## Monday, March 21, 2011

### Applying Statistical Golf

Finishing out the statistical analysis, one of the things I’ve been asked the most is ‘how can I apply this stuff to me?’

A lot of the work has really applied to the 4 or less handicapper trying to make their game better. However, I think there are a lot of the same principles apply.

For instance, The Danger Zone.

On the PGA Tour, the Danger Zone is approach shots from 175-225 yards. But since the PGA Tour courses are roughly the same distance in length and the pros don’t hit pop ups, ground balls and duck hooks off the tee, there’s not a major discrepancy between the amount of times in a round of golf a PGA Tour golfer will be in the Danger Zone. Meaning, if Corey Pavin is in the Danger Zone 20 times in a 4-day tournament, Bubba Watson will probably be in the Danger Zone at least 14 times in a 4-day tournament. Still a difference, but it’s not something ridiculous like Pavin being in the Danger Zone 20 times and Bubba being in the Danger Zone 2 times.

But, you may run into that type of ridiculous discrepancy on the amateur level given the course lengths can change and the margin of driving distance from golfer to golfer tends to be greater.

Below is a table I created to help figure out the Danger Zone for a particular course length. First, let me go thru what the table means.

Yards = Length of Course for 18 holes of Golf

Long = If the golfer hits it this distance or longer off the tee somewhat consistently, it would be safe to say that we will consider the golfer in the upper percentile of distance off the tee. You can label this golfer as having ‘bomber length.’ Note, the shorter the course, the less power off the tee is needed to be considered ‘long.’ It’s almost like being called ‘long for the course.’ So if you’re a 7 handicap who hits it 280 yards off the tee and is playing a 5,800 yard course, really the course is too short for you.

Mid1 & Mid2 = These are the distances where you would be ‘middle of the pack.’ For instance, on a 6,700 yard course, middle of the pack would be 260-276 yards off the tee. If you hit it 277 or more yards, you would be considered ‘long’ for the course.

Short1 & Short 2 = These are the distances where the golfer would be considered to be short for the course. I created a range here because I believe one can be ‘too short’ for a course. For instance, if you hit it 245 off the tee, you are too short for a 7,200 yard course and you probably shouldn’t be playing it. Instead, you should probably try to play the course from no more than 6,800 yard.

DZ1 & DZ2 = This is the 50 yard ‘Danger Zone’ range. As you can see, as the course length gets shorter, the Danger Zone gets shorter. This is mostly because golfers won’t get many attempts in the traditional Danger Zone (175-225 yards) because the course is too short. The 175-225 yard Danger Zone is still prevalent on a lot of course lengths because of par-3’s. No matter how long a golfer is off the tee, they can’t avoid the Danger Zone if the course has four par-3’s that are all within the Danger Zone range.

Yards….Long……Mid1…Mid2…Short1….Short2…DZ1……DZ2

7600……315……314……298……297………..277……...185……235

7500……310……309……294……293……..…273…...…175……225

7400……306……305……290……289………..269…...…175……225

7300……302……301……286……285……..…265...……175……225

7200……298……297……281……280……..…260…...…175….…225

7100……294……293……278……277……..…257…...…175….…225

7000……290……289……275……275….....…255...……175….…225

6900……286……285……270……269………..249…….…175……225

6800……281……280……265……264………..244……….175……225

6700……277……276……260……259………..239…….…165……215

6600……273……272……257……256………..236…….…165……215

6500……269……268……253……252………..232…….…165……215

6400……265……264……250……249………..229…….…165……215

6300……261……260……245……244………..224….……150……200

6200……257……256……240……239……..…219…….…150……200

6100……252……251……235……234………..214…….…150……200

6000……248……247……232……231……….211…..……150……200

5900……244……243……228……227……….207……..…150……200

5800……240……239……225……224……….204……….140….…190

5700……236……235……220……219…….…199…….…140…….190

5600……232……231……215……214…….…194…….…140….…190

5500……228……227……212……211……..…191……….140……190

3JACK