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Find out what the actual probability is of becoming a pro golfer

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Ever wondered what the actual probability is of becoming a professional golfer? The Professional Athlete Index just conducted a study revealing which countries produce the highest percentage of top tier professionals in each sport, as well as the countries where people have the lowest odds of becoming of a top tier athlete.

According to the Professional Athlete Index, only one out 51,346 become a professional golfer in the United States, and the U.S. actually produces the highest percentage of top-tier golfers globally (23.09%). The United Kingdom (10.17%) and Japan (7.23%) were the following two countries that accounted for the second and third highest percentages.

Men in Sweden actually have the best odds of becoming a top-tier golfer (1:8170), just ahead of Iceland (1:8762) and Denmark (1:11725).

The study was essentially conducted by selecting a range of popular team and individual sports which had the highest levels of worldwide participation. For each individual sport, player data was collected from the international association of the sport from the latest completed year of competition.

Next, researchers dug into the data, country by country, using it to calculate the odds of a person from each nation currently becoming a top athlete in each sport. The odds were calculated via the ratio of athletes vs. the total number of males born in each country between 1991 and 2003 against the ratio of non-athletes born in the same period.

You can check out the full results of the study here.

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2 Comments

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  1. Frank Gleason

    Jul 15, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    1 out of 51,000 males born? Worthless info,,Better info would be what are the odds of a golfer becoming pro out of all the golfers

  2. Pete

    Sep 2, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    I think the term lowest odds is confusing. It should say best odds for Sweden.

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19th Hole

Patrick Reed issues statement following rules controversy in Dubai

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On his way to finishing runner-up at last week’s Dubai Desert Classic, Patrick Reed found himself caught up in two incidents of note.

The first, widely nicknamed ‘Tee Gate’ saw a pre-event spat between Reed and the world number one and tournament favourite Rory McIlroy, resulting in the former Masters winner lobbing a LIV-branded tee in his opponent’s direction. Little were they aware that it would take a birdie at each of the final two holes for McIlroy to overcome the most talked-about player in golf.

The second newsworthy episode involved Reed losing his ball up a tree on the 17th fairway, an escapade that resulted in a social media frenzy asking whether the ball found was, in fact, the correct ball and how several marshals identified it.

The DP World Tour’s statement at the time cleared Reed, stating that, “Using binoculars [the DP World Tour Chief Referee] joined the player in the area and asked him to identify his distinctive ball markings,” and “was satisfied that a ball with those markings was lodged in the tree.”

Video footage and players’ comments subsequently pointed to the ball flying into a different tee, but in Reed’s defence, he was likely to have been advised to the exact tree to look into, rather than guess himself.

He signed for a bogey five on the hole, a score that could have been one shot worse if having to reload on the tee box.

Reed himself sees the event much like most did the tee-peg incident – as something and nothing – and posted a statement to that effect on Twitter today:

With that all over, this week Reed returns to the Asian Tour for the Saudi International, where he meets up with much of his LIV counterparts in an event dominated by two-time champion Dustin Johnson.

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Report: Major champ in shock split with long-time caddie

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Even the most seemingly ideal player/caddie relationships don’t last forever, with news emerging this week of a very surprising split.

As first reported by the Irish Independent, Shane Lowry has split with long-time looper Brian ‘Bo’ Martin with sources saying that the pair had lost their “spark” or “chemistry.”

Per the report, the two had been considering going their separate ways for weeks, and after an inconsistent start to the new season, Lowry has decided to shake things up.

The pair enjoyed plenty of success during their relationship, with the high point coming at an emotional Open victory for the Irishman at Royal Portrush in 2019.

However, things did not appear all rosy between the two in recent times, most notably at the 2022 Masters, when Shane delivered an on-course rant at this caddie, who he blamed for a poor layup decision.

The 35-year-old is now in the market for a full-time caddie and will likely want to snap up one soon, with the Ryder Cup coming later in the year.

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Phil Mickelson believes he’ll be able to play PGA Tour events again a lot sooner than you would think

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In a new wide-ranging interview with Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated, Mickelson has been speaking on a renewed focus, not interfering with rows between tours and his peace with being where he is in terms of a return to the main tours.

The 52-year-old said that he is “in fantastic shape. I’ve never had injuries. I’ve made changes. I’m just putting last year out of my mind and disengaging. A lot of stuff happened, and I’m refocused on today and starting the year.”

Confirming he still has the desire to compete at the highest level, Mickelson told Bob Harig, “I’m in every major for the next three years and I think I have a chance to win one or two more and create these accomplishments that haven’t been done at this stage. I feel like I can duplicate Kiawah.”

Kiawah was, of course, the venue at which Mickelson became the oldest-ever major champion, an event he was forced to withdraw from last season, and therefore unable to defend his sixth major.

He still believes he has what it takes, saying, “Now that I’ve had this time off, I’m ready to have a special year and do some things that have never been done by a player my age. That’s really what is driving me. It’s a unique opportunity nobody else has ever had.”

Mickelson maintains he still has good friends on both sides of the tour versus tour row, telling Harig:

“The relationships that are going to be affected were not really close and were more acquaintances. Their views are going to be altered by public perception or whatnot. The friends are still close.”

He is keen to forget what has happened, preferring not to comment on the current McIlroy/Reed saga – “That’s between them. That’s not really my thing or anything I want to get into,” but says he is fine with any decision regarding his own future on the PGA Tour.

“If I were never to play another PGA Tour event, I’m totally at peace with it,” confirmed Lefty.

“But I believe by next year I’ll have the opportunity if I want [due to the pending litigation]. I don’t know if I’ll have the time.”

“I’m playing 19 events and don’t know how much more. I’d actually rather scale down the number of tournaments, because I’m also in the four majors. That’s a lot of golf.”

“But,” he said, I’m motivated and excited to get started. All of these things create new energy. Having teammates to push each other. I’m motivated, but I don’t see the benefit to playing more. The tournaments where you are going to leave a mark are the majors. That creates a life memory. If I win another Tour event, who cares? It’s not like it’s going to do anything for how I look at my career. Another major would be a unique, special moment. That’s really where I want to thrive. And sure, it would mean a lot to win some LIV events because of the role I’ve played as it’s been created.”

As with a handful of European tour players, there was a time when specific names would almost certainly be Ryder Cup captains.

Harig asked Mickelson how it felt to maybe not finish his own Ryder Cup legacy in a similar vein:

“I’m totally comfortable. … I’ve loved being part of the Ryder Cup as a player 12 times and as a vice captain once. I’ve had more great experiences than probably anybody. If I’m not a part of it, I’m at peace with that as well. And I’m proud of the role I’ve played in that. And the role in creating change and integrating player input and involvement. Having more continuity from year to year. I like seeing us play our best golf in the Ryder Cup, even if I’m not ever part of it again.”

Lefty speaks about his role at LIV, how he likes that, “we’re bringing golf to different parts of the world. And LIV has some of the greatest characters in the game. Controversial characters. Good or bad, love them or hate them, people are interested in them, positively or negatively,” and also comments on the current OWGR world rankings, saying, “This one has lost any credibility.”

Ultimately, it appears Mickelson has had enough of the fighting, and summed it up by answering how he would look back on this period in a few years.

“It’s a short-term disruption for a long-term gain. That’s all.”

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