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Advanced Stats are Overrated


53 replies to this topic

#1 golfer929

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:08 PM

I believe they 100% are. Nobody needs to know that when Jordan Spieth eats a PB&J for lunch on a Thursday he has a 72% chance to break par. How in the world are these ridiculous stats like Strokes gained and distance from the flag from the right rough going to help somebody win a golf tournament. Obviously they can tell where they need work and I know I'm gaining strokes on people if I'm moving up the leaderboard.

The only stats that matter is what I write down on the scorecard and getting those Wins. Find a way to get it done. Advanced Stats are the downfall of modern sports.


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#2 Sean2

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:17 PM

I used to keep track of everything. I discovered I was getting more hung up on statistics than anything else. I've since stopped and I am playing much better.

As to the Tour, it is beginning to remind me of MLB. I don't know if statistics are the "downfall", but I do wonder how the likes of Hogan, Snead, or Jones, were able to play golf at all. :-)

I would think at that level a player knows what his strengths and weaknesses are. On the other hand, the Touring pros probably enjoy looking at where they stand in relation to their peers. I suppose if someone gathered all that data for me, I would enjoy it too.

Which begs another question. With all the technology available to Touring pros today, why do they need to keep an "official" score? They could keep their own personal score and match it with what the network came up with.
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#3 cdnglf

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:26 PM

Hot take!

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#4 Pigems

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:37 PM

It gives them something to talk about on TV between shots.
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#5 Sean2

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:43 PM

View PostPigems, on 14 November 2017 - 06:37 PM, said:

It gives them something to talk about on TV between shots.

As if they need more to talk about. lol

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#6 ThinkingPlus

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:01 PM

Statistics provide information about your game.  Use the information wisely and it will likely make you a better golfer.  Use the information unwisely and you may get distracted.  Not considering all the information available is foolish.
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#7 golfer929

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:06 PM

View PostSean2, on 14 November 2017 - 06:17 PM, said:

I used to keep track of everything. I discovered I was getting more hung up on statistics than anything else. I've since stopped and I am playing much better.

As to the Tour, it is beginning to remind me of MLB. I don't know if statistics are the "downfall", but I do wonder how the likes of Hogan, Snead, or Jones, were able to play golf at all. :-)

I would think at that level a player knows what his strengths and weaknesses are. On the other hand, the Touring pros probably enjoy looking at where they stand in relation to their peers. I suppose if someone gathered all that data for me, I would enjoy it too.

Which begs another question. With all the technology available to Touring pros today, why do they need to keep an "official" score? They could keep their own personal score and match it with what the network came up with.
I really enjoyed reading this reply, I play with a lot of golfers who are too hung up on stats and it is very distracting. They could hit it perfect but if the data says the club was .2 degrees more open it was a bad shot. It is also beginning to remind me of the MLB as well. Let's just get back to playing golf

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#8 bb822

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:27 PM

Consider how many people still insist that it's "putt for dough, drive for show". Obviously, there are some more people out there who need to be converted ;)
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#9 bb822

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:29 PM

Anecdotally, I've also noticed a lot of the same people who rail against "advanced stats" are the same ones who complain about scores being too low...
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#10 johnsomp

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:49 PM

View PostThinkingPlus, on 14 November 2017 - 07:01 PM, said:

Statistics provide information about your game.  Use the information wisely and it will likely make you a better golfer.  Use the information unwisely and you may get distracted.  Not considering all the information available is foolish.

Exactly. Plus it's good info for wagering with comparisons between courses.

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#11 golfandfishing

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:54 PM

ďI believe they 100% are.ď

Clever.

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#12 kylesilk

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:42 PM

I guess stats have a place and can be useful.  I've never devoted too much time into fully understanding how they calculate them, like the strokes gained stuff.  Maybe if I had, I would be more on board with some of it.  But I just shake my head when I see SG putting for 2016 say Spieth is the 42nd ranked putter on tour.
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#13 Sean2

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:20 PM

View Postgolfer929, on 14 November 2017 - 07:06 PM, said:

View PostSean2, on 14 November 2017 - 06:17 PM, said:

I used to keep track of everything. I discovered I was getting more hung up on statistics than anything else. I've since stopped and I am playing much better.

As to the Tour, it is beginning to remind me of MLB. I don't know if statistics are the "downfall", but I do wonder how the likes of Hogan, Snead, or Jones, were able to play golf at all. :-)

I would think at that level a player knows what his strengths and weaknesses are. On the other hand, the Touring pros probably enjoy looking at where they stand in relation to their peers. I suppose if someone gathered all that data for me, I would enjoy it too.

Which begs another question. With all the technology available to Touring pros today, why do they need to keep an "official" score? They could keep their own personal score and match it with what the network came up with.
I really enjoyed reading this reply, I play with a lot of golfers who are too hung up on stats and it is very distracting. They could hit it perfect but if the data says the club was .2 degrees more open it was a bad shot. It is also beginning to remind me of the MLB as well. Let's just get back to playing golf

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#14 nova6868

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:03 PM

View PostThinkingPlus, on 14 November 2017 - 07:01 PM, said:

Not considering all the information available is foolish.

That is possibly true. Its also possible that wasting your time considering worthless information is well... Still wasting your time.

Who was it that said reading bad books is not only a waste of time but bad for your character as well?

I'm down with statistics, but there's something about this recent statistical autism in sports - as if you can become one with the stats and data and master a sport. As if it doesn't take talent, heart, spirit, and maybe some luck to win a golf tournament. No, its really all about just knowing the stats of all your ball flights, hole strategies, etc. There's just something small-souled about this.

Edited by nova6868, 14 November 2017 - 11:05 PM.


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#15 MtlJeff

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:13 PM

View Postnova6868, on 14 November 2017 - 11:03 PM, said:

View PostThinkingPlus, on 14 November 2017 - 07:01 PM, said:

Not considering all the information available is foolish.

That is possibly true. Its also possible that wasting your time considering worthless information is well... Still wasting your time.

Who was it that said reading bad books is not only a waste of time but bad for your character as well?

I'm down with statistics, but there's something about this recent statistical autism in sports - as if you can become one with the stats and data and master a sport. As if it doesn't take talent, heart, spirit, and maybe some luck to win a golf tournament. No, its really all about just knowing the stats of all your ball flights, hole strategies, etc. There's just something small-souled about this.

There's a famous analogy of a king who wanted a map. And the mapmaker brought him a lifesize replica of the town he was supposed to map and said (paraphrase) "i have brought you the most accurate map possible, a lifesize replica"

Of course, that defeats the purpose of having a map at all. It's supposed to illustrate the point that too much information is not always helpful.

That being said, advanced stats i believe are helpful in most sports, as long as you know what to read and what to tune out. To disregard them completely is to be the scouts from "moneyball" who think having an attractive girlfriend is a meaningful aspect of scouting.

Advanced stats are good. But that doesn't mean watching sports and inferring real life things from them is bad

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#16 Valtiel

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 07:03 AM

Definitely possible to go overboard with stats, but that in and of itself is not a stat problem, that is a personal failing on the part of the one going overboard. I am of the opinion that you can never have too much information but you can definitely do too much with it if you aren't careful. For example, I love advanced baseball stats because I like knowing why things are they way are as well as seeing old fogeys yell about how magical the game is and that these stats are useless, but I will be realistic about what the realities are even if the BABIP suggests that the pitcher has been unlucky.

So i'd say advanced stats are far from useless, but how people use them definitely can be.

Edited by Valtiel, 15 November 2017 - 07:00 PM.

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#17 hammy83

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 07:34 AM

LIke everything... Its how and when they are used.

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#18 North Butte

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 07:46 AM

View Postgolfer929, on 14 November 2017 - 06:08 PM, said:

I believe they 100% are. Nobody needs to know that when Jordan Spieth eats a PB&J for lunch on a Thursday he has a 72% chance to break par. How in the world are these ridiculous stats like Strokes gained and distance from the flag from the right rough going to help somebody win a golf tournament. Obviously they can tell where they need work and I know I'm gaining strokes on people if I'm moving up the leaderboard.

The only stats that matter is what I write down on the scorecard and getting those Wins. Find a way to get it done. Advanced Stats are the downfall of modern sports.

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#19 iteachgolf

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 07:47 AM

View Postkylesilk, on 14 November 2017 - 09:42 PM, said:

I guess stats have a place and can be useful.  I've never devoted too much time into fully understanding how they calculate them, like the strokes gained stuff.  Maybe if I had, I would be more on board with some of it.  But I just shake my head when I see SG putting for 2016 say Spieth is the 42nd ranked putter on tour.

Spieth is a relatively mediocre to poor putter from short distance.  But heís one of the best ever from mid range.  Those combined make him a very good putter but not the best putter on tour.

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#20 bladehunter

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:03 AM

View Postiteachgolf, on 15 November 2017 - 07:47 AM, said:

View Postkylesilk, on 14 November 2017 - 09:42 PM, said:

I guess stats have a place and can be useful.  I've never devoted too much time into fully understanding how they calculate them, like the strokes gained stuff.  Maybe if I had, I would be more on board with some of it.  But I just shake my head when I see SG putting for 2016 say Spieth is the 42nd ranked putter on tour.

Spieth is a relatively mediocre to poor putter from short distance.  But heís one of the best ever from mid range.  Those combined make him a very good putter but not the best putter on tour.


All true.  Yet outside of tiger in his prime who else would you want to make a putt that your life depended on ?   Nobody. He's the guy.  Said that to say this.  Stats are great.  But the intangibles matter just as much.  Huevos size isn't a stat.  But it sure matters when under the gun.

Edited by bladehunter, 15 November 2017 - 08:05 AM.

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#21 iteachgolf

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:11 AM

View Postbladehunter, on 15 November 2017 - 08:03 AM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 15 November 2017 - 07:47 AM, said:

View Postkylesilk, on 14 November 2017 - 09:42 PM, said:

I guess stats have a place and can be useful.  I've never devoted too much time into fully understanding how they calculate them, like the strokes gained stuff.  Maybe if I had, I would be more on board with some of it.  But I just shake my head when I see SG putting for 2016 say Spieth is the 42nd ranked putter on tour.

Spieth is a relatively mediocre to poor putter from short distance.  But heís one of the best ever from mid range.  Those combined make him a very good putter but not the best putter on tour.


All true.  Yet outside of tiger in his prime who else would you want to make a putt that your life depended on ?   Nobody. He's the guy.  Said that to say this.  Stats are great.  But the intangibles matter just as much.  Huervo size isn't a stat.  But it sure matters when under the gun.

Depends on the length putt.  Outside 10í heís absolutely the guy.  Inside 10í I could pick others.  Stats wonít ever capture the entire picture but itís good to see where your weakness is and how you should structure your practice.  If Jordan became top 10 inside of 10í heíd be real scary

Edited by iteachgolf, 15 November 2017 - 08:11 AM.


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#22 tannyhoban

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:28 AM

Re:  Advanced Stats
Exhibit A:  Cleveland Browns


I rest my case

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#23 North Butte

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:31 AM

View Posttannyhoban, on 15 November 2017 - 08:28 AM, said:

Re:  Advanced Stats
Exhibit A:  Cleveland Browns


I rest my case

Tanking is not an "advanced stat". It is a cynical and ultimately ineffective attempt at out-Moneyballing Moneyball.
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#24 OffTheDole

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:46 AM

Weird!

After reading Mark Broadie's Every Shot Counts, I believe the old stats (GIR, fairways hit, total putts) are the ones that are overrated.

The Strokes Gained methodology gives us the ability to rate the quality of every shot in relation to the rest of the field or a handicap range. If you're looking to shoot lower scores and be competitive, Strokes Gained is a tool that you can use to structure your practice time more efficiently.

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#25 ezpz

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:49 AM

View PostOffTheDole, on 15 November 2017 - 08:46 AM, said:

Weird!

After reading Mark Broadie's Every Shot Counts, I believe the old stats (GIR, fairways hit, total putts) are the ones that are overrated.

The Strokes Gained methodology gives us the ability to rate the quality of every shot in relation to the rest of the field or a handicap range. If you're looking to shoot lower scores and be competitive, Strokes Gained is a tool that you can use to structure your practice time more efficiently.
Agreen on total putts and FWY, but GIR? Not sure even Broadie would agree with you there.


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#26 North Butte

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:59 AM

View Postezpz, on 15 November 2017 - 08:49 AM, said:

View PostOffTheDole, on 15 November 2017 - 08:46 AM, said:

Weird!

After reading Mark Broadie's Every Shot Counts, I believe the old stats (GIR, fairways hit, total putts) are the ones that are overrated.

The Strokes Gained methodology gives us the ability to rate the quality of every shot in relation to the rest of the field or a handicap range. If you're looking to shoot lower scores and be competitive, Strokes Gained is a tool that you can use to structure your practice time more efficiently.
Agreen on total putts and FWY, but GIR? Not sure even Broadie would agree with you there.

GIR does not distinguish between an approach shot that ends up 2 feet from the hole and one that ends up 70 feet from the hole. Both are a "green hit in regulation". That's one problem, GIR obscures the extremely important difference between hitting it close and hitting it on the other side of the green.

But there's a bigger problem...

Thought experiment. Which is the more successful approach shot, one that ends up on the putting surface and 60 feet (20 yards) from the hole or one that's a couple feet off the green in the fringe and 5 yards (15 feet) from the hole?

GIR says the first shot is good and the second shot is bad. Strokes Gained suggests that the much closer ball in the fringe is slightly better (about a tenth of a stroke for Tour players).

I know I would certainly rather have the 15-footer from the fringe. In that case GIR is just flat-out wrong.
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#27 OffTheDole

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 09:31 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 15 November 2017 - 08:59 AM, said:

View Postezpz, on 15 November 2017 - 08:49 AM, said:

Agreen on total putts and FWY, but GIR? Not sure even Broadie would agree with you there.

GIR does not distinguish between an approach shot that ends up 2 feet from the hole and one that ends up 70 feet from the hole. Both are a "green hit in regulation". That's one problem, GIR obscures the extremely important difference between hitting it close and hitting it on the other side of the green.

But there's a bigger problem...

Thought experiment. Which is the more successful approach shot, one that ends up on the putting surface and 60 feet (20 yards) from the hole or one that's a couple feet off the green in the fringe and 5 yards (15 feet) from the hole?

GIR says the first shot is good and the second shot is bad. Strokes Gained suggests that the much closer ball in the fringe is slightly better (about a tenth of a stroke for Tour players).

I know I would certainly rather have the 15-footer from the fringe. In that case GIR is just flat-out wrong.

Spot on. That's what I was getting at without offering up much in the way of detail (thanks, North Butte).

GIR is also a bit overrated in that people who are around the green on par fives in two get credit for a GIR even if they flub a chip barely on the surface. Counting up GIRs at the end of a round doesn't tell the full story and won't help you down the line when you're taking stock of your game.

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#28 KirkNo-yes

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:05 AM

I haven't read every post but I will say this. If you believe advanced stats are bad or have no place then you don't understand how to use them or aren't actually capturing the right data.  Data like this IS imperative for top players to build on during PRACTICE...not during a competitive round.  If someone is standing over a shot worried about stats doesn't belong out on tour and won't be there for long.  I can assure you that the right data helps golfers understand their trends and tendencies.  

Let me give you an example of a piece of "data" that helped a golfer about two years ago.  After compiling all of his on course data for the year one of the questions posed to him was "Why do you miss it to the left side of the flag on 85% of par 3's.?" it was thru this data compilation that had him look at this specific situation. What they realized was because he teed the shot up at a certain height it changed the lie angle of the club at impact and having the ball strike a little higher and deeper on the club face led to a more "upright" shot on his iron's lie angle. He did't compress the ball the same as he did out of the fairway.  He started to tee the ball a little lower and immediately saw improvement. he is the weird part, he wasn't teeing it up that high to begin with!!

GIR/FIR/ PPG/TP/ strokes gained etc are all great but as usual the devil is in the details
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#29 mcs4

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:38 AM

If eating a PB&J on Thursday would give me a 72% chance of breaking par, I'd for darn sure want to know about it.
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#30 McCann1

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:40 AM

I donít think you(not you OP personally, just in general)can truly understand the importance of advanced stats until youíre playing at a high level and youíre going through a slump and barely missing cuts. Then you look through your stats and you notice in your last 4 MCís you gave away .5 strokes per round by being too aggressive on par 3s. Or you havenít been able to close the door on a win and you notice on the weekend in contention your scoring average on par 5ís was worse because when up by the lead you had a tendency to play safe and lay up. You canít tell me knowing that information isnít useful. Yeah i think baseball goes over the top but this isnít baseball

At the local country club all you need to know for most players there is F/G/P but at a high level when every little advantage matters, you need to know where and what situations make you play your best.

Edited by McCann1, 15 November 2017 - 10:43 AM.

Enjoy the chase.

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