[quote name='NoCalHack' timestamp='1351749191' post='5876351']
[quote name='hangubber' timestamp='1351623949' post='5868291']
[quote name='hoganfan924' timestamp='1351619713' post='5867897']
Without a lot more in-depth analysis, this is the typical "correlation = causation" fallacy.
For example, note that about 1/2 of the top DZ players are known a long hitters, and several of the bottom 10 are short hitters.
Absolutely correct. All we have here is a correlation between Danger Zone accuracy and money earned.
Here is the argument against causality:
1. Approach shots from this distance do not occur frequently. A quick look at PGA stats shows that an approach from 200-225 yards occurs approximately 1.2 times per round and an approach from 175 to 200 yards occurs about 2.3 times per round. This means that an average player only has about 3.5 opportunities from this distance.
2. Improving from average to best at hitting approaches from 175 to 200 yards moves you 5 feet closer to the hole, from 34 feet to 29 feet.
Improving from average to best at hitting approaches from 200 to 225 yards moves you 7 feet closer to the hole from 40 feet to 33 feet.
3. Looking at putting data: From 30 to 35 feet, the average pro makes 0.63% of putts. From more than 35 feet, the average pro makes 0.34% of putts. From 25 to 30 feet the average pro makes 0.81% of putts.
4. So improving your DZ approach shots from 40 feet to the hole down to 29 feet means that the golfer will make about 0.47% more putts. Multiply this by the 3.5 opportunities per round and the golfer saves about 0.017 strokes per round or about 0.068 strokes per tournament.
5. So, going from average DZ player to best DZ player improves scoring by less than 1 tenth of 1 stroke per tournament. One should conclude that the article's writer has not proven his hypothesis. There is no justification statistically for a PGA player to place his practice emphasis on Danger Zone approaches.
Interesting article. But this is the perfect response. Not only does this response point out what many of us immediately suspected from the read- that this is correlation- but puts forth nice data to confirm it.
As many have pointed out- the top DZ players are long hitters/good ballstrikers. THIS translates to success on tour.
I mean, the article does imply that players should be working more on this shot. So although it points out an interesting stat, that assertion is absolutely incorrect.
The calculation here is wrong because it assumes the extra 5-7 feet just means putts that are a little longer. In reality sometimes it means the difference between putting and rough, bunkers, or water.
PGA tour provides a Relative to Par stat for each of these distances.
From 175-200 yards the difference between best (Bubba) and average is .188 strokes. Times 2.3 average attempts per round is 0.43 strokes.
From 200-225 yard the difference between best (Rory) and average is 0.35 strokes. Times 1.3 average attempts per round is 0.46 strokes.
These stats don't include shots from rough which work out to .16 & .29 strokes per round using the same calculation.