Sunday, March 31, 2013

New GolfWRX Column: Basics to Projecting Tour Winners

Each week on my blog, I pick 10 players to win the PGA Tournament at hand. This is based on historical data as to what type of players the particular golf course favors along with three-year, five-year and 10-year averages in order to determine what holes are most critical to having success in the tournament and what players are most likely to play those holes the best. With the picks, I list the actual Vegas odds of the player being the outright winner of the tournament.

A couple of weeks ago in an interview with Matt Adams on his “Fairways of Life” show, he asked me to pick a winner and a dark horse for the Tampa Bay Championship. I selected Adam Scott as the favorite who was at 14:1 odds to win the tournament. But, the data suggested that Kevin Streelman was likely to play well at the tournament and I mentioned that he was my dark horse pick who was at 200:1 odds. Streelman went on to make me look really smart by winning his first PGA Tour event of his career and his first win in any tournament in five years since he won his local club championship in Arizona.

Read More:

There is More to Putting than Meets the Eye Book

There is a new book that has just come out called There is More to Putting Than Meets the Eye by former PGA Tour player, Howard Twitty, and Dr. Lanny Johnson.

It is a book that contains 575 pages of data with regards to all aspects of putting. I plan on purchasing this very soon for my own read. So may remember that Twitty was one of the first people to work under Dave Pelz and has always had an inquisitive mind with regards to the game of golf. I've seen a few pages with it consisting of extensive SAM Puttlab data.

You can find the book at the link below for $50:


Friday, March 29, 2013

When Stats Go Bad

A reader and twitter follower showed me this piece in an interview with Zach Johnson in GOLF Magazine.
As I mentioned that in 2012 when I started working with Tour players and their caddies, each player conveyed the point that they 'want to be the best wedge player on Tour.' This year I added 3 more clients and 2 out of the 3 mentioned the same thing (or to that effect).

As I discussed in 2012 Pro Golf Synopsis one of the major detriments to golfers is televised golf. There's a very inaccurate conception that wedge game matters so much often because those are the shots that are frequently shown by television producers.


Because those are the shots that are most likely going to be hit closest to the cup. Furthermore, they will likely dance or backspin towards the hole which is appealing to the viewers.

The problem is that it doesn't accurately depict the numbers that affect the golfer's score and success in a tournament. You won't see a golfer hitting a 210 yard approach shot from the rough to 18 feet even though that will likely have a bigger impact (in particular potential impact) on the golfer's score rather than a golfer hitting a 100 yard shot to 6-feet.

I'm not sure where Zach and his statistician got the numbers from and I question whether or not Zach took some of his words out of context. But, I think there are some fallacies to what was said. Although part of it makes some sense if you understand what I call the 'game profile' of a golfer.


One of the things I always point out with statistics is that the average Toru player hits shots roughly 30-35% closer to the hole from the fairway than from the rough.

But, the counter to that is that when all is said and done, the forecasted score starts to change noticeably once there is a 25-yard difference on the approach shot. And the kicker is that the forecasted score changes noticeably for amateurs with *less* difference in yardage. Essentially, the higher the handicap the less yardage differential it takes for forecasted score to change.

For example, let's say Brandt Snedeker is playing 2-balls by himself. He hits one drive where he has 150 yards into the hole. Then he hits another drive where he has 175 yards into the hole. When all of the scenarios are played out, even with a reasonable increase in fairway percentage on the *shorter drive*, the forecasted score will generally be better for the 150 yards.

In general, here's how it looks:

175 yards in fairway vs. 150 yards in 1st cut of rough: Moderate advantage 150 yards.

175 yards in fairway vs. 150 yards in fairway: Huge advantage 150 yards.

175 yards in fairway vs. 150 yards in 2nd cut of rough: Push

175 yardsi n fairway vs. 150 yards in deep rough/fairway bunker: Advantage 175 yards.

And that does not account for the 175 yard shot that ends up in the first cut of rough, 2nd cut of rough or the fairway bunker.

That's part of the reason why golfers really cannot just go out and hit 3-wood off every tee and leave the driver in the bag. Especially since most golfers hit their driver much further than 25 yards longer than their 3-wood off the tee.

And here's another kicker:

Most golfers, including most PGA Tour pros...are not very good at hitting 3-wood off the tee (I will go into this in 2013 Pro Golf Synopsis).

Essentially when you lose distance off the tee either be it by not striking a ball well, a change in stroke mechanics or leaving in the driver in the bag, you're 'delaying' the difficult shot for the next shot. Sometimes that is okay if the penalty for a bad shot shot is worse off the tee than on the 2nd shot. But as we saw at #18 at Bay Hill this past week, it's very easy for the next shot to be as difficult if not more difficult. So somebody laying up on #18 at Bay Hill to find the fairway now has to worry about hitting a 200 yard shot over water into a small green. Whereas had they hit driver, they could have gotten it to under 170 yards and the average score on approach shots under 170 yards, be it frmo the fairway or the rough, dropped dramatically once the approach shot got inside 170 yards (again, this will be in 2013 Pro Golf Synopsis)

The real crux of the situation comes down to the yardage to the hole and what the lie is like. If a player hits it 310 yards and is in the fairway versus hitting it 320 yards in the rough, the 310 yard drive will have a lower forecasted score.

But from the tone of it, it seems like Zach thinks that a 260-280 yard drive down the middle will be better off than hitting it 320 yards and the actual numbers point to something differently.

In fact, here's a look at my 2012 Driving Effectiveness rankings and their distance rankings in parentheses.

1. Bubba Watson (1st)
2. Rory McIlroy (5th)
3. Hunter Mahan (61st)
4. Charlie Beljan (2nd)
5. Boo Weekley (37th)
6. Jason Dufner (64th)
7. Graeme McDowell (136th)
8. Graham DeLaet (13th)
9. John Rollins (48th)
10. Keegan Bradley (16th)

And here's a look at the top-10 in Adjusted Scoring Average and their driving distance in parantheses:

1. Rory McIlroy (5th)
2. Tiger Woods (32nd)
3. Jim Furyk (171st)
4. Jason Dufner (64th)
5. Matt Kuchar (128th)
6. Adam Scott (11th)
7. Justin Rose (80th)
8. Dustin Johnson (4th)
9. Bubba Watson (1st)
10. Luke Donald (170th)

What we see is that Effectiveness off the tee clearly leans towards longer players. And so does Adjusted Scoring Average. The only short hitters in the top-10 of Adjusted Scoring Average (Furyk, Kuchar and Donald) are all exceptional putters and good Danger Zone players.

However, for Zach's 'game profile' things change a bit.

For starters, does anybody expect a 37-year old who has been a career low clubhead speed player to make a dramatic improvement to his clubhead speed?

I actually think it is possible, just not very likely.

Because of Zach's low clubhead speed and lack of distance, he has two things working against him:

1) Longer approach shots

2) Less like to get 2nd shots on par-5's closer

As I mentioned with Danger Zone play, the smartest thing one can do if they are on a hole where they are likely to be in the Danger Zone is to focus on hitting the fairway rather than trying to gain the extra bit of distance. Mainly because just because you want extra distance, doesn't mean you will execute it properly. And the difference between being able to hit DZ shots from the fairway and the rough is staggering.

So if you're a player like Zach who hits it short off the tee, we want to focus on fairways in order to give him the easier shot.

BUT, *if* he could somehow hit the ball much further there's a good probability that it would help his success on Tour tremendously. The problem is that he's more likely to hit more fairways rather than gain more distance at this stage of his career.

And since he cannot reach par-5's in two shots that often, he needs to sharpen up his Birdie Zone play so he can master those par-5's and get those crucial birdies. But, the play from the the Danger Zone will have a bigger influence on his success on Tour.

It's not that Zach is entirely off base, but rather missing a key detail in all of this...he is a short hitting player who is not likely to gain substantial distance off the tee. Thus, he has to play a style of game that suits his abilities.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Golf Grip Rain Coats

Here's an interesting product I came across on the internet, a rain coat for golf grips.

You can check out the Web site at


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 12

Tiger Woods wins his 3rd tournament of the year at Bay Hill

I did not make Tiger one of my picks since he was 5/2 odds at Bay Hill. Here are how my picks at Bay Hill finished.

Justin Rose (20/1) – 2nd
Graeme McDowell (22/1) – t-45th
Keegan Bradley (25/1) – t-3rd
Lee Westwood (33/1) – t-63rd
Jim Furyk (40/1) – t-65th
Boo Weekley (80/1) – t-69th
Kevin Streelman (90/1) – t-21st
Chris Kirk (100/1) – t-16th
Graham DeLaet (100/1) – t-50th

Value Pick: John Rollins (100/1) – t-16th

Here are my picks for the Shell Houston Open:

Keegan Bradley: 12/1
Phil Mickelson: 16/1
Dustin Johnson: 25/1
Charles Howell III: 50/1
Boo Weekley: 80/1
Graham DeLaet: 80/1
Sean O'Hair: 100/1
Charlie Beljan: 200/1
Tag Ridings: 250/1

Value Pick: Jason Kokrak 400/1


1. Weekley, Boo
2. Spieth, Jordan
3. Brown, Scott
4. Palmer, Ryan
5. Bradley, Keegan
6. Mahan, Hunter
7. Maggert, Jeff
8. Streelman, Kevin
9. Thompson, Nicholas
10. Potter, Jr., Ted

173. Watkins, Aaron
174. Curtis, Ben
175. Williams, Lee
176. Wittenberg, Casey
177. Noh, Seung-Yul
178. Bradley, Michael
179. Baddeley, Aaron
180. Na, Kevin
181. Weir, Mike
182. Herron, Tim


1. Chappell, Kevin
2. Claxton, Will
3. Wi, Charlie
4. Taylor, Vaughn
5. Noh, Seung-Yul
6. Molder, Bryce
7. Bradley, Michael
8. List, Luke
9. Bohn, Jason
10. Percy, Cameron

172. Kelly, Troy
173. Thompson, Michael
174. Poulter, Ian
175. Romero, Andres
176. Lee, D.H.
177. Gardiner, Scott
178. Marino, Steve
179. Herman, Jim
180. Blixt, Jonas
181. Kaymer, Martin


1. Van Pelt, Bo
2. Sabbatini, Rory
3. Curtis, Ben
4. Mathis, David
5. Stadler, Kevin
6. Every, Matt
7. Mickelson, Phil
8. Hicks, Justin
9. Karlsson, Robert
10. Chappell, Kevin

173. Parnevik, Jesper
174. Hoffmann, Morgan
175. List, Luke
176. Day, Jason
177. Claxton, Will
178. Ridings, Tag
179. Daly, John
180. Klauk, Jeff
181. Herman, Jim
182. Ernst, Derek


1. Garrigus, Robert
2. Harrington, Padraig
3. Maggert, Jeff
4. Leishman, Marc
5. Kohles, Ben
6. Palmer, Ryan
7. Stuard, Brian
8. Pride, Dicky
9. Watney, Nick
10. Simpson, Webb

173. Weir, Mike
174. Meierdierks, Eric
175. Marino, Steve
176. Noh, Seung-Yul
177. List, Luke
178. Watkins, Aaron
179. Na, Kevin
180. Johnson, Dustin
181. Taylor, Vaughn
182. Letzig, Michael


1. Estes, Bob
2. Donald, Luke
3. Jones, Matt
4. Leonard, Justin
5. McDowell, Graeme
6. Mickelson, Phil
7. Els, Ernie
8. Villegas, Camilo
9. Garcia, Sergio
10. Cauley, Bud

173. Allenby, Robert
174. Fisher, Ross
175. English, Harris
176. Sabbatini, Rory
177. LaBelle II, Doug
178. Meierdierks, Eric
179. McNeill, George
180. Hoffman, Charley
181. Norlander, Henrik
182. Garrigus, Robert


1. Woods, Tiger
2. Ames, Stephen
3. Kelly, Jerry
4. Jacobson, Freddie
5. Molder, Bryce
6. Kirk, Chris
7. Chalmers, Greg
8. Na, Kevin
9. Baddeley, Aaron
10. Stuard, Brian

173. Points, D.A.
174. LeBrun, Steve
175. Karlsson, Robert
176. Sabbatini, Rory
177. Colsaerts, Nicolas
178. Cauley, Bud
179. Claxton, Will
180. Ishikawa, Ryo
181. Daly, John
182. Stanley, Kyle


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Back to the Basics of Putting

While I try to avoid discussing golf instruction in Pro Golf Synopsis ( I did briefly mention the importance of putting speed when it comes to putting. The main reason for discussing speed in the book was that the odds of making a putt increase when the speed of the putt is closer to optimal. Since then I have had quite a few readers ask me more about putting speed and putting.

First, I highly recommend this video on speed/putting to by Geoff Mangum ( to serve as a reference.

So, we have a few things that are extremely important to understand:

The optimal speed of a putt is somewhere around 2-3 revolutions per second.

What this will look like if the ball goes in the cup is that the ball will land into the back plastic part of the cup.

If the ball hits the dirt that is above the back plastic of the cup, the putt can certainly go in the hole, but that is NOT the optimal speed. The same if the ball lands into the middle of the cup.

When the speed is less than optimal, the effective size of the cup shrinks. This 'effective size' of the cup is called 'capture width' and the cup is 'capturing' the ball.

As the capture width gets smaller, that means in order for the ball to stay in the cup the ball has to be rolling closer over the center (directionally) of the cup.

Here's a video showing the capture width of a putt that is hit at a distance that goes 5 feet past the hole.

This was the crux of my point in Pro Golf Synopsis on putting speed. You're more likely to make a putt by optimizing the speed because the hole is effectively wider. Many golfers, even PGA Tour players, get caught up in ramming putts to 'take the break out of the putt', but in reality they are decreasing their odds of making putts. Phil Mickelson's resurgence with the putter is partially due to his instructor, Dave Stockton, getting Phil to understand the importance of capture width rather than trying to reduce the amount of break in a putt.

17" past the cup is NOT a speed of a putt

17 inches past the cup as promoted by Dave Pelz is a distance and not a speed. 2-3 revolutions per second is a speed. This is important because as Mangum notes, his studies show that when it comes to the brains ability to understand spatial awareness and depth perception, the brain does not work well trying to aim at a spot beyond the cup. Instead, it works better when it tries to feel and visualize the actual speed of the putt.

While I've never done any research on this myself, it makes a lot of sense. You don't see baseball pitchers aiming at a point in front of or in back of the catchers mitt. The same with basketball players shooting a jump shot. There is a lot of natural instincts involved with putting.

17" past the cup is not an optimal distance

If you think about it, how could it be? And that brings up a good point...if it's an uphill putt, the ball traveling at an optimal speed of 2-3 revolutions per second cannot possibly go the same distance past the cup as a downhill putt.

The general rule of thumb I go by is that the harder I have to hit the putt, be it due to the slope of the putt or the stimp or the grass, the shorter the optimal distance past the cup will be.

So on an uphill putt the optimal distance past the cup could be something like 6-inches and on a downhill putt it could be 18-inches.


Putting stroke mechanics is where people usually get into their ability to make putts. However, SAM Puttlab data shows that people often have a skewed perception of what makes great putters so effective on the greens.

Here's a post of Tiger Woods' SAM Puttlab data

And here's Loren 'The Boss of the Moss' Roberts' SAM Puttlab data.

The common theme we see is that both players have questionable stroke mechanics in some spots and aiming skills, but incredible consistency with the putter.

This is very much like the golf swing. There's plenty of compensations in both Woods' and Roberts' strokes. But, they are both able to make the same compensation stroke after stroke.

Roberts has a closed clubface at address and actually executes the dreaded 'cut across' stroke. Tiger has a very open putter face at addess (2.5*). closes the face in the thru stroke with a hit towards the toe of the putter.

The real question to me is not about what stroke is best, but 'do they achieve near optimal speed because of their stroke consistency or is their stroke so consistent because they achieve near optimal speed?'

That does not mean one should just work on getting putting repetitions in and that will automatically make them a good putter. You can have a very consistent stroke, but if some mechanics are way off like the face angle at impact, you're going to continue to miss putts. In fact, Boo Weekley's recent putting improvement came after his coach worked to get him out of making his consistent stroke. His peak putter head acceleration was after impact and that caused major issues with his speed control even though he had a very consistent stroke.

Just like the golf swing, compensations are fine if you can repeat them almost all of the time and hit great shots in the process. But, most golfers cannot repeat compensations and they may prevent the golfer from any chance of improving their ballstriking.


Where green reading systems like AimPoint come in is that they calculate where the golfer has to aim on their putts.

But, the real key to AimPoint is that it allows the golfer to almost subconsciously figure out the optimal speed of a putt. What I have often seen from golfers is that they do not understand the geometry of a putt:

Instead, what I see is golfers either aim at the apex of the break, which is reading it too low.

Since they are not reading enough break, they compensate by hitting the putt harder. Thus, decreasing the capture width of the cup.

Or they will follow the advice that 'amateurs need to read more break.' The reality is that they may read the ball's break fine, but they are not AIMED with the putter high enough so the ball can travel on that line.

These golfers usually aim too high and hit the putt too softly in order to get more break.

This is where I think the Tour players putt so well. They are not master green readers like Stacy Lewis (AimPoint student). But, they generally have a better read than most amateurs and becaues they have such a consistent stroke, they develop a better understanding of how fast the ball will roll and how the ball will react to the slopes of the green.

For the average amateur, they do not have a caddy that can carefully chart each green and help them with reads. And they probably do not have the talent or the time to create a functional putting stroke that is extremely repeatable. Thus, they may be better off looking for ways to remove compensations in their stroke instead of trying to repeat them. I believe that is what AimPoint and its partnership with Edel putters does for golfers.

In the end, it's about giving ourselves the best chance to make the putt and not leaving 'a lot of meat on that bone' on the next putt. If we focus on optimizing speed instead of getting overly concerned with stroke mechanics and directional control, we'll start making more putts.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Quintic Ball Roll

Here's a video on the Quintic Ball Roll technology.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 11

My darkhorse pick on Matt Adams’ Fairways of Life radio show, Kevin Streelman, wins his first ever PGA Tour event.

Here’s how my Tampa picks finished:

Adam Scott (14/1) t-30th
Luke Donald (16/1) t-4th
Webb Simpson (18/1) t-17th
Jim Furyk (25/1) t-7th
Nick Watney (33/1) t-43rd
Josh Teater (80/1) 77th
Jeff Overton (80/1) t-43rd
Brian Stuard (100/1) t-43rd
Nicholas Thompson (150/1) Missed Cut

Value Pick: Kevin Streelman (200/1) 1st

Here are my picks for Bay Hill:

Justin Rose (20/1)
Graeme McDowell (22/1)
Keegan Bradley (25/1)
Lee Westwood (33/1)
Jim Furyk (40/1)
Boo Weekley (80/1)
Kevin Streelman (90/1)
Chris Kirk (100/1)
Graham DeLaet (100/1)

Value Pick: John Rollins (150/1)


1. Weekley, Boo
2. Spieth, Jordan
3. Streelman, Kevin
4. Palmer, Ryan
5. Potter, Jr., Ted
6. Westwood, Lee
7. Maggert, Jeff
8. McDowell, Graeme
9. Fisher, Ross
10. de Jonge, Brendon

174. Watkins, Aaron
175. Williams, Lee
176. Reed, Patrick
177. Klauk, Jeff
178. Noh, Seung-Yul
179. Bradley, Michael
180. Baddeley, Aaron
181. Na, Kevin
182. Weir, Mike
183. Herron, Tim


1. Wi, Charlie
2. Chappell, Kevin
3. Lee, Richard
4. Trahan, D.J.
5. Noh, Seung-Yul
6. Villegas, Camilo
7. Bohn, Jason
8. Schwartzel, Charl
9. Molder, Bryce
10. Guthrie, Luke

173. Stanley, Kyle
174. Marino, Steve
175. Poulter, Ian
176. Herman, Jim
177. Hoffmann, Morgan
178. Gardiner, Scott
179. Goosen, Retief
180. Lee, D.H.
181. Blixt, Jonas
182. Kaymer, Martin


1. Van Pelt, Bo
2. Curtis, Ben
3. Every, Matt
4. Rollins, John
5. Duke, Ken
6. Sabbatini, Rory
7. Mickelson, Phil
8. Scott, Adam
9. Westwood, Lee
10. Mathis, David

174. Hoffmann, Morgan
175. List, Luke
176. Claxton, Will
177. Day, Jason
178. Daly, John
179. Herman, Jim
180. Klauk, Jeff
181. Trahan, D.J.
182. Ridings, Tag
183. Ernst, Derek


1. Garrigus, Robert
2. Harrington, Padraig
3. Maggert, Jeff
4. Ridings, Tag
5. Simpson, Webb
6. Watney, Nick
7. Palmer, Ryan
8. Pride, Dicky
9. Stuard, Brian

174. Meierdierks, Eric
175. Marino, Steve
176. Potter, Jr., Ted
177. List, Luke
178. Watkins, Aaron
179. Na, Kevin
180. Johnson, Dustin 181. Ishikawa, Ryo
182. Noh, Seung-Yul
183. Letzig, Michael


1. McDowell, Graeme
2. Donald, Luke
3. Woods, Tiger
4. Estes, Bob
5. Haas, Bill
6. Leonard, Justin
7. Garcia, Sergio
8. Els, Ernie
9. Mickelson, Phil
10. Jones, Matt

174. Fisher, Ross
175. Garrigus, Robert
176. LaBelle II, Doug
177. Meierdierks, Eric
178. Beljan, Charlie
179. Allenby, Robert
180. McNeill, George
181. Hoffman, Charley
182. Norlander, Henrik
183. Short, Jr., Wes


1. Ames, Stephen
2. Kelly, Jerry
3. Jacobson, Freddie
4. Baddeley, Aaron
5. Molder, Bryce
6. Woods, Tiger
7. Poulter, Ian
8. Kirk, Chris
9. Stuard, Brian
10. Na, Kevin

174. LeBrun, Steve
175. Karlsson, Robert
176. Short, Jr., Wes
177. Sabbatini, Rory
178. Villegas, Camilo
179. Colsaerts, Nicolas
180. Claxton, Will
181. Ishikawa, Ryo
182. Daly, John
183. Stanley, Kyle


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top 10 Unique Swings On Tour

Here's a video I thought many would enjoy, the top-10 unique swings on Tour. The one armed short game was an eye opener.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Driver Battle: Nike Convert vs. Callaway XHOT

Here's a video from BJ Hathaway ( comparing the new drivers from Nike and Callaway.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 10

Tiger Woods wins his 2nd tournament of the year (already) at Doral.

Here are how my picks for Doral finished.

Justin Rose: 16/1 (t-8th)
Lee Westwood: 25/1 (t-25th)
Keegan Bradley: 25/1 (7th)
Nick Watney: 28/1 (t-49th)
Bubba Watson: 28/1 (t-18th)
Rickie Fowler: 33/1 (t-35th) R
obert Garrigus: 50/1 (65th)
Bill Haas: 50/1 (t-43rd)
Padraig Harrington: 66/1 (t-39th)

Value Pick: Russell Henley 80/1 (t-28th)

Tiger was not selected as he was at 9/1 odds.

Here are my picks for Tampa Bay

Adam Scott (14/1)
Luke Donald (16/1)
Webb Simpson (18/1)
Jim Furyk (25/1)
Nick Watney (33/1)
Josh Teater (80/1)
Jeff Overton (80/1)
Brian Stuard (100/1)
Nicholas Thompson (150/1)

Value Pick: Kevin Streelman (200/1)


1. Weekley, Boo
2. Streelman, Kevin
3. Palmer, Ryan
4. Furyk, Jim
5. de Jonge, Brendon
6. Duke, Ken
7. Potter, Jr., Ted
8. Westwood, Lee
9. Maggert, Jeff
10. Glover, Lucas

173. Marino, Steve
174. Watkins, Aaron
175. Noh, Seung-Yul
176. Bradley, Michael
177. Haley II, Paul
178. Baddeley, Aaron
179. Herron, Tim
180. Na, Kevin
181. Weir, Mike
182. Gonzales, Andres


1. Chappell, Kevin
2. Gates, Bobby
3. Wi, Charlie
4. Claxton, Will
5. Bradley, Michael
6. Noh, Seung-Yul
7. Hearn, David
8. Woods, Tiger
9. Points, D.A.
10. Holmes, J.B.

172. Curtis, Ben
173. Poulter, Ian
174. Barnes, Ricky
175. Herman, Jim
176. Jobe, Brandt
177. Gardiner, Scott
178. Marino, Steve
179. Romero, Andres
180. Kelly, Troy
181. Blixt, Jonas


1. Van Pelt, Bo
2. Langley, Scott
3. Curtis, Ben
4. Chappell, Kevin
5. Stefani, Shawn
6. Sabbatini, Rory
7. Rollins, John
8. Reavie, Chez
9. Duke, Ken
10. Every, Matt

173. Kohles, Ben
174. Leishman, Marc
175. Day, Jason
176. Meierdierks, Eric
177. Gonzales, Andres
178. Daly, John
179. Klauk, Jeff
180. Herman, Jim
181. Ernst, Derek
182. Ridings, Tag


1. Harrington, Padraig
2. Palmer, Ryan
3. Thompson, Nicholas
4. Garrigus, Robert
5. Pride, Dicky
6. Maggert, Jeff
7. Tomasulo, Peter
8. Daly, John
9. Ridings, Tag
10. Watney, Nick

173. Johnson, Dustin
174. Claxton, Will
175. Steele, Brendan
176. Kelly, Troy
177. Herron, Tim
178. Potter, Jr., Ted
179. Noh, Seung-Yul
180. Gates, Bobby
181. Letzig, Michael
182. Ishikawa, Ryo


1. Molder, Bryce
2. Kelly, Jerry
3. Baddeley, Aaron
4. Jacobson, Freddie
5. Teater, Josh
6. Ames, Stephen
7. Woods, Tiger
8. Stuard, Brian
9. Poulter, Ian
10. Kirk, Chris

173. LeBrun, Steve
174. Weekley, Boo
175. Karlsson, Robert
176. Colsaerts, Nicolas
177. Claxton, Will
178. Meierdierks, Eric
179. Ishikawa, Ryo
180. Sabbatini, Rory
181. Stanley, Kyle
182. Daly, John


1. Pride, Dicky
2. McDowell, Graeme
3. Woods, Tiger
4. Haas, Bill
5. Estes, Bob
6. Jones, Matt
7. Els, Ernie
8. Leonard, Justin
9. Mickelson, Phil
10. McGirt, William

173. Cink, Stewart
174. Gonzales, Andres
175. Sabbatini, Rory
176. Beljan, Charlie
177. Fisher, Ross
178. Langley, Scott
179. Haley II, Paul
180. Allenby, Robert
181. Hoffman, Charley
182. Stefani, Shawn


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Announcement and New GolfWRX Column

First, I am proud to announce that I will be doing and interview with Matt Adams on the Fairways of Life radio show on SiriusXM.
The interview will be this Thursday at 7:30 AM on the PGA Tour Channel which is on XM Channel 93 and Sirius Channel 208.  The interview will also be available on the Back 9 Network and you should be able to hear it on Adams' Web site at
In the interview we will be discussing 2012 Pro Golf Synopsis and the 'Moneyball Approach' to the game of golf. 
Now onto my latest GolfWRX column in understanding the critical holes in ANY golf tournament.

One of the questions I had about the game of golf before I started researching the statistical data of the game was, “What holes should I focus the most on in practice rounds of a tournament?”

Generally, I thought the holes to focus on were the most difficult holes. But, I often wondered if the easiest holes were where I should direct my attention, because losing a stroke against the field is still losing a stroke nonetheless. As usual, after doing the research, the answer ended up being somewhere in between.

First, we have to understand that the length of the tournament plays a big factor as to what the critical holes are. In one-round tournaments, which are fairly common in amateur events, anything can happen. In those tournaments, my data has shown that the best finishers are generally are the ones who play the toughest and the easiest holes the best. However, as the number of rounds increase — almost all PGA Tour events are four rounds — things change quite a bit.

In a three-, four- or five-round event, the holes with the greatest standard deviation separate the contenders from the rest of the field. This is where the top finishers in an event usually gain the most strokes on their competitors, and for that reason I have labeled these as ‘Critical Holes.’ Using historical data and basing it on three-year, give-year and 10-year trends, I have been able to identify the Critical Holes on almost every course that the Tour plays. This allows my Tour clients to better focus their attention on the holes that have the greatest influence on where they finish in each event.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Driving Effectiveness Announcement

I’m working on possibly tweaking my Driving Effectiveness algorithm.

While my Driving Effectiveness algorithm has a fairly strong correlation to Adjusted Scoring Average, if I can tweak it to create a consistently stronger correlation I will do it. This will mean a better representation of what goes into driving the ball most effectively.

The metric I’m toying with now and looking to add to the algorithm is the percentage of drives that miss the fairway and the rough (fairway bunkers, O.B., hazards, trees, etc). Right now I have an algorithm that represents a noticeably stronger correlation coefficient than my current Driving Effectiveness formula. However, this is only based on the 2012 season.

I would need to check these over for at least the past 5 years and if I get a stronger mathematical correlation, I will make the changes to the algorithm.

Anyway, here is what I have for the top-20 in 2012 with this experimental formula. Their rankings in Driving Effectiveness for 2012 (current formula) are in parentheses:

1. Hunter Mahan (3)
2. Bubba Watson (1)
3. Tiger Woods (39)
4. Louis Oosthuizen (14)
5. Charl Schwartzel (59)
6. Rory McIlroy (2)
7. Charlie Beljan (4)
8. John Senden (25)
9. Adam Scott (12)
10. John Huh (11)
11. Graeme McDowell (7)
12. Boo Weekley (5)
13. Roberto Castro (30)
14. David Toms (57)
15. Kyle Stanley (15)
16. Justin Rose (23)
17. Keegan Bradley (10)
18. Bo Van Pelt (17)
19. Tim Clark (37)
20. Dustin Johnson (24)

Biggest Decline: Brendan Steele (119th from 54th) & Kevin Na (154th from 89th)

Biggest Improvement: William McGirt (72nd from 136th) I am continuing to work on this. Hopefully this will give a more accurate representation of what is needed for ALL golfers to drive the ball better. I will update my status on this when new developments arise. 3JACK Read more:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Toes Up Video with 5 Simple Keys

Here's a video from David Wedzik of the 5 Simple Keys group discussing something I get frequently asked by my readers.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tour Bunker Play 1980-2012

Recently, I compiled the Tour average sand save percentage for each year, starting from 1980. Here's the results.

What's interesting is that the best sand save percentage occured from 1989-2001. And the best year was 2000 with an average sand save percentage of 53.81%.

Since 2001, the Tour has failed to average above 50% on sand saves. And at this time, the Tour's average sand saves are about where they were in 1983-1988.

I do not like the 'sand save' metric because it doesn't account for the golfer who may make sand saves with better putting than actual bunker skill. However, I think it gives a reasonable ballpark of sand play. But, the key is that all of the data I've encountered is that Tour golfers make more putts today than they did in yesteryear. This is presumably due to the smoother putting surfaces.

So, it's a bit surprising to see that sand saves today are about where they were in 1983-1988. And considering that the data suggests that golfers made fewer putts in 1983-1988, you have to think that Tour players from '83-'88 may have been more skilled in the bunkers.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 9

Michael Thompson gets his first PGA Tour victory of his career at PGA National.

I was out last week with a stomach ulcer, so I did not officially post my picks.

Here are my picks for Doral

Justin Rose: 16/1
Lee Westwood: 25/1
Keegan Bradley: 25/1
Nick Watney: 28/1
Bubba Watson: 28/1
Rickie Fowler: 33/1
Robert Garrigus: 50/1
Bill Haas: 50/1
Padraig Harrington: 66/1

Value Pick: Russell Henley 80/1

And here are the first published rankings for 2013. Please note that I’m still working on ‘Critical Hole Index’ metric. I was out all last week that was put off for the time being.


1. Furyk, Jim
2. Weekley, Boo
3. Cantlay, Patrick
4. Palmer, Ryan
5. Westwood, Lee
6. McDowell, Graeme
7. Streelman, Kevin
8. de Jonge, Brendon
9. Dufner, Jason
10. Duke, Ken

169. Reed, Patrick
170. Day, Jason
171. Watkins, Aaron
172. Baddeley, Aaron
173. Herron, Tim
174. Bradley, Michael
175. Haley II, Paul
176. Na, Kevin
177. Weir, Mike
178. Gonzales, Andres


1. Chappell, Kevin
2. Gates, Bobby
3. Wi, Charlie
4. Clark, Tim
5. Claxton, Will
6. Bradley, Michael
7. Noh, Seung-Yul
8. Hearn, David
9. Points, D.A.
10. Holmes, J.B.

168. Jobe, Brandt
169. Gardiner, Scott
170. Marino, Steve
171. Romero, Andres
172. Kelly, Troy
173. Dufner, Jason
174. Thompson, Michael
175. Harrington, Padraig
176. Blixt, Jonas
177. Goosen, Retief


1. Van Pelt, Bo
2. Langley, Scott
3. Curtis, Ben
4. Chappell, Kevin
5. Stefani, Shawn
6. Sabbatini, Rory
7. Rollins, John
8. Reavie, Chez
9. Duke, Ken
10. Every, Matt

169. Hoffmann, Morgan
170. Herron, Tim
171. Senden, John
172. Kohles, Ben
173. Leishman, Marc
174. Meierdierks, Eric
175. Gonzales, Andres
176. Klauk, Jeff
177. Ernst, Derek
178. Ridings, Tag


1. Harrington, Padraig
2. Palmer, Ryan
3. Merrick, John
4. Thompson, Nicholas
5. Pride, Dicky
6. Maggert, Jeff
7. Tomasulo, Peter
8. Garrigus, Robert
9. Ridings, Tag
10. Villegas, Camilo

169. Claxton, Will
170. Steele, Brendan
171. Kelly, Troy
172. Herron, Tim
173. Potter, Jr., Ted
174. Noh, Seung-Yul
175. Gates, Bobby
176. Letzig, Michael
177. Johnson, Dustin
178. Ishikawa, Ryo


1. Haas, Bill
2. McDowell, Graeme
3. Pride, Dicky
4. Estes, Bob
5. Merrick, John
6. Watney, Nick
7. Jones, Matt
8. Leonard, Justin
9. Day, Jason
10. McGirt, William

169. Gonzales, Andres
170. Sabbatini, Rory
171. Beljan, Charlie
172. Fisher, Ross
173. Langley, Scott
174. Haley II, Paul
175. Allenby, Robert
176. Short, Jr., Wes
177. Hoffman, Charley
178. Stefani, Shawn


1. Molder, Bryce
2. Kelly, Jerry
3. Baddeley, Aaron
4. Jacobson, Freddie
5. Teater, Josh
6. Ames, Stephen
7. Stuard, Brian
8. Kirk, Chris
9. Henley, Russell
10. Na, Kevin

169. Tomasulo, Peter
170. LeBrun, Steve
171. Weekley, Boo
172. Karlsson, Robert
173. Claxton, Will
174. Meierdierks, Eric
175. Colsaerts, Nicolas
176. Ishikawa, Ryo
177. Sabbatini, Rory
178. Stanley, Kyle


Monday, March 4, 2013

European Challenge Tour Spinning Contest

Here's a fun video of players on the European Challenge Tour with a contest of seeing who can hit an 8-iron while being dizzy.

On a more analytical level, watch how each player is able to 'keep their head down' and 'keep their eye on the ball.'

Yet, they still struggle to hit the ball. Obviously, being dizzy creates issues for them. But, by the old adages of you 'must keep your head down and look at the ball', they should still be able to make contact and get the ball airborne.

If you're a golfer struggling to make contact and get the ball airborne, I recommend seeing a quality golf instructor in order to rid you of your ballstriking woes instead of just blaming it on 'not keeping your head down.'