    Now we are talking...



    You know, what a trend is within a graphics?

    You know, how to calculate the gradient?



    Well, then you see, that it takes 40 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by one...



    ...now you can extrapolate (to visualize a theoretical scenario), that you would need 80 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by two.



    About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance.




    Advantage he had. He regressed in 2016 back to closer to where he was in 2014. He's still at the edge of the grouping, but not as much of an outlier. What's interesting about 2015 is that his biggest improvement in strokes gained was from off the tee, then approach shots. In fact, short game and putting only made up 32.5% of the additional strokes gained that year.



    What's interesting is that in his two best years in terms of scoring average, less than half of his advantage on the field was short game + putting. In 2017, only 37% of his advantage came from short game + putting.



    He's better than the field in all aspects of the game, including off the tee. As has been said, he's still plenty long to compete, and it isn't always his short game that carries him.
    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
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    edited Dec 12, 2017 #251
    Mcgeeno wrote:


    Adding to that post there was one tournament last year at Harbor Town or something like that and the fairways were soft, accuracy seemed super important, positioning off the tee etc.



    It's like 7000 yards and the winning scores are always -5 to -15 or so.




    I referenced that tournament above. I think you'll find my results interesting. Spoiler: you're right!
    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
  • cxxcxx Members Posts: 3,096 ✭✭
    rawdog wrote:

    cxx wrote:


    The other aspect of the emergence of the "power game" is that the tournament venues really catered to the new long hitters by moving the tees back to increase the length. It was the easiest way to lengthen the course but they made it relatively easier for the long hitter. They fell for it. Maybe they thought it was better for TV viewing. Playing more tournaments on shorter, more penal courses could avoid messing with the equipment.



    There is hope for shorter venues. Harbor Town is an interesting example of a short course that is as challenging as it ever was. It's a shot maker's course. Trees, doglegs and trouble around the green make shorter courses hard. Do the long hitters show up at these tournaments?




    Ask and you shall receive. I took my season-long driving distance data and paired it up with the winning scores at RBC Heritage (Harbor Town). There is pretty much zero correlation between the two image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    Wesley Bryan and Luke Donald were 1-2. Their season driving distances are each about 14 yards below PGA Tour Average.



    Strokes gained suggests they finished 1-2 despite low strokes gained off the tee. Wesley Bryan won largely due to his approaches (3rd in field) and Luke Donald second largely due to his putting (6th in field).



    However, it looks like most of the top finishers were better than the field average off the tee.




    Wow, cool data. Like that strokes gained data for the tournament. Looks like strength of the field is about in the middle of all the pga tour events.
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    cxx wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    cxx wrote:


    The other aspect of the emergence of the "power game" is that the tournament venues really catered to the new long hitters by moving the tees back to increase the length. It was the easiest way to lengthen the course but they made it relatively easier for the long hitter. They fell for it. Maybe they thought it was better for TV viewing. Playing more tournaments on shorter, more penal courses could avoid messing with the equipment.



    There is hope for shorter venues. Harbor Town is an interesting example of a short course that is as challenging as it ever was. It's a shot maker's course. Trees, doglegs and trouble around the green make shorter courses hard. Do the long hitters show up at these tournaments?




    Ask and you shall receive. I took my season-long driving distance data and paired it up with the winning scores at RBC Heritage (Harbor Town). There is pretty much zero correlation between the two image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    Wesley Bryan and Luke Donald were 1-2. Their season driving distances are each about 14 yards below PGA Tour Average.



    Strokes gained suggests they finished 1-2 despite low strokes gained off the tee. Wesley Bryan won largely due to his approaches (3rd in field) and Luke Donald second largely due to his putting (6th in field).



    However, it looks like most of the top finishers were better than the field average off the tee.




    Wow, cool data. Like that strokes gained data for the tournament. Looks like strength of the field is about in the middle of all the pga tour events.




    Thanks. I just came across that site today. It looks really neat, but you can't export the data.
    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
  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    Shilgy wrote:

    Uhit wrote:


    Great!



    Now we are talking...



    You know, what a trend is within a graphics?

    You know, how to calculate the gradient?



    Well, then you see, that it takes 40 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by one...



    ...now you can extrapolate (to visualize a theoretical scenario), that you would need 80 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by two.



    About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance.
    Hmm, what am I missing? Strokes gained putting last year the leader was Michael Thompson at plus 0.840. There were 3 players with a higher strokes gained off the tee. And those three were all at the top of the OWGR.

    https://www.pgatour....02567.2017.html




    Short game is not exclusively putting.
  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    rawdog wrote:

    Uhit wrote:


    Great!



    Now we are talking...



    You know, what a trend is within a graphics?

    You know, how to calculate the gradient?



    Well, then you see, that it takes 40 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by one...



    ...now you can extrapolate (to visualize a theoretical scenario), that you would need 80 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by two.



    About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance.




    Advantage he had. He regressed in 2016 back to closer to where he was in 2014. He's still at the edge of the grouping, but not as much of an outlier. What's interesting about 2015 is that his biggest improvement in strokes gained was from off the tee, then approach shots. In fact, short game and putting only made up 32.5% of the additional strokes gained that year.



    What's interesting is that in his two best years in terms of scoring average, less than half of his advantage on the field was short game + putting. In 2017, only 37% of his advantage came from short game + putting.



    He's better than the field in all aspects of the game, including off the tee. As has been said, he's still plenty long to compete, and it isn't always his short game that carries him.




    Well, if you can´t explain his (up to about) two stroke advantage with his driving distance, and not with his short game...



    ...where do the two strokes come from?



    Or is the strokes gained method missing something?
  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Masters! ClubWRX Posts: 17,720 ClubWRX
    edited Dec 12, 2017 #256
    augustgolf wrote:


    Some of my thoughts:



    I loved it when I got a 44" graphite shafted driver for my HS graduation from the pro I had worked for the previous 3 years. I could hit it easily 15-20 yards further.



    Got my first 40 cc driver a few years ago & combined with the B330RX, I could still pop it off the tee around 270+/- at +50 years of age. Liked that too.



    But a hole over 470 yards, on a course designed over 30 years ago was created to accept a long iron or fairway wood approach.



    Holes designed to have short iron approaches should have much smaller greens complexes with much more trouble around them.



    This is why the older courses are being overpowered by today's players & equipment.



    How can we put that challenge back into the game without the extreme expense of greens re-designs?



    I'll admit I don't have answers but can see the problem clearly




    A good reminder it's not as simple as don't mow the fairways or move the tees back.



    And not to your point, but history matters to the designs of many golf courses and should be valued.
  • bscinstnctbscinstnct Members Posts: 26,410 ✭✭
    edited Dec 12, 2017 #257
    rawdog wrote:

    Uhit wrote:


    Great!



    Now we are talking...



    You know, what a trend is within a graphics?

    You know, how to calculate the gradient?



    Well, then you see, that it takes 40 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by one...



    ...now you can extrapolate (to visualize a theoretical scenario), that you would need 80 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by two.



    About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance.




    Advantage he had. He regressed in 2016 back to closer to where he was in 2014. He's still at the edge of the grouping, but not as much of an outlier. What's interesting about 2015 is that his biggest improvement in strokes gained was from off the tee, then approach shots. In fact, short game and putting only made up 32.5% of the additional strokes gained that year.



    What's interesting is that in his two best years in terms of scoring average, less than half of his advantage on the field was short game + putting. In 2017, only 37% of his advantage came from short game + putting.



    He's better than the field in all aspects of the game, including off the tee. As has been said, he's still plenty long to compete, and it isn't always his short game that carries him.




    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."
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    Uhit wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    Uhit wrote:


    Great!



    Now we are talking...



    You know, what a trend is within a graphics?

    You know, how to calculate the gradient?



    Well, then you see, that it takes 40 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by one...



    ...now you can extrapolate (to visualize a theoretical scenario), that you would need 80 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by two.



    About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance.




    Advantage he had. He regressed in 2016 back to closer to where he was in 2014. He's still at the edge of the grouping, but not as much of an outlier. What's interesting about 2015 is that his biggest improvement in strokes gained was from off the tee, then approach shots. In fact, short game and putting only made up 32.5% of the additional strokes gained that year.



    What's interesting is that in his two best years in terms of scoring average, less than half of his advantage on the field was short game + putting. In 2017, only 37% of his advantage came from short game + putting.



    He's better than the field in all aspects of the game, including off the tee. As has been said, he's still plenty long to compete, and it isn't always his short game that carries him.




    Well, if you can´t explain his (up to about) two stroke advantage with his driving distance, and not with his short game...



    ...where do the two strokes come from?



    Or is the strokes gained method missing something?




    The scatter plot you keep referencing shows driving distance, which is not the same as strokes gained off the tee. While Spieth is pretty average distance-wise, he has been above-average (particularly in 15 and 16) in strokes gained off the tee. This could be because he doesn't go OB, or because he finds more fairways, or avoids fairway bunkers, etc. Being "good" at driving is more than just distance, though, as I've shown, driving distance and SG are highly correlated. But it's not a 1:1 relationship.



    So, to answer your question more directly- I literally just posted a chart showing the breakdown of his strokes gained each year since 2014. In the outlier year of 2015, Spieth had a 2.154 stroke advantage on the field. It was pretty evenly distributed through the phases of the game- 23% tee, 29% approach, 22% short and 27% putting (rounded up, will not sum to 100%).



    Any other questions?
    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
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    edited Dec 12, 2017 #259
    bscinstnct wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    Uhit wrote:


    Great!



    Now we are talking...



    You know, what a trend is within a graphics?

    You know, how to calculate the gradient?



    Well, then you see, that it takes 40 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by one...



    ...now you can extrapolate (to visualize a theoretical scenario), that you would need 80 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by two.



    About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance.




    Advantage he had. He regressed in 2016 back to closer to where he was in 2014. He's still at the edge of the grouping, but not as much of an outlier. What's interesting about 2015 is that his biggest improvement in strokes gained was from off the tee, then approach shots. In fact, short game and putting only made up 32.5% of the additional strokes gained that year.



    What's interesting is that in his two best years in terms of scoring average, less than half of his advantage on the field was short game + putting. In 2017, only 37% of his advantage came from short game + putting.



    He's better than the field in all aspects of the game, including off the tee. As has been said, he's still plenty long to compete, and it isn't always his short game that carries him.




    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."




    I own the book and read his early papers. I was an econ major. Thanks for sharing... I love this stuff.
    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
  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    bscinstnct wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    Uhit wrote:


    Great!



    Now we are talking...



    You know, what a trend is within a graphics?

    You know, how to calculate the gradient?



    Well, then you see, that it takes 40 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by one...



    ...now you can extrapolate (to visualize a theoretical scenario), that you would need 80 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by two.



    About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance.




    Advantage he had. He regressed in 2016 back to closer to where he was in 2014. He's still at the edge of the grouping, but not as much of an outlier. What's interesting about 2015 is that his biggest improvement in strokes gained was from off the tee, then approach shots. In fact, short game and putting only made up 32.5% of the additional strokes gained that year.



    What's interesting is that in his two best years in terms of scoring average, less than half of his advantage on the field was short game + putting. In 2017, only 37% of his advantage came from short game + putting.



    He's better than the field in all aspects of the game, including off the tee. As has been said, he's still plenty long to compete, and it isn't always his short game that carries him.




    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, because strokes gained, is more about relative numbers, than absolute numbers.



    And we are talking about absolut numbers in driving distance.



    Tiger was in relation to most of his peers longer...

    ...and he had no real weakness.



    That is sufficient to win.
  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    rawdog wrote:

    Uhit wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    Uhit wrote:


    Great!



    Now we are talking...



    You know, what a trend is within a graphics?

    You know, how to calculate the gradient?



    Well, then you see, that it takes 40 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by one...



    ...now you can extrapolate (to visualize a theoretical scenario), that you would need 80 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by two.



    About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance.




    Advantage he had. He regressed in 2016 back to closer to where he was in 2014. He's still at the edge of the grouping, but not as much of an outlier. What's interesting about 2015 is that his biggest improvement in strokes gained was from off the tee, then approach shots. In fact, short game and putting only made up 32.5% of the additional strokes gained that year.



    What's interesting is that in his two best years in terms of scoring average, less than half of his advantage on the field was short game + putting. In 2017, only 37% of his advantage came from short game + putting.



    He's better than the field in all aspects of the game, including off the tee. As has been said, he's still plenty long to compete, and it isn't always his short game that carries him.




    Well, if you can´t explain his (up to about) two stroke advantage with his driving distance, and not with his short game...



    ...where do the two strokes come from?



    Or is the strokes gained method missing something?




    The scatter plot you keep referencing shows driving distance, which is not the same as strokes gained off the tee. While Spieth is pretty average distance-wise, he has been above-average (particularly in 15 and 16) in strokes gained off the tee. This could be because he doesn't go OB, or because he finds more fairways, or avoids fairway bunkers, etc. Being "good" at driving is more than just distance, though, as I've shown, driving distance and SG are highly correlated. But it's not a 1:1 relationship.



    So, to answer your question more directly- I literally just posted a chart showing the breakdown of his strokes gained each year since 2014. In the outlier year of 2015, Spieth had a 2.154 stroke advantage on the field. It was pretty evenly distributed through the phases of the game- 23% tee, 29% approach, 22% short and 27% putting (rounded up, will not sum to 100%).



    Any other questions?




    Thank you for confirming that the SG method is missing something.



    Therefore you can not mix this method with the data in the driving distance graphics - because it is not 1:1, as you admitted.
  • Lacey UnderallLacey Underall Members Posts: 1,173
    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.
    2019 WITB
    Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub-Zero 10.5* - Project X Hzrdus Black 75 6.5
    3 Wood: Callaway Epic 15* - Aldila Rogue Max 85x
    2-PW: Callaway X-Prototype MBs - Project X 6.5 flighted
    52* Wedge: Callaway MD2 Slate S Grind
    58* Wedge: Callaway MD2 Slate S Grind
    Putter: Odyssey Jailbird Mini
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    edited Dec 12, 2017 #263
    Uhit wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    Uhit wrote:

    rawdog wrote:

    Uhit wrote:


    Great!



    Now we are talking...



    You know, what a trend is within a graphics?

    You know, how to calculate the gradient?



    Well, then you see, that it takes 40 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by one...



    ...now you can extrapolate (to visualize a theoretical scenario), that you would need 80 yards more driving distance, to reduce the score by two.



    About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance.




    Advantage he had. He regressed in 2016 back to closer to where he was in 2014. He's still at the edge of the grouping, but not as much of an outlier. What's interesting about 2015 is that his biggest improvement in strokes gained was from off the tee, then approach shots. In fact, short game and putting only made up 32.5% of the additional strokes gained that year.



    What's interesting is that in his two best years in terms of scoring average, less than half of his advantage on the field was short game + putting. In 2017, only 37% of his advantage came from short game + putting.



    He's better than the field in all aspects of the game, including off the tee. As has been said, he's still plenty long to compete, and it isn't always his short game that carries him.




    Well, if you can´t explain his (up to about) two stroke advantage with his driving distance, and not with his short game...



    ...where do the two strokes come from?



    Or is the strokes gained method missing something?




    The scatter plot you keep referencing shows driving distance, which is not the same as strokes gained off the tee. While Spieth is pretty average distance-wise, he has been above-average (particularly in 15 and 16) in strokes gained off the tee. This could be because he doesn't go OB, or because he finds more fairways, or avoids fairway bunkers, etc. Being "good" at driving is more than just distance, though, as I've shown, driving distance and SG are highly correlated. But it's not a 1:1 relationship.



    So, to answer your question more directly- I literally just posted a chart showing the breakdown of his strokes gained each year since 2014. In the outlier year of 2015, Spieth had a 2.154 stroke advantage on the field. It was pretty evenly distributed through the phases of the game- 23% tee, 29% approach, 22% short and 27% putting (rounded up, will not sum to 100%).



    Any other questions?




    Thank you for confirming that the SG method is missing something.



    Therefore you can not mix this method with the data in the driving distance graphics - because it is not 1:1, as you admitted.




    You could mix the two if you wanted. It's really easy to filter to only include golfers with driving distances within a certain range of Spieth. Then you could see how much better Spieth is at each facet of the game when compared to people in his driving distance peer group. You seem to have an interest in this. If you'd like, I can do it for you and we can see what it looks like.



    "About the same number as Spieth has an advantage over his peers with the same driving distance."
    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
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    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.
    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
  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    edited Dec 12, 2017 #265


    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.




    If the people would learn how to play Stableford, and pick the ball up, if there is nothing to gain anymore...



    ...or play 9 holes instead of 18...



    ...and don´t mark their ball with a alignment aid for putting, which doesn´t really help - except slowing down the game whilst putting.



    Stop searching balls longer than 3 minutes...



    ...prepare your next stroke, as soon as you have hit your ball.



    Play your next shot, as soon as the group in front is out of reach.



    Keep quiet, and don´t move, whilst someone is about to make his shot.



    Let a faster group play through.



    Rake the bunker,or repair a pitch mark for someone else, whilst you have nothing to do.





    Don´t try to get the attention from the Ministry of Silly Walks...



    ...etc...





    ...then the people would enjoy the game more - for sure.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    edited Dec 12, 2017 #266
    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.
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    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.
    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
  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    edited Dec 12, 2017 #268
    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.
  • rawdograwdog Cleveland, OHMembers Posts: 3,015 ✭✭
    edited Dec 12, 2017 #269
    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.
    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
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,307 ✭✭
    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.



    Another good analysis is to graph scoring vs all of the the "strokes gained" stats to see which one correlates best.




    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.




    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.


    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.
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,307 ✭✭
    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.
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