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How stats can be deceiving...
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TOPIC: How stats can be deceiving...

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Nickesquire
How stats can be deceiving...
GK Event: Played in a GK Event SCGA GK Golf Club: Member GKGC EAGLE: GKGC Eagle Supporter

Member Since:
    August 11, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    Jack-Freddie-Tiger-Rory
Favorite Golf Course:
    Pebble Wolf Creek Poppy


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Friday May 28, 2021 8:16 AM
I have mentioned on GK many times that I track my stats for every round and have for years. And if looking at dozens or hundreds of rounds, the stats do not lie. But they definitely can over the short term.

A few recent examples for me.

I was driving home from a recent round thinking to myself that I had an exceptional driving day by my standards. Then, looking at my scorecard in front of the computer, actually only hit 3/14 fairways.

3/14 fairways is a very low % for me. So it was actually a terrible driving day?

Maybe on paper. But I hit every drive at least average distance for me. None were even close to trouble and allowed me to go at every green. Had probably 5 drives barely in the rough on the correct side for a miss. Where it maximized the angle for the approach and lessened the chance of penalties by staying away from the water/OB. I'll take that round every day over a round where I hit 9/14 fairways but one of the 5 misses went OB and several of the others required recovery shots.

Recently played in a one day tournament where I one putted the first 8 holes and won by a large margin the low putt prize. First, I do not think I have ever had eight straight one putts period. Certainly not to start a round. But did I REALLY have an exceptional putting day? Not really. I made alot of 3-4' putts that I should have. What I really had was an exceptional chipping, pitching and lag putting day from just off the green. I was usually missing greens but close by, and then getting my shot from off the green close. I ended up with a dozen one putts that round... and made exactly one putt over 5' AD. I didn't miss many putts I shouldn't have, but actually did not make many other putts I could have either.

Tom's post about caddie's @ Maderas got me to thinking about this as well. You can hit alot of fairways and greens on certain courses and still not be striking the ball that well. Course like Maderas, you could be missing your target on irons consistently by 15-20 yards and still be getting on the green with long birdie putts that will likely be a 3 putt bogey for many players. Course like Pebble Beach with really small greens, those same exact shots are not really that close to being on the green. Huge difference in 30' more of putt to navigate or 10 yards of chip from deep rough or a short sided sand shot out of a deep bunker.

My point is that often when I look behind the numbers, there is a reason I consistently hit alot of fairways/greens on some days and not others. Even if I actually hit the ball about the same.
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The goal has always been long and straight! But since I can no longer hit them long, hopefully straighter could be achieved more than occasionally?
 Message #99053
1PLUS1
RE: How stats can be deceiving...

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    March 27, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    Seve; Nick Faldo
Favorite Golf Course:
    Belgrade Lakes (Maine)


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Sunday May 30, 2021 3:56 PM
As in any sport that relies on metrics, the data can often be misleading and/or misconstrued. In many instances, factors such as how the numbers within certain categories relate to each other must be considered. This is especially true when looking at putting statistics and how they can be impacted by the GIR numbers.

Just because you have a low Total Putts per Round number doesn't necessarily qualify you as a good putter. It could be the result of possessing a short game that allows you to recover from missing a lot of greens with your approach shots. Putts per GIR would be the better reflector of just how strong or weak you are as a putter.

The distance of that initial putt on the green is another overlooked point that may have a direct bearing on your putting stats. If you consistently leave yourself a 25' putt to begin with, chances are your Putts per GIR will be on the high side. Cut that distance in half and the numbers should improve. If not, you definitely have issues on the green. However, this is another one of those categories where tracking the distances you putt from on the green will give you a better perspective of your game.

As far as Fairways Hit is concerned, I don't place a whole lot of importance on that statistic. Granted, playing from the fairway is a lot easier than having to extricate one's self from a fairway bunker or the rough...and might be a good indicator of your ability to control your shot shape...but unless the rough is extremely penal, missing the fairway might not have as much of an effect on your score as you might think. Having mentioned that, it might be interesting to keep track of your score vs. par on holes where your tee shot found the fairway vs. those holes where it missed.

While there may be certain situations where intentionally hitting into the rough may afford you a more direct approach to the pin (#2 @ Admiral Baker-North is a prime example), chances are you may be sacrificing distance off the tee, which could mean you may need to hit a 5-iron for your second shot instead of a 7-iron had you found the fairway. And with less than solid contact, you then face the possibility of giving away additional distance.

So, in my view, while the numbers may paint a rough sketch of your game's strengths and weaknesses, they must be interpreted correctly in order to be relevant. I'll use the data posted to Score Tracker as a general guideline but really don't have the time or patience to take things to an extreme. I can get a pretty good idea of where my game stands with just the basics.
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 Message #99067 - This was a reply to message #99053
Hogan
RE: How stats can be deceiving...
Member Since:
    October 21, 2006


Favorite Golfer:
    Ben Hogan
Favorite Golf Course:
    Golf Club of Ca..LaPurisi


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Sunday May 30, 2021 7:06 PM
A real good golf read..."Every Shot Counts," by Mark Broadie available on Amazon if interested. stay healthy, drive safely, CGG...
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 Message #99068 - This was a reply to message #99067

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