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19th Hole

Tiger Woods is 2nd in swing speed, 24th in driving distance. GolfWRX members discuss

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GolfWRX member cavemeister took a look at Tiger Woods’ stats, and something didn’t add up for him.

Here’s what he saw.

  • Tiger Woods is 24th on the PGA Tour in average driving distance at 306.6 yards.
  • Tiger Woods is 2nd on the PGA Tour in average clubhead speed at 122.04 mph

Now, only drives that find the fairway are measured, and swing speed is only recorded a couple of times per round, but what gives, cavemeister wonders in a forum thread.

Not surprisingly, WRX members had a range of opinions for the disparity between TW’s swing speed and driving distance.

Flog2 points out

“distance is only measured when you are on the fairway!”

Woods is doing the above at just over 51 percent this season, so the sample may be small.

Torrujean suggests Woods may not be finding the center of the clubface on some of the measured drives.

“Quality of strike does not match the speed.”

MSUIRONDAWGS says

“You have to understand also, that distance is only measured for official stats on a few holes on Tour. So if he happens to hit 3 wood on one of those holes, the avg distance comes down in the calculation of his 3 or 4 holes that day.”

And of course, there conspiracy theorists, such as QuigleyDU

“the numbers are not accurate.”

Shot-savior may have the best take

“So many variables:

1. Quality of strike
2. Launch/Spin
3. Type of shot played; high/low, fade/draw
4. Run out versus carry
5. Favorable bounce; catching the slope
6. Landing in fairway first versus hitting in rough then kicking into fairway
7. Riding the wind or knocking it under the wind
8. And so on…

High SS is the best indicator of potential distance. But, it’s conditional and there’s some luck involved to. That’s why we periodically see lower SS players out drive the highest SS players on tour. There are always random outliers not consistent with normal findings.”

See the thread for more replies.

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Is this interesting, or meh? There are clearly a number of possible explanations…which do you find the most plausible?

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Dufner’s Aunt

    Jun 15, 2018 at 11:05 am

    His smash factor is at an all-time high with the cougars on tour. Stick to what you’re good at Tiger!

  2. Paul

    May 12, 2018 at 11:10 am

    He is also right up there in hitting it in the KaKa.

  3. Mike C

    May 10, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Clearly it’s because he hits down on the driver while some other players hit 1-3 degrees up. 1 or 2 degrees down vs 3 up can mean 15 yards of carry at 120 mph. It’s why Spieth is ranked better for distance than he is for swing speed. No real mystery.

  4. James L

    May 9, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    His launch angle is not positive; thus, the distance is less. He is notorious for taking divots with his 3-wood off the tee.

    • James L

      May 9, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      Oops. Meant to say his ‘attack’ angle is not positive (i.e. not over +2 degrees)

  5. Brett Weir

    May 9, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Has Tiger been hitting it on the hosel lately?!?!

  6. Walter Gruchala

    May 9, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Smash Factor!

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19th Hole

Hungover Eddie Pepperell is the real winner of The Open

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Eddie Pepperell is never dull. The Englishman’s candor, articulateness, and skill with a pen make him a great follow on Twitter and beyond.

But even given standard Peperellian forthrightness, it was surprising to hear this: Pepperell was hungover during the final round at Carnoustie…a round in which he fired a 4-under 67.

Pepperell finished tied for sixth at 5-under, three strokes behind Francesco Molinari, and he offered this admission in his final-round press conference.

“I was a little hungover…I had too much to drink last night. And I was so frustrated yesterday, that today was really, I wouldn’t say a write-off, but I didn’t feel I was in the golf tournament. Whether I shot 69 or 73 today, it wouldn’t have been heartbreaking. But as it happens, I shot 67. So, you know, it’s a funny game.”

Hitting the course before the winds kicked up, Pepperell birdied the third, fifth, sixth, and 14th holes before rolling in another at the 17th.

He clarified that he’s no wino.

“Listen, I wouldn’t always have a drink the night before. Sometimes I have a few drinks. Tiger is minus-7, he didn’t have a drink last night, I bet. Proper athlete…I didn’t really have that much to drink, just I’m a lightweight, yeah.”

Pepperell clarified that he felt okay this morning, but woke up in the middle of the night feeling poorly. he said. Then it was time to sit back and watch as the leaders battled Carnoustie’s back nine.

Proper athlete or no, Pepperell finished tied with Woods at 5 under.

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19th Hole

Pat Perez: The R&A “do it right, not like the USGA”

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Pat Perez opened The Open, as it were, with a 2-under 69, and at the time of this writing, he’s 4 under for the second round and tied for the lead.

Clearly, there’s something Double P likes about links golf. And when he was asked whether he was surprised by how receptive the greens at Carnoustie were after his opening round, Perez shook his head with conviction and said.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA…They’ve got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you’ve got the greens receptive. They’re not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn’t. The course is just set up perfect.”

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

Pat Perez has no problem speaking his mind. While it has gotten him in trouble in the past, you have to respect his candor. The interesting question, as I asked in the Morning 9, is how many Tour pros agree him?

Sure, it’s unlikely any of Perez’s compatriots will join him publicly in his “R&A does it right, USGA does it wrong” stance, but it’d be very interesting to know what percentage are of the same mind.

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19th Hole

68 at the British Open in the morning, golf with hickories at St Andrews in the afternoon

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Yes, golf fans, just another day in the charmed life (or week, at least) of one Brandon Stone.

Stoney (as I assume his friends call him), came to Carnoustie on the heels of a final-round 60 to win the Scottish Open. All he did in his opening round was fire a 3-under 68. Not bad!

But his Thursday to remember was only getting started as Stone made the 25-mile trip south to the Old Course to peg it…with a set of hickory clubs! Well played, sir, well played.

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