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Monday, December 8, 2014
Creating a Gain Bias to Make More Birdie Putts
Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Rich Hunt’s 2014 Pro Golf Synopsis, which can be purchased here for $10.
This past season, PGA Tour players made an average of 39.8 percent of their birdie putts from 5-to-15 feet while making 52.6 percent of their par-or-worse putts from the same distance. That means that Tour players make a higher percentage of par-or-worse putts than they make birdie putts from the same distance.
Why? To explain, I’ll start with the numbers.
Here’s a list of the 10 Tour players who saw the largest drop-off in their birdie make percentage from their par or worse make percentage:
Only two players on the PGA Tour — Luke Donald and Kevin Streelman — made a higher percentage of their birdie putts than par-or-worse putts from 5-to-15 feet in the 2013-2014 season.
At first, I thought Tour players made more par-or-worse putts than birdie putts because they were more likely to have birdie putts that were downhill. Studies done by golf researchers show that in general players make a higher percentage of uphill putts from the same distance than downhill putts.
The other premonition I had was that on par-or-worse putts Tour players were more likely to have gotten a feel for that particular green. More often than not, Tour players are trying to make a birdie with either a putt on the green or a chip from just off the green. They get a better feel for the green on the putt or chip and then have a better understanding of how to make the next putt.
In February 2011, in the American Economic Review authors Devin Pope and Maurice Schweitzer examined this in the article titled Is Tiger Woods Loss Averse? Persistent Bias in the Face of Experience, Competition, and High Stakes.
Read more at http://www.golfwrx.com/247705/study-why-do-tour-players-make-more-par-putts-than-birdie-putts/#xiGXcqpf0VxIWkGw.99