The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

Today’s post is going to be different than originally planned. I will expain next week. I am going to discuss a stat on tour that I have mentioned before, that I find very interesting. I am a big baseball fan and of course stats are at the heart of the game.Stats are used in baseball to help teams play better and win more games. The PGA tour keeps stats now, but certainly not as long as baseball. . There is one stat that Dave Pelz mentions in is putting books, that PGA pros make 50% of their putts from 6 feet. I have never seen anyone dispute this stat and it has been around a long time. However, how many times during the last round of the tournament have you seen a graphic on Sunday about the leader of the tournament or someone close to the lead, that says he has made all of his putts from 7 feet. Just as recently as Big Phil’s victory in Phoenix,  he was something like 24 for 24 on putts from 7 feet or less. Now granted that accounts for putts of 2 and 3 feet, but even if he had only 10 putts from 6 to 7 feet, he made them all. That means that someone is close to 0 for ten in order to make the 50% average. I would say, that it is a fair assumption, that the guys that are at the 0 or 1 for 10 level are probably missing the cut. What, if any conclusions can be drawn from such stats. Despite all the ball striking hoopla is the real reason that people win or lose on the PGA tour is the ability fo make 6 foot putts. I am not saying it is, but it is food for thought. I would think this less if the winner was making 75% of his 6 foot putts. That would mean that the poorer putter would be making 25% to get to the 50% tour average. I think it would be fair to say that over the course of 36 holes that a player would have about 10 putts between 5.5 and 6.5 feet. With the best and the worse 9 to 10 strokes apart, there is the cut line. Now what can the everyday player take from such a stat. Lets face it, if a pro is making all his 6 foot putts I don’t think he is making them by letting them die in the hole. You can’t bang 6 foot putts into the back of the hole, but I think its time to take a new attitude about this length of putt and hit them in with more authority. I also think this shows that the pros are not afraid to shoot a high number. These pros that are in the less than 10% range maybe missing the cut one week but  maybe the next week they are in the hunt. They know in the early going they  have to make this length putt to get into contention, and to hell with the consequences. Having said all that I still not too sure about the meaning of such diverse stats.However, what kind of scores would you rather shoot. Four rounds between 78 and 82, or rounds like this, 86,71,84, and 70. So when you are watching the golf on Sunday be looking for that phenomenal stat, 100% makes on putts of 6,7, or sometimes even 8 feet or less. Remember the tour average is 50%. Back to goofiness next week. Although that stat is pretty goofy, don’t you think?           

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One Response to The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

  1. Brian Penn says:

    I’d say that most of those <6 foot putts are for par and the stat is more an indication of scrambling ability. On a week to week basis, I think the 10-20 foot range is most important because it's an indicator of birdie putts going in, and should accompany GIR as the stat most correlated with excellent play. Thanks for the thought provoking post!

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