Over at Geoff Shackelford’s blog they’re commenting on the respective putting performances of Spieth and McIroy at the Masters and in spite of what Mark Broadie’s statistics suggest it appears to be the same old story, “You drive for show and you putt for dough.”
Lies, damned lies and…?
Given the abundance of performance statistics now available to tournament players and viewers I continue to have doubts on the conclusions of Mark Broadie
Back in October 2013 I wrote, "In the spring of 2011, the PGA Tour introduced a new statistical category called strokes gained-putting. The brainchild of Columbia Business School professor Mark Broadie.”
Then adding, “When I (Mark Broadie) compare the top players on the PGA Tour, I find that the long game contributes about two-thirds to their success while the short game and putting contributes about one-third.”
In regards to their respective performances it suggests that it was Spieth’s putting performance that made the difference especially when I also observe that McIlroy holed just nine putts beyond eight feet for the week, Spieth holed 16.
It’s the long game that matters?
Mark Broadie is on record as saying, "You don't drive for show and putt for dough. It's really the long game that matters."
Now that’s interesting and whilst my reflections are based solely on the recent Masters I observe that Tiger Woods who most admirably scrambled his way to a 73 on Sunday, hit only 2 fairways in the course of his round.
Then there’s the example of Ian Poulter’s performance with greens in regulation statistics of 82% and hitting five greens more than any other player.
So I’m still left with the feeling that putting is much more important that Mark’s data suggests and have to ask (since I haven’t read his book) if the data was created from the performances of tour professionals or mainly from the amateur ranks?
In the words of Willie Park Jnr
Willie Park Jnr, two-time Open champion famously said, “The man whae can putt is a match for anyone.”
It’s a long way and a long time ago from Prestwick (in the 19th century) to the 1957 Palm Beach Round Robin when Ben Hogan was paired with the late great and fabulous putting machine named Billy Casper.
Standing on the 10th tee, Ben who was having a bad time with his putter and not known to mince his words turned to Casper and said, “If you couldn't putt you'd be selling hot dogs on the 10th tee.”
I rest my case of putting being more important than Mark Broadie’s statistics tend to suggest, however I’m open to the thought that Ben Hogan (best ever long game) and Billy Casper (one of the best-ever putters) may be the exception to Mark’s methodological findings.
Here’s the link to Geoff
Quote of the Day
“That son of a bitch Locke was able to hole a putt over 60-feet of peanut brittle.”
- Lloyd Mangrum commenting on Bobby Locke’s putting prowess