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I want to challenge Mark Broadie


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#211 DaveLeeNC

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 09:28 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 11 October 2017 - 08:40 AM, said:

Please don't say "compares you to a dataset". Calculating Strokes Gained does not *compare* you to anything, the calculation itself is simply a translation of your distance and lie onto a standardized baseline. I keep trying different ways to say this but it just can't get through, apparently.

If I say that the weather in Hawaii this time of year averages 20C, while where I live it averages 10C then I can "compare" those and say it is 10 degrees Celsius warmer.

But both numbers are expressed on a scale where 0C means freezing and 100C means boiling. I am not "comparing" the temperature in either place to the temperature of ice. The temperature of freezing or boiling are simply the endpoints of a scale commonly used to express temperature.

Same with Strokes Gained. The table for converting distance and lie into expected strokes has to be based on some dataset somewhere. Broadie used the most complete dataset in the world, the ShotLink data from the PGA Tour. But you can convert a Tour player's round into that common metric or the round of a Scratch golfer or the round of a hacker shooting 106 from the ladies tees. The conversion into Strokes Gained is just like marking a thermometer in Celsius.

If you want to use some other dataset to convert distance and lie to expected strokes, you're welcome to do so. But once all that work is done, you'll find that the results of "comparing" my game to yours comes to the same conclusions. Just like Hawaii is the same amount warmer than my neighborhood whether the difference is expressed in C or F units.

The "comparison" is up to you. You can "compare" me to you, you can "compare" yourself this year to yourself last year, you can "compare" Dustin Johnson to Jim Furyk. Using Stroke Gained as computed by Broadie is an arbitrary choice with no bearing on the results. Just like comparing DJ's to Furyk's driving distance in yards vs. meters.

"Strokes Gained" is clearly a direct comparison of a person's result (given a category) against some standard (which is the "gained over what?" answer). Phil's "Strokes Gained Putting" (see https://www.pgatour....stat.02564.html ) for the first tournament of the year was 3.144. THIS IS A COMPARISON to the field on a distance adjusted basis. And this is how the public and the golfing media tends to use that term. You seem to be equating "Strokes Gained" with the underlying data. I don't think that is the norm out there (even if Broadie would agree, although I doubt that).

dave

ps. For the sake of accuracy the link is to Strokes Gained Putting for the current season, when at the time I posted was just one tournament.

Edited by DaveLeeNC, 11 October 2017 - 09:37 AM.


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#212 bluedot

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 02:53 PM

View Postjimithng, on 11 October 2017 - 08:26 AM, said:

View Postbluedot, on 04 October 2017 - 07:36 PM, said:

View Postjimithng, on 03 October 2017 - 07:59 AM, said:

View PostRi_Redneck, on 02 October 2017 - 03:38 PM, said:

I see your point, but I see ESC/SG theory working well for A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL over time. It gives you a very honest comparison of your game and how it is (or is not) developing as your practice and play. I don't think comparing ourselves to the average is any help at all, but KNOWING about the average can help in assessing our own games.

This is exactly why I argue with those who tell me I should be doing this or that based on his collected data. I'm not in there anywhere!

BT
Exactly. The SG works on the pga tour because the quality or skill level of player is virtually the same. It is like looking at a collection of data for a single player.  Unlike amateurs, who's level of play differs drastically; even within very tight handicap ranges, until you get into scratch and below.

You guys are pretty determined to keep knocking down a straw man.  Over and over...

Broadie isn't telling anybody what they need to do to improve.  Broadie isn't telling anybody how they stack up compared to "average", whatever that might mean.  Broadie IS analyzing what actually happens at every level of golf, and trying to present it in a rational statistical analysis that is easily understood, and useful IF you want to collect the data on your own game.  (And yes, that CAN be done!)

But when you say that a strokes gained approach has no meaning outside the Tour, you are arguing with a mountain of data and analysis with nothing more than a opinion based on nothing at all.  If you are a 10 handicap, and your putting from a SG perspective is worse than other 10 handicaps, then perhaps that's a clue for you about what to do next. That you and other 10 handicaps ALL putt worse than Tour pros is neither news, nor a reason NOT to use SG to figure out how you are doing.  Likewise, if you want to know what the AVERAGE differences are between you with a 10 handicap and a scratch golfer, or between a scratch golfer and a Tour pro, Broadie provides a statistical look at that, too.

But there is, quite literally, NO basis in fact for saying that a strokes gained approach is only usable for Tour players, or even for highly skilled amateurs.  In fact, there is no reason to believe that a strokes gained approach shouldn't be MORE helpful to less-skilled golfers, simply because they DO have bigger variations in the various parts of their games.

Please, I urge you to read the book.  You are being highly critical and somewhat dismissive of Broadie's work without being familiar at all with the work itself.  And I think you might enjoy it, too.
I agree with you about SG being possible for amateurs. I'm just not convinced that we have the ability now.

All I was saying was that SG depends 100% on data collection and works better with a tight dispersion of player quality.  SG is a very basic stat that compares you to a dataset.  What I am essentially saying is I don't believe that amateurs have the ability to collect this data for an SG stat to matter. Please, prove me wrong.

To be clear, again, I am not knocking SG. I've said that multiple times. It is helpful. I only mention the pros because that is where the data is plentiful and player quality is virtually the same across all players; which is why the SG works on tour.  It has nothing to do with SG not working or working for amateurs. It is about data collection. You keep mentioning this as if I'm saying that amateurs will not benefit from SG. Not true. All I am talking about are stats.

Also, I am not a Broadie hater. I haven't even read the book. I do know econometrics and what Broadie does day to day; he is a finance stats professor.  SG is great as long as the data is good. SG is not groundbreaking. His findings are not groundbreaking. It is great, however, now that there is much better data collection on tour that the players can utilize stats like SG to find an edge against competitors.  I am just cautioning readers to understand and question where these stats are coming from and most importantly, the data source; especially if you are using it to hone your own game.  

Is it cool to compare your rounds against pro SG?  Yes. It's entertainment  Will it help you? Maybe. If it does, then great.  If whatever dataset you are working with gets you SG against other amateurs and you think it is helpful? Great. Im not saying one way or another, or anything else about how a certain stat can or cannot help. I was talking about just the stats and stats is nothing but data. You are 100% wrong if you think the amateur data is comparable to the pga data, in collection consistency or accuracy; today.  So, if you think that getting correlations from both amateurs and pros is helpful, you are wrong.  Academically, it is a laughable comparison. Will there be trends there?  Yes, you can correlate anything. Doesn't mean much.  Will some trends actually end up being true or accurate? Yes, that's the amazing world of statistics.  That is why i questioned Broadie's comparison of pro vs amateur data; mostly in jest but clearly it was misconstrued.  My only points about "highly skilled" amateurs was that if they are near the quality of the players in the pga dataset, then they could benefit from using the current tour SG data; since they are similar in skill, the data would be a close representation of their own games.  They could benefit them the most, compared to the range of varying amateurs, from the current pro data.  This not me saying that only highly skilled amateurs can benefit from SG.  See the difference?

Please understand that I've said nothing but to note what SG is and why the SG works for pga data, which is largely due to data collection consistency. That's all. One day, I hope amateur data collection will be as consistent and accurate as pga data; apps like game golf and arccos are trying.  At this time in the near future, we can talk about the benefits of how SG is working for you or for your 2.6 index and 14.9 index buddies, or whatever.  For the time being, I just think SG is being misused by people who don't understand the basis of the stat itself. I was just hoping that the members of wrx would benefit from trying to understand the difference.

Edited for spelling.

I don't know what else to tell you, except to try again.

1. You completely underestimate or disregard or misunderstand the amount of data collection that has been done on amateur golfers; it actually predates the Shotlink data.  I'd urge you to read more about it, but until you do, there is not much point in continuing to write that the data for amateurs is not sufficient to verify trends that exist across ALL of the spectrum of playing ability.

2. Strokes Gained is a more refined set of statistics than counting putts, or fairways hit, or GIR %.  If you don't like Broadie's methodology for computing SG, that's one thing, but if a baseball fan said essentially what YOU are saying, that a high school team couldn't make good use of advanced metrics like OPS or WHIP vs traditional stats like BA or ERA, then you'd only be showing a manifest ignorance of the methodology and usage of the advanced metrics.  That's a you thing, and NOT a valid criticism of a metric.

3. I agree with you that the problem for an amateur is accessing SG data FOR THEIR OWN GAME.  That doesn't mean that I can't do it; I do!  It just means that I have to do it for myself, while Justin Thomas and the boys have people doing it for them.  Same data, same calculations, same applications; just a different way to them.  And as useful as you want to make them.  I know to a certainty that it's helped me play better golf, from reconfiguring my set, to how I play certain holes on my home course, to club selection in a tournament round.  If you don't want THAT information, great, but again, that's a you thing and not a knock on the data or the metrics themselves.

I can't believe that I continue to argue Mark Broadie's work with someone who hasn't read Mark Broadie's work.  It was easier when I was in the classroom; I'd have just flunked you on your book report when I realized that you hadn't read the book on which you claimed to be reporting.  But I retired and hung up my red pen, so you get to continue to discuss books that you haven't read.  Just not with me anymore...

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#213 jimithng

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:10 PM

View Postbluedot, on 11 October 2017 - 02:53 PM, said:

View Postjimithng, on 11 October 2017 - 08:26 AM, said:

View Postbluedot, on 04 October 2017 - 07:36 PM, said:

View Postjimithng, on 03 October 2017 - 07:59 AM, said:

View PostRi_Redneck, on 02 October 2017 - 03:38 PM, said:

I see your point, but I see ESC/SG theory working well for A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL over time. It gives you a very honest comparison of your game and how it is (or is not) developing as your practice and play. I don't think comparing ourselves to the average is any help at all, but KNOWING about the average can help in assessing our own games.

This is exactly why I argue with those who tell me I should be doing this or that based on his collected data. I'm not in there anywhere!

BT
Exactly. The SG works on the pga tour because the quality or skill level of player is virtually the same. It is like looking at a collection of data for a single player.  Unlike amateurs, who's level of play differs drastically; even within very tight handicap ranges, until you get into scratch and below.

You guys are pretty determined to keep knocking down a straw man.  Over and over...

Broadie isn't telling anybody what they need to do to improve.  Broadie isn't telling anybody how they stack up compared to "average", whatever that might mean.  Broadie IS analyzing what actually happens at every level of golf, and trying to present it in a rational statistical analysis that is easily understood, and useful IF you want to collect the data on your own game.  (And yes, that CAN be done!)

But when you say that a strokes gained approach has no meaning outside the Tour, you are arguing with a mountain of data and analysis with nothing more than a opinion based on nothing at all.  If you are a 10 handicap, and your putting from a SG perspective is worse than other 10 handicaps, then perhaps that's a clue for you about what to do next. That you and other 10 handicaps ALL putt worse than Tour pros is neither news, nor a reason NOT to use SG to figure out how you are doing.  Likewise, if you want to know what the AVERAGE differences are between you with a 10 handicap and a scratch golfer, or between a scratch golfer and a Tour pro, Broadie provides a statistical look at that, too.

But there is, quite literally, NO basis in fact for saying that a strokes gained approach is only usable for Tour players, or even for highly skilled amateurs.  In fact, there is no reason to believe that a strokes gained approach shouldn't be MORE helpful to less-skilled golfers, simply because they DO have bigger variations in the various parts of their games.

Please, I urge you to read the book.  You are being highly critical and somewhat dismissive of Broadie's work without being familiar at all with the work itself.  And I think you might enjoy it, too.
I agree with you about SG being possible for amateurs. I'm just not convinced that we have the ability now.

All I was saying was that SG depends 100% on data collection and works better with a tight dispersion of player quality.  SG is a very basic stat that compares you to a dataset.  What I am essentially saying is I don't believe that amateurs have the ability to collect this data for an SG stat to matter. Please, prove me wrong.

To be clear, again, I am not knocking SG. I've said that multiple times. It is helpful. I only mention the pros because that is where the data is plentiful and player quality is virtually the same across all players; which is why the SG works on tour.  It has nothing to do with SG not working or working for amateurs. It is about data collection. You keep mentioning this as if I'm saying that amateurs will not benefit from SG. Not true. All I am talking about are stats.

Also, I am not a Broadie hater. I haven't even read the book. I do know econometrics and what Broadie does day to day; he is a finance stats professor.  SG is great as long as the data is good. SG is not groundbreaking. His findings are not groundbreaking. It is great, however, now that there is much better data collection on tour that the players can utilize stats like SG to find an edge against competitors.  I am just cautioning readers to understand and question where these stats are coming from and most importantly, the data source; especially if you are using it to hone your own game.  

Is it cool to compare your rounds against pro SG?  Yes. It's entertainment  Will it help you? Maybe. If it does, then great.  If whatever dataset you are working with gets you SG against other amateurs and you think it is helpful? Great. Im not saying one way or another, or anything else about how a certain stat can or cannot help. I was talking about just the stats and stats is nothing but data. You are 100% wrong if you think the amateur data is comparable to the pga data, in collection consistency or accuracy; today.  So, if you think that getting correlations from both amateurs and pros is helpful, you are wrong.  Academically, it is a laughable comparison. Will there be trends there?  Yes, you can correlate anything. Doesn't mean much.  Will some trends actually end up being true or accurate? Yes, that's the amazing world of statistics.  That is why i questioned Broadie's comparison of pro vs amateur data; mostly in jest but clearly it was misconstrued.  My only points about "highly skilled" amateurs was that if they are near the quality of the players in the pga dataset, then they could benefit from using the current tour SG data; since they are similar in skill, the data would be a close representation of their own games.  They could benefit them the most, compared to the range of varying amateurs, from the current pro data.  This not me saying that only highly skilled amateurs can benefit from SG.  See the difference?

Please understand that I've said nothing but to note what SG is and why the SG works for pga data, which is largely due to data collection consistency. That's all. One day, I hope amateur data collection will be as consistent and accurate as pga data; apps like game golf and arccos are trying.  At this time in the near future, we can talk about the benefits of how SG is working for you or for your 2.6 index and 14.9 index buddies, or whatever.  For the time being, I just think SG is being misused by people who don't understand the basis of the stat itself. I was just hoping that the members of wrx would benefit from trying to understand the difference.

Edited for spelling.

I don't know what else to tell you, except to try again.

1. You completely underestimate or disregard or misunderstand the amount of data collection that has been done on amateur golfers; it actually predates the Shotlink data.  I'd urge you to read more about it, but until you do, there is not much point in continuing to write that the data for amateurs is not sufficient to verify trends that exist across ALL of the spectrum of playing ability.

2. Strokes Gained is a more refined set of statistics than counting putts, or fairways hit, or GIR %.  If you don't like Broadie's methodology for computing SG, that's one thing, but if a baseball fan said essentially what YOU are saying, that a high school team couldn't make good use of advanced metrics like OPS or WHIP vs traditional stats like BA or ERA, then you'd only be showing a manifest ignorance of the methodology and usage of the advanced metrics.  That's a you thing, and NOT a valid criticism of a metric.

3. I agree with you that the problem for an amateur is accessing SG data FOR THEIR OWN GAME.  That doesn't mean that I can't do it; I do!  It just means that I have to do it for myself, while Justin Thomas and the boys have people doing it for them.  Same data, same calculations, same applications; just a different way to them.  And as useful as you want to make them.  I know to a certainty that it's helped me play better golf, from reconfiguring my set, to how I play certain holes on my home course, to club selection in a tournament round.  If you don't want THAT information, great, but again, that's a you thing and not a knock on the data or the metrics themselves.

I can't believe that I continue to argue Mark Broadie's work with someone who hasn't read Mark Broadie's work.  It was easier when I was in the classroom; I'd have just flunked you on your book report when I realized that you hadn't read the book on which you claimed to be reporting.  But I retired and hung up my red pen, so you get to continue to discuss books that you haven't read.  Just not with me anymore...
This is my last post on this.  Why do I need to read the book when I am only talking about one stat?  I don't even argue about his findings; only that I refuse to believe that any amateur data would be worth comparing against pga and shotlink stats.  All I wanted to do is point out the data requirements for SG to be beneficial and why it is specifically relevant for the pros.  I was trying to raise the importance of the actual data behind SG; the findings or how Broadie got there, for the purposes of my posts were not even important.  

If your data collection abilities allow to to create an SG stat for your own that's amazing.  If it helps you get your goals that is even better.  I don't know how you are doing it and at this point I don't really care.

I won't comment on your tactless last point. I have multiple degrees in economics yet i have yet to read these hyperbolic books written by bored economic professors out to make a buck. Sorry. The math is the math.  I dont need to read about fantastical "findings" from the "data" in these types of books.  You clearly found this book very important for your own golf game.  Great.  Good luck to you.  




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#214 whmg

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:13 PM

Perhaps you could send me 4 rounds of data to see if it would help you understand the significant strengths and weakness of your play using the ESC SG format.   All I would need is Club, lie and distance to the hole for each stroke.   Thank you.

Edited by whmg, 12 October 2017 - 12:27 AM.


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#215 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:12 AM

View Postwhmg, on 11 October 2017 - 10:13 PM, said:

Perhaps you could send me 4 rounds of data to see if it would help you understand the significant strengths and weakness of your play using the ESC SG format.   All I would need is Club, lie and distance to the hole for each stroke.   Thank you.

I actually could have all that information. But how do you factor in things like wind, temperature, how someone is hitting the ball that particular day, etc?  

All the intangibles that go into not just the shot, but the decision making leading up to the shot?

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#216 whmg

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:45 PM

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 12 October 2017 - 07:12 AM, said:

View Postwhmg, on 11 October 2017 - 10:13 PM, said:

Perhaps you could send me 4 rounds of data to see if it would help you understand the significant strengths and weakness of your play using the ESC SG format.   All I would need is Club, lie and distance to the hole for each stroke.   Thank you.

I actually could have all that information. But how do you factor in things like wind, temperature, how someone is hitting the ball that particular day, etc?  

All the intangibles that go into not just the shot, but the decision making leading up to the shot?

Those are great points.   There are so many variables that would nice to be able to factor and I would think at some point there is a diminishing return at play here.   The intangibles are important, many would average out with more data.  More importantly with SG   I am trying to analyze my accuracy at target distances.  Knowing my areas of strength and weakness may allow me to make my limited practice time more efficient.  

Fortunately, recording this during the round the information takes a reasonable amount of time without too much of a distraction.  The information that you send would take me less than 15 minutes to input and analyze, not an unreasonable investment of time.  Why not see if it makes sense for your game with a few days of simple data?

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#217 North Butte

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:01 PM

That's the classic argument of "I can't measure everything that might conceivably affect the outcome so therefore I refuse to look at the things I can measure that are absolutely certain to affect the outcome". That line of reasoning gets trotted out every time someone wants to poo-poo analytics in favor of good old fashioned gut feelings and hand-me-down received wisdom.
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#218 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:42 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 12 October 2017 - 01:01 PM, said:

That's the classic argument of "I can't measure everything that might conceivably affect the outcome so therefore I refuse to look at the things I can measure that are absolutely certain to affect the outcome". That line of reasoning gets trotted out every time someone wants to poo-poo analytics in favor of good old fashioned gut feelings and hand-me-down received wisdom.

That's me NB!  I'm very much a "gut-feeling" kind of person.

Although I know I'm pretty much wrong and there is a lot of merit to them, I can never shake that feeling or idea that stats or analytics can be like studies. Manipulated to produce the results the particular person wants to get. I do understand that this situation we're talking about the end goal is more information about ones golf game. I'm just still stubborn enough to believe that it won't tell me much I don't already know.
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#219 Lincoln_Arcadia

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 02:33 PM

Well, you know the old adage: "Drive for dough and putt for show."

Pros are pros because they're longer and more accurate hitters than the rest of us.

The vast majority of players who shoot well are closer to the green and in less trouble from off the tee. So based upon that simple fact, improve your long game to improve your odds of shooting lower scores.

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#220 Ty_Webb

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 07:34 AM

View Postjimithng, on 11 October 2017 - 08:26 AM, said:

View Postbluedot, on 04 October 2017 - 07:36 PM, said:

View Postjimithng, on 03 October 2017 - 07:59 AM, said:

View PostRi_Redneck, on 02 October 2017 - 03:38 PM, said:

I see your point, but I see ESC/SG theory working well for A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL over time. It gives you a very honest comparison of your game and how it is (or is not) developing as your practice and play. I don't think comparing ourselves to the average is any help at all, but KNOWING about the average can help in assessing our own games.

This is exactly why I argue with those who tell me I should be doing this or that based on his collected data. I'm not in there anywhere!

BT
Exactly. The SG works on the pga tour because the quality or skill level of player is virtually the same. It is like looking at a collection of data for a single player.  Unlike amateurs, who's level of play differs drastically; even within very tight handicap ranges, until you get into scratch and below.

You guys are pretty determined to keep knocking down a straw man.  Over and over...

Broadie isn't telling anybody what they need to do to improve.  Broadie isn't telling anybody how they stack up compared to "average", whatever that might mean.  Broadie IS analyzing what actually happens at every level of golf, and trying to present it in a rational statistical analysis that is easily understood, and useful IF you want to collect the data on your own game.  (And yes, that CAN be done!)

But when you say that a strokes gained approach has no meaning outside the Tour, you are arguing with a mountain of data and analysis with nothing more than a opinion based on nothing at all.  If you are a 10 handicap, and your putting from a SG perspective is worse than other 10 handicaps, then perhaps that's a clue for you about what to do next. That you and other 10 handicaps ALL putt worse than Tour pros is neither news, nor a reason NOT to use SG to figure out how you are doing.  Likewise, if you want to know what the AVERAGE differences are between you with a 10 handicap and a scratch golfer, or between a scratch golfer and a Tour pro, Broadie provides a statistical look at that, too.

But there is, quite literally, NO basis in fact for saying that a strokes gained approach is only usable for Tour players, or even for highly skilled amateurs.  In fact, there is no reason to believe that a strokes gained approach shouldn't be MORE helpful to less-skilled golfers, simply because they DO have bigger variations in the various parts of their games.

Please, I urge you to read the book.  You are being highly critical and somewhat dismissive of Broadie's work without being familiar at all with the work itself.  And I think you might enjoy it, too.
I agree with you about SG being possible for amateurs. I'm just not convinced that we have the ability now.

All I was saying was that SG depends 100% on data collection and works better with a tight dispersion of player quality.  SG is a very basic stat that compares you to a dataset.  What I am essentially saying is I don't believe that amateurs have the ability to collect this data for an SG stat to matter. Please, prove me wrong.

To be clear, again, I am not knocking SG. I've said that multiple times. It is helpful. I only mention the pros because that is where the data is plentiful and player quality is virtually the same across all players; which is why the SG works on tour.  It has nothing to do with SG not working or working for amateurs. It is about data collection. You keep mentioning this as if I'm saying that amateurs will not benefit from SG. Not true. All I am talking about are stats.

Also, I am not a Broadie hater. I haven't even read the book. I do know econometrics and what Broadie does day to day; he is a finance stats professor.  SG is great as long as the data is good. SG is not groundbreaking. His findings are not groundbreaking. It is great, however, now that there is much better data collection on tour that the players can utilize stats like SG to find an edge against competitors.  I am just cautioning readers to understand and question where these stats are coming from and most importantly, the data source; especially if you are using it to hone your own game.  

Is it cool to compare your rounds against pro SG?  Yes. It's entertainment  Will it help you? Maybe. If it does, then great.  If whatever dataset you are working with gets you SG against other amateurs and you think it is helpful? Great. Im not saying one way or another, or anything else about how a certain stat can or cannot help. I was talking about just the stats and stats is nothing but data. You are 100% wrong if you think the amateur data is comparable to the pga data, in collection consistency or accuracy; today.  So, if you think that getting correlations from both amateurs and pros is helpful, you are wrong.  Academically, it is a laughable comparison. Will there be trends there?  Yes, you can correlate anything. Doesn't mean much.  Will some trends actually end up being true or accurate? Yes, that's the amazing world of statistics.  That is why i questioned Broadie's comparison of pro vs amateur data; mostly in jest but clearly it was misconstrued.  My only points about "highly skilled" amateurs was that if they are near the quality of the players in the pga dataset, then they could benefit from using the current tour SG data; since they are similar in skill, the data would be a close representation of their own games.  They could benefit them the most, compared to the range of varying amateurs, from the current pro data.  This not me saying that only highly skilled amateurs can benefit from SG.  See the difference?

Please understand that I've said nothing but to note what SG is and why the SG works for pga data, which is largely due to data collection consistency. That's all. One day, I hope amateur data collection will be as consistent and accurate as pga data; apps like game golf and arccos are trying.  At this time in the near future, we can talk about the benefits of how SG is working for you or for your 2.6 index and 14.9 index buddies, or whatever.  For the time being, I just think SG is being misused by people who don't understand the basis of the stat itself. I was just hoping that the members of wrx would benefit from trying to understand the difference.

Edited for spelling.

I'm trying to follow what you're saying, but I'm struggling. i hope you'll help me out with it.

Let's suppose that you're a 90 shooter. You play on a 6500 yard course and your scores range from about 86 to 98 most of the time. Your handicap is 14. You keep a record of each game you play in a season. Distance of each shot and where you played it from. You take the strokes gained baseline numbers and you calculate for each shot what your strokes gained/lost was. Your average score is roughly 24 shots higher than the 0.00 strokes gained number, so you know that your strokes gained is going to add up to about -24. You tally up your strokes gained numbers and you divide it up into off the tee, approach, short game and putting. Here is how your numbers break down:

Off the tee -12
Approach -9
Short game -2
Putting -1

How is this not useful information?

Let's then suppose for sake of argument that there is data out there for 100 90 shooters, for 100 rounds each. I don't know what these numbers are, but let's say the average is:

Off the tee -10
Approach -7
Short game -4
Putting -3

That tells you something clearly useful - namely that your long game is worse than average for your ability level and that you should probably work on that. Your short game is better than average for your ability level. What does it matter what the variation in ability at your 90 shooter level is? Even if no data whatsoever exists at the 90-shooter level and there is only info for the 80-shooter level. Let's suppose that says this:

Off the tee -6
Approach -4
Short game -2
Putting -2

That still tells you that you have the short game and putting game of a typical player who is ten shots better than you. If you want to become an 80s shooter, you have to work on your long game, because that's where you're losing all your shots. How could that not be useful to someone to know? The only person I can think of for whom this would be useless information is one who had no interest in getting better. I'm sure they exist, but there's no point in contemplating them here.

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#221 North Butte

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 07:41 AM

View PostTy_Webb, on 16 October 2017 - 07:34 AM, said:

Let's then suppose for sake of argument that there is data out there for 100 90 shooters, for 100 rounds each. I don't know what these numbers are, but let's say the average is:

Off the tee -10
Approach -7
Short game -4
Putting -3

Outstanding explanation and I have nothing to add.

But I had to chuckle seeing these made-up SG stats. You totally *nailed* my most recently few rounds, right there. Reverse the -3 and -4 on putting and short game and that's my game in a nutshell. At least lately.

Being short AND crooked off the tee is just a terrible way to play golf...

Edited by North Butte, 16 October 2017 - 07:42 AM.

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#222 Ty_Webb

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 07:53 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 16 October 2017 - 07:41 AM, said:

View PostTy_Webb, on 16 October 2017 - 07:34 AM, said:

Let's then suppose for sake of argument that there is data out there for 100 90 shooters, for 100 rounds each. I don't know what these numbers are, but let's say the average is:

Off the tee -10
Approach -7
Short game -4
Putting -3

Outstanding explanation and I have nothing to add.

But I had to chuckle seeing these made-up SG stats. You totally *nailed* my most recently few rounds, right there. Reverse the -3 and -4 on putting and short game and that's my game in a nutshell. At least lately.

Being short AND crooked off the tee is just a terrible way to play golf...

It wasn't an entirely uneducated guess. I don't have the book in front of me, but some of Broadie's old research is available online. I took a quick look at the old paper of his that has the numbers for amateurs and estimated the split between off the tee and approach. I'd bet those numbers are within a stroke or two of "normal"
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#223 North Butte

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 07:57 AM

For years, including when I first read the book, my golf game had an amazingly even split among the categories. It was like minus six-point-something in SG-Off The Tee, SG-Approach Shots and SG-Short Game and then around minus four on SG-Putting. I've spent the last few month assiduously working on my wedge game and it's paid off by a noticeable improvement in Strokes Gained for that category.

But I'll be damned in the three strokes improvement in Short Game hasn't been *exactly* offset by three strokes worse Off The Tee. I'm shooting the same scores as ever but with some really nice up-and-downs for bogey once in a while!
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#224 Ty_Webb

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 07:59 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 16 October 2017 - 07:57 AM, said:

For years, including when I first read the book, my golf game had an amazingly even split among the categories. It was like minus six-point-something in SG-Off The Tee, SG-Approach Shots and SG-Short Game and then around minus four on SG-Putting. I've spent the last few month assiduously working on my wedge game and it's paid off by a noticeable improvement in Strokes Gained for that category.

But I'll be damned in the three strokes improvement in Short Game hasn't been *exactly* offset by three strokes worse Off The Tee. I'm shooting the same scores as ever but with some really nice up-and-downs for bogey once in a while!

Damn it that's not how it's supposed to work!
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#225 Need2golfalot

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 11:28 PM

Maybe the HH hits a great shot on the green and makes birdie.  He didn't play to lay up and what is gained by shooting 83 or 85 vs 86 or 88?

Edited by Need2golfalot, 17 October 2017 - 11:31 PM.


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#226 North Butte

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 05:15 AM

As a short-hitting high handicapper I am all about trying to get the most chances to make birdies or the extremely rare eagle. But in reality, both birdie chances and lower overall scoring require much the same strategy. I need to stay out of the woods AND hit my driver as far as possible for both purposes.

A maximum birdie chance strategy vs. lowest total score strategy at m home course probably comes down to cutting the dogleg on one particular hole with a driver vs laying back short of the 'leg with an iron or hybrid. Other than that one hole, the other 13 tee shots the smart play is obvious no matter what strategy I'm trying to employ.

That said, maximizing birdie chances does influence choice of aiming line and/or club selection on the occasional approach or layup shot. Maybe 2-3 times a round I'd say.
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#227 Lincoln_Arcadia

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 08:43 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 18 October 2017 - 05:15 AM, said:

As a short-hitting high handicapper I am all about trying to get the most chances to make birdies or the extremely rare eagle. But in reality, both birdie chances and lower overall scoring require much the same strategy. I need to stay out of the woods AND hit my driver as far as possible for both purposes.

A maximum birdie chance strategy vs. lowest total score strategy at m home course probably comes down to cutting the dogleg on one particular hole with a driver vs laying back short of the 'leg with an iron or hybrid. Other than that one hole, the other 13 tee shots the smart play is obvious no matter what strategy I'm trying to employ.

That said, maximizing birdie chances does influence choice of aiming line and/or club selection on the occasional approach or layup shot. Maybe 2-3 times a round I'd say.

This is the biggest challenge to golf. Hit far and straight off the tee and high and accurate on the approaches.

Unfortunately, the best way to get birdie and eagle chances is by being on the green, and that's pretty much what Brodie seems to indicate.

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#228 bluedot

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 10:28 AM

View PostLincoln_Arcadia, on 18 October 2017 - 08:43 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 18 October 2017 - 05:15 AM, said:

As a short-hitting high handicapper I am all about trying to get the most chances to make birdies or the extremely rare eagle. But in reality, both birdie chances and lower overall scoring require much the same strategy. I need to stay out of the woods AND hit my driver as far as possible for both purposes.

A maximum birdie chance strategy vs. lowest total score strategy at m home course probably comes down to cutting the dogleg on one particular hole with a driver vs laying back short of the 'leg with an iron or hybrid. Other than that one hole, the other 13 tee shots the smart play is obvious no matter what strategy I'm trying to employ.

That said, maximizing birdie chances does influence choice of aiming line and/or club selection on the occasional approach or layup shot. Maybe 2-3 times a round I'd say.

This is the biggest challenge to golf. Hit far and straight off the tee and high and accurate on the approaches.

Unfortunately, the best way to get birdie and eagle chances is by being on the green, and that's pretty much what Brodie seems to indicate.

I think this is where we really get to the heart of the matter with what Broadie's research shows.

Broadie's research DOES indicate that the best way to make eagle or birdie is to hit it far and straight and be on the green as quickly as possible, but we already knew that anyway...

Clearly, being able to hit the ball a long way off the tee is a great advantage, maybe THE greatest advantage in golf.  But only because it leads to better proximity of approach in most cases, right?

So I'm 65 and my driver swing speed is down to the VERY low 90's now, and I know to a certainty that the speed isn't coming back, which means the length isn't coming back.  Which means, therefore, that I have to improve my proximity of approach other ways, right?  And I think this is where a lot of the misunderstandings about Broadie's data creep in, especially from those who haven't bothered to read the book.

Improving proximity of approach doesn't have to mean simply hitting shorter clubs into a green because you hit it farther, or even straighter off the tee.  It might just as well mean a better selection of clubs in your bag, like hybrids instead of long irons.  It almost certainly means really paying attention to course management, and looking at holes from the hole back to the tee.  For example, when I play the blue tees in a tournament on my home course, there are no par fives that I can possibly reach in two, and three par fours on which I carry stroke averages that effectively make them par 5's.  So I don't bother hitting a 3 wood, or even my 5 wood, on the par 5's, just to make as certain as I can that I have a third shot that I can control.  On the par fours, I've tried to figure out where I can best get up and down, knowing that I'm unlikely to hit the green, and that if I try to hit the green I may have a catastrophic miss.

Broadie is NOT telling me that I should learn to hit the ball farther, and he's not telling me that I shouldn't work on my short game.  What he IS telling me is that, across ALL levels of golf, the best players manage their approach shots the best.  If I can miss the 15th green at my club short and to the right I have a great chance of getting up and down for par, and little likelihood of making double.  But if I take a couple of clubs more in hopes of getting to the center or back of the green, I bring deep bunkers and water on the left into play.  For ME, the best way to make three on the toughest par 4's is to NOT make six!

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#229 Lincoln_Arcadia

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 12:15 PM

View Postbluedot, on 18 October 2017 - 10:28 AM, said:

View PostLincoln_Arcadia, on 18 October 2017 - 08:43 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 18 October 2017 - 05:15 AM, said:

As a short-hitting high handicapper I am all about trying to get the most chances to make birdies or the extremely rare eagle. But in reality, both birdie chances and lower overall scoring require much the same strategy. I need to stay out of the woods AND hit my driver as far as possible for both purposes.

A maximum birdie chance strategy vs. lowest total score strategy at m home course probably comes down to cutting the dogleg on one particular hole with a driver vs laying back short of the 'leg with an iron or hybrid. Other than that one hole, the other 13 tee shots the smart play is obvious no matter what strategy I'm trying to employ.

That said, maximizing birdie chances does influence choice of aiming line and/or club selection on the occasional approach or layup shot. Maybe 2-3 times a round I'd say.

This is the biggest challenge to golf. Hit far and straight off the tee and high and accurate on the approaches.

Unfortunately, the best way to get birdie and eagle chances is by being on the green, and that's pretty much what Brodie seems to indicate.

I think this is where we really get to the heart of the matter with what Broadie's research shows.

Broadie's research DOES indicate that the best way to make eagle or birdie is to hit it far and straight and be on the green as quickly as possible, but we already knew that anyway...

Clearly, being able to hit the ball a long way off the tee is a great advantage, maybe THE greatest advantage in golf.  But only because it leads to better proximity of approach in most cases, right?

So I'm 65 and my driver swing speed is down to the VERY low 90's now, and I know to a certainty that the speed isn't coming back, which means the length isn't coming back.  Which means, therefore, that I have to improve my proximity of approach other ways, right?  And I think this is where a lot of the misunderstandings about Broadie's data creep in, especially from those who haven't bothered to read the book.

Improving proximity of approach doesn't have to mean simply hitting shorter clubs into a green because you hit it farther, or even straighter off the tee.  It might just as well mean a better selection of clubs in your bag, like hybrids instead of long irons.  It almost certainly means really paying attention to course management, and looking at holes from the hole back to the tee.  For example, when I play the blue tees in a tournament on my home course, there are no par fives that I can possibly reach in two, and three par fours on which I carry stroke averages that effectively make them par 5's.  So I don't bother hitting a 3 wood, or even my 5 wood, on the par 5's, just to make as certain as I can that I have a third shot that I can control.  On the par fours, I've tried to figure out where I can best get up and down, knowing that I'm unlikely to hit the green, and that if I try to hit the green I may have a catastrophic miss.

Broadie is NOT telling me that I should learn to hit the ball farther, and he's not telling me that I shouldn't work on my short game.  What he IS telling me is that, across ALL levels of golf, the best players manage their approach shots the best.  If I can miss the 15th green at my club short and to the right I have a great chance of getting up and down for par, and little likelihood of making double.  But if I take a couple of clubs more in hopes of getting to the center or back of the green, I bring deep bunkers and water on the left into play.  For ME, the best way to make three on the toughest par 4's is to NOT make six!

Agreed, Brodie is clearly not saying to increase distance only. You need accuracy as well. Truthfully, the longer you hit the more accuracy you need. Someone taking an extra shot on the fairway is going to score just as badly as someone making recovery shots with an extra shot to the green.

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#230 Ri_Redneck

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 02:56 PM

Something else many should look at is using this information to decide which tees to play. If you hit your driver fairly well but still find you're struggling with long shots into the green, just move up to a shorter set of tees. On firm courses, I can play 7000+ with no problem, but change to the New England Spring conditions of soft, soggy and 50* temps and I am moving up considerably to even things out.

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#231 Lincoln_Arcadia

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 03:39 PM

View PostRi_Redneck, on 18 October 2017 - 02:56 PM, said:

Something else many should look at is using this information to decide which tees to play. If you hit your driver fairly well but still find you're struggling with long shots into the green, just move up to a shorter set of tees. On firm courses, I can play 7000+ with no problem, but change to the New England Spring conditions of soft, soggy and 50* temps and I am moving up considerably to even things out.

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Sure, makes sense.

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#232 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 08:24 AM

View Postbluedot, on 18 October 2017 - 10:28 AM, said:

View PostLincoln_Arcadia, on 18 October 2017 - 08:43 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 18 October 2017 - 05:15 AM, said:

As a short-hitting high handicapper I am all about trying to get the most chances to make birdies or the extremely rare eagle. But in reality, both birdie chances and lower overall scoring require much the same strategy. I need to stay out of the woods AND hit my driver as far as possible for both purposes.

A maximum birdie chance strategy vs. lowest total score strategy at m home course probably comes down to cutting the dogleg on one particular hole with a driver vs laying back short of the 'leg with an iron or hybrid. Other than that one hole, the other 13 tee shots the smart play is obvious no matter what strategy I'm trying to employ.

That said, maximizing birdie chances does influence choice of aiming line and/or club selection on the occasional approach or layup shot. Maybe 2-3 times a round I'd say.

This is the biggest challenge to golf. Hit far and straight off the tee and high and accurate on the approaches.

Unfortunately, the best way to get birdie and eagle chances is by being on the green, and that's pretty much what Brodie seems to indicate.

I think this is where we really get to the heart of the matter with what Broadie's research shows.

Broadie's research DOES indicate that the best way to make eagle or birdie is to hit it far and straight and be on the green as quickly as possible, but we already knew that anyway...

Clearly, being able to hit the ball a long way off the tee is a great advantage, maybe THE greatest advantage in golf.  But only because it leads to better proximity of approach in most cases, right?

So I'm 65 and my driver swing speed is down to the VERY low 90's now, and I know to a certainty that the speed isn't coming back, which means the length isn't coming back.  Which means, therefore, that I have to improve my proximity of approach other ways, right?  And I think this is where a lot of the misunderstandings about Broadie's data creep in, especially from those who haven't bothered to read the book.

Improving proximity of approach doesn't have to mean simply hitting shorter clubs into a green because you hit it farther, or even straighter off the tee.  It might just as well mean a better selection of clubs in your bag, like hybrids instead of long irons.  It almost certainly means really paying attention to course management, and looking at holes from the hole back to the tee.  For example, when I play the blue tees in a tournament on my home course, there are no par fives that I can possibly reach in two, and three par fours on which I carry stroke averages that effectively make them par 5's.  So I don't bother hitting a 3 wood, or even my 5 wood, on the par 5's, just to make as certain as I can that I have a third shot that I can control.  On the par fours, I've tried to figure out where I can best get up and down, knowing that I'm unlikely to hit the green, and that if I try to hit the green I may have a catastrophic miss.

Broadie is NOT telling me that I should learn to hit the ball farther, and he's not telling me that I shouldn't work on my short game.  What he IS telling me is that, across ALL levels of golf, the best players manage their approach shots the best.  If I can miss the 15th green at my club short and to the right I have a great chance of getting up and down for par, and little likelihood of making double.  But if I take a couple of clubs more in hopes of getting to the center or back of the green, I bring deep bunkers and water on the left into play.  For ME, the best way to make three on the toughest par 4's is to NOT make six!

So what you're basically saying Bluedot, is that you know your own game and what works best for you better than anyone else? All the studies and stats can show trends and averages, and give recommendations,  but in the end you know what works.  For you!  

My point of contention from the very beginning (with PSG back in one of the 3 wood threads) was being told that we as amateurs are delusional and really don't know our own games, how far we hit the ball, and what works best for ourselves.
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#233 bluedot

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 08:28 AM

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 19 October 2017 - 08:24 AM, said:

View Postbluedot, on 18 October 2017 - 10:28 AM, said:

View PostLincoln_Arcadia, on 18 October 2017 - 08:43 AM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 18 October 2017 - 05:15 AM, said:

As a short-hitting high handicapper I am all about trying to get the most chances to make birdies or the extremely rare eagle. But in reality, both birdie chances and lower overall scoring require much the same strategy. I need to stay out of the woods AND hit my driver as far as possible for both purposes.

A maximum birdie chance strategy vs. lowest total score strategy at m home course probably comes down to cutting the dogleg on one particular hole with a driver vs laying back short of the 'leg with an iron or hybrid. Other than that one hole, the other 13 tee shots the smart play is obvious no matter what strategy I'm trying to employ.

That said, maximizing birdie chances does influence choice of aiming line and/or club selection on the occasional approach or layup shot. Maybe 2-3 times a round I'd say.

This is the biggest challenge to golf. Hit far and straight off the tee and high and accurate on the approaches.

Unfortunately, the best way to get birdie and eagle chances is by being on the green, and that's pretty much what Brodie seems to indicate.

I think this is where we really get to the heart of the matter with what Broadie's research shows.

Broadie's research DOES indicate that the best way to make eagle or birdie is to hit it far and straight and be on the green as quickly as possible, but we already knew that anyway...

Clearly, being able to hit the ball a long way off the tee is a great advantage, maybe THE greatest advantage in golf.  But only because it leads to better proximity of approach in most cases, right?

So I'm 65 and my driver swing speed is down to the VERY low 90's now, and I know to a certainty that the speed isn't coming back, which means the length isn't coming back.  Which means, therefore, that I have to improve my proximity of approach other ways, right?  And I think this is where a lot of the misunderstandings about Broadie's data creep in, especially from those who haven't bothered to read the book.

Improving proximity of approach doesn't have to mean simply hitting shorter clubs into a green because you hit it farther, or even straighter off the tee.  It might just as well mean a better selection of clubs in your bag, like hybrids instead of long irons.  It almost certainly means really paying attention to course management, and looking at holes from the hole back to the tee.  For example, when I play the blue tees in a tournament on my home course, there are no par fives that I can possibly reach in two, and three par fours on which I carry stroke averages that effectively make them par 5's.  So I don't bother hitting a 3 wood, or even my 5 wood, on the par 5's, just to make as certain as I can that I have a third shot that I can control.  On the par fours, I've tried to figure out where I can best get up and down, knowing that I'm unlikely to hit the green, and that if I try to hit the green I may have a catastrophic miss.

Broadie is NOT telling me that I should learn to hit the ball farther, and he's not telling me that I shouldn't work on my short game.  What he IS telling me is that, across ALL levels of golf, the best players manage their approach shots the best.  If I can miss the 15th green at my club short and to the right I have a great chance of getting up and down for par, and little likelihood of making double.  But if I take a couple of clubs more in hopes of getting to the center or back of the green, I bring deep bunkers and water on the left into play.  For ME, the best way to make three on the toughest par 4's is to NOT make six!

So what you're basically saying Bluedot, is that you know your own game and what works best for you better than anyone else? All the studies and stats can show trends and averages, and give recommendations,  but in the end you know what works.  For you!  

My point of contention from the very beginning (with PSG back in one of the 3 wood threads) was being told that we as amateurs are delusional and really don't know our own games, how far we hit the ball, and what works best for ourselves.

If someone called you delusional, it was somebody on this board who didn't understand the book; it certainly wasn't Mark Broadie!  Broadie's work is descriptive, not prescriptive.

But I think you're 100% correct that the key question is what you DO with the data.  I can't learn to hit the ball farther at this point in my life, though others may be able to do so.  So I have to approach Broadie's data as it applies to ME, which Broadie would support completely.  That's the whole idea of strokes gained.

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#234 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 10:40 AM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Shoot Bluedot, I just looked through 30+ pages of the thread I thought it was in. Until I came across one of my posts that referenced the same discussion taking place in another thread. I'll find it eventually.

But this gives a idea of what was being said.

"So, no, I don't think its valuable to "analyze" this.  He has no idea how accurate he is or how far he hits it.  His brain is remembering outliers"
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#235 Lincoln_Arcadia

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 12:58 PM

View PostRi_Redneck, on 18 October 2017 - 02:56 PM, said:

Something else many should look at is using this information to decide which tees to play. If you hit your driver fairly well but still find you're struggling with long shots into the green, just move up to a shorter set of tees. On firm courses, I can play 7000+ with no problem, but change to the New England Spring conditions of soft, soggy and 50* temps and I am moving up considerably to even things out.

BT

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 19 October 2017 - 10:40 AM, said:

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Shoot Bluedot, I just looked through 30+ pages of the thread I thought it was in. Until I came across one of my posts that referenced the same discussion taking place in another thread. I'll find it eventually.

But this gives a idea of what was being said.

"So, no, I don't think its valuable to "analyze" this.  He has no idea how accurate he is or how far he hits it.  His brain is remembering outliers"

I think both of these comments are spot on.

Looking back at the original example in question, I see trees left and right and it narrows down at the 200 yard mark (converting from meters to yards) from what the original post noted was the "standard men's tees" or just about where the average male golfer carries the ball. If he plays the gold tees the ball will have a very high chance of being behind a tree left or right, but if he plays up to the blue tees he only has that one tree on the right to contend with and has a higher chance to get past the trouble. Unless he hits a tree dead on, his ball should be playable.

The tees chosen in the original example are gold tees, which are not appropriate for the average male player. The tees the average male should play are from the blue ones or about 390 yards.

Edited by Lincoln_Arcadia, 19 October 2017 - 01:02 PM.


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#236 Ri_Redneck

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 04:00 PM

I play a crap-ton of courses every year due to extensive travel. Here is how I approach a course on any given day.

Par 3s - My longest comfortable approach club is my 5-7 FW which gives me 215 carry in the best situations (ie. 90* and no wind). If the course has par 3s that are longer than that from the tips, I usually move to shorter tees.

Par 4s - My driver is good for 280 in the above conditions with dry fairways. Couple that with my above mentioned 5-7 FW and you get a max distance of 480 in ideal conditions.

Par 5s - I actually never worry about par 5s. Many golfers will look at a 600 yd par 5 and think they immediately have to nuke their driver to have any chance of par. They're wrong!! Take my ideal condition driver (280) and the 3w (240) and you have a total ideal distance of the first two shots as 520 yds. Put those with the before mentioned 5-7 FW and you have a total max of 720 yds!! So, the vast majority of par 5s are almost all reachable in regulation if you just don't attempt to overdo it. Case in point, played a 675yd par 5 this summer with a good 10 mph headwind and got home with those three clubs.

So, with those ideal condition max distances, I can adjust when conditions aren't ideal. Whether it's wind, temps, soft turf or any combination of the three..... you just look at the card and choose the proper set of tees and have fun.

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