Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Updated 2014-2015 Season PGA Tour Player Rankings

Since I don't have the time to do the PGA Tour rundowns anymore, I decided I would update periodically. These rankings are adjusted according to the difficulty of the course.

 If you are a player on the PGA Tour or their caddie or instructor and would like to get a full data analysis of the player, please contact me at ProGolfSynopsis@yahoo.com.

 DRIVING EFFECTIVENESS



1. Lee Westwood
2. Francesco Molinari
3. Hideki Matsuyama
4. Bubba Watson
5. Jordan Spieth
6. Jason Dufner
7. Chez Reavie
8. Spencer Levin
9. Billy Horschel
10. Justin Hicks
11. Kevin Streelman
12. Shane Lowry
13. Brooks Koepka
14. Keegan Bradley
15. Brian Harman


197. Jim Renner
198. Seung-Yul Noh
199. Chad Collins
200. Luke Donald
201. Ricky Barnes
202. Whee Kim
203. Sergio Garcia
204. Roger Sloan
205. John Daly
206. Josh Teater
207. Tyrone Van Aswegen
208. Scott Verplank
209. Ernie Els
210. Mike Weir
211. Scott McCarron



GREEN ZONE (75-125 YARDS)




1. K.J. Choi
2. Tim Clark
3. Roberto Castro
4. Paul Casey
5. Sergio Garcia
6. Bill Haas
7. Ernie Els
8. Vaughn Taylor
9. Nick Watney
10. Billy Hurley III
11. Daniel Summerhays
12. Jim Renner
13. Alex Prugh
14. Lee Westwood
15. Whee Kim


197. Ryo Ishikawa
198. Carl Pettersson
199. Marc Leishman
200. Luke Guthrie
201. Tony Finau
202. Oscar Fraustro
203. J.J. Henry
204. Webb Simpson
205. Gonzalo Fdez-Castano
206. Charlie Wi
207. Zack Sucher
208. Rickie Fowler
209. Scott McCarron
210. Cameron Wilson
211. Freddie Jacobson


YELLOW ZONE (125-175 YARDS PLAY)




1. Jordan Spieth
2. Sergio Garcia
3. Webb Simpson
4. Ryo Ishikawa
5. Lee Westwood
6. Luke Donald
7. Tony Finau
8. Hideki Matsuyama
9. Tim Clark
10. Ben Martin
11. Harris English
12. Paul Casey
13. Nicholas Thompson
14. John Peterson
15. Russell Knox


197. Bill Lunde
198. Jonas Blixt
199. Tommy Gainey
200. Ben Curtis
201. Steve Wheatcroft
202. Ricky Barnes
203. Charlie Wi
204. Freddie Jacobson
205. John Daly
206. Trevor Immelman
207. Troy Kelly
208. Cameron Smith
209. Roberto Castro
210. Scott McCarron
211. Greg Chalmers


RED ZONE (175-225 YARDS) PLAY




1. Shane Lowry
2. Will Wilcox
3. Johnson Wagner
4. Kevin Chappell
5. Daniel Berger
6. Kenny Perry
7. Ryo Ishikawa
8. Jordan Spieth
9. Derek Ernst
10. Hideki Matsuyama
11. Cameron Smith
12. Justin Hicks
13. Will MacKenzie
14. Brian Stuard
15. Brooks Koepka


197. Brice Garnett
198. Troy Kelly
199. Sergio Garcia
200. Greg Chalmers
201. Scott McCarron
202. Michael Block
203. Cameron Wilson
204. Jonathan Byrd
205. Scott Verplank
206. Richard Sterne
207. Jonas Blixt
208. Ian Poulter
209. Lee Westwood
210. John Daly
211. Mike Weir


SHORT GAME PLAY

1. Cameron Smith
2. Jason Dufner
3. Jordan Spieth
4. Cameron Wilson
5. Jerry Kelly
6. Will MacKenzie
7. Steven Alker
8. Justin Thomas
9. Tom Gillis
10. Rory Sabbatini
11. Boo Weekley
12. Gary Woodland
13. Luke Donald
14. Webb Simpson
15. Sergio Garcia


 197. Justin Hicks
198. Tommy Gainey
199. Charlie Beljan
200. Oscar Fraustro
201. Chesson Hadley
202. Fabian Gomez
203. Jarrod Lyle
204. Paul Casey
205. Ryan Armour
206. Harrison Frazar
207. Vaughn Taylor
208. Greg Chalmers
209. John Daly
210. Charlie Wi
211. Michael Block

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Numbers Behind Going For It and Laying Up on #10 at Riviera

This time of year is when perhaps the most controversial hole on Tour is played, the 10th hole at Riviera. (click any of the pictures to enlarge)



It is recorded at 315 yards, but that is rather generous as you're playing from an elevated tee and usually some thinner air. Essentially, every single player in the field will have the distance to drive this hole.

And many end up hitting it well past the hole. The PGA Tour even tweeted the following:

• Since 2003, players attempting to drive the green were a combined 467 under par. Players who layed up were a combined 21 under par

• Since 2012, 933 players have hit their approach shot from inside 75 yards. Only 59.8% have found the green.

• Approach shots from the left fairway have a 70% chance of hitting the green. Approach shots from the right fairway have a 53% chance of hitting the green.

• From 2003-2014, Aaron Baddeley has the best scoring average at #10, in 44 rounds he is 10 under par

• Since 1983, Fred Couples has made the most birdies at #10 (34)

• Since 2003, only one player has hit their tee shot inside 6 feet of the hole. In 2013, Greg Owen hit it to 11 inches.

Yesterday, I recorded the shots and the scores on #10 and here is what I got:

Going For It = 4.130 scoring average

Laying Up = 4.222 scoring average

So, given that since 2003, players going for the green played it at a combined 467 under par versus the lay-up players being at 21 under par AS WELL AS the going for it scoring average being lower on Thursday than the laying up scoring average....they should go for this green, right?

Furthermore, 67.5% of the players LAYED-UP yesterday versus 32.5% went for the green.

So, the players must be ignorant for not understanding they should go for the green, right?

Well, not exactly.


***

The first thing the Tour ignores is that the hole design has changed a little since 2011. So, it's not quite fair to throw out the numbers of going for the green versus laying up since 2003. It is probably best to look at these numbers in 2012 since they made alterations to the hole during this time.

But the far larger issue is the pin location.

Yesterday's pin location was all the way in back. And I would expect it to be in a similar location on Sunday.

But what those statistics do not tell you is how close these players were hitting it to the hole:

Laying Up = Average 2nd Shot of 23.8 feet to the hole

Going For It = Average 2nd shot of 29.6 feet to the hole

That means that players laying up were hitting their approach shots 20% closer to the hole than if they went for the green.

Furthermore, look at the birdie rates:

Laying Up = 20%

Going For It = 18.5%

So, why did the 'Go For It' group of players have a lower scoring average if their approaches were further from the hole?

The main reason is that the Go For It players just happened to putt and hit their bunker shots well on #10 yesterday.

The other reason is that there were some odd players that just fell apart like Justin Leonard who was in excellent position with 79 yards in the left fairway...and came away with a 7. And Leonard has been one of the best on Tour from 75-125 yards (Green Zone) over the years.


 

The main issue with laying up yesterday is that there was a tailwind and that helped firm up the greens and also reduced the spin on the approach shot.

Many golfers did what Will Zalatoris did. They hit their tee shot in good position by laying up left. They then hit an approach that was going at the flag, but traveled too far and deposited into the rear bunker.



Still, the numbers indicate that laying up when the pin is located in the back is the BETTER play. The reason why the players that went for the green could not get their approach shots closer on average is because the bunkers left of the green block the shot and if you miss in the right bunker, it's a very unfavorable position as well.

Here's how Angel Cabrera played it which was the main theme as to why the Go For It players were able to have a lower scoring average than the lay up players:



Cabrera actually hit a pretty decent drive, but it went a little too far and was blocked off by the bunkers and had no choice but to chip one to the middle of the green, leaving himself with a slick 30-foot downhill birdie putt. He just happened to make the putt.

Anybody that has read Pro Golf Synopsis or has talked to me knows that I don't favor laying up. But when the pin is in the back pin location the better play is to lay-up off the tee. Keep it left of the right edge of the left fairway bunker, leave yourself about 75-100 yards in the fairway and allow the ball to spin and hold the green. While the scoring average happened to be lower for those going for the green on Thursday, in the end when the sample size gets larger, it should bear out that the scoring average will favor the lay-up strategy.

With that being said, the pin location is in the middle of the green today and should be a front pin location on Saturday and that is when players should go for the green and that is why the players that have gone for the green overall have scored far better on #10 over the years.






3JACK

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

SuperSpeed Golf Videos

A while ago I had read an article of how the Cal State - Fullerton baseball team was not using baseball bat donuts because research performed by the university found that the bat speeds became SLOWER after using heavier weighted bats.

Instead, they found that using variable weighted bats that were LIGHTER actually increased bat speed.

There is a company out of Chicago called SuperSpeed Golf that is providing a similar training method. Here's a few videos:














3JACK

Monday, February 16, 2015

Myth of the Straight Left Arm with the Smart Golf Academy

Here's a great video explaining the myth of the straight left arm. However, as I have shown in other posts many of the great ballstrikers actually have a bent left arm at impact as well.










3JACK

Friday, February 13, 2015

Gabe Writer on Slowing the Rate of Closure

Video from 'Movement to Improvement' YouTube Channel owner, Gabe Writer, on slowing the rate of closure in order to hit better irons and woods.




Here's a couple of videos of Jorge Fernandez Valdez's golf swing:






You can also se the bent left arm in Jordan Spieth's golf swing:









3JACK

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Low Spinning Pitch Shots with Chuck Cook

Here's a video from Chuck Cook showing how to hit a low spinning pitch shot for better distance control while using Trackman:








3JACK

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

RIP Mr. Casper

Thank you for being such a fine representative of the game of golf. You will be missed.










A great article on Mr. Casper and Clebe McClary at: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/04/28/4194213_on-grand-strand-golf-vietnam-war.html?rh=1