Golfstat – Using Data to Improve Your Golf Game

Using statistics to reduce crime

During my years as the Deputy Chief of Police in Winnipeg I conducted extensive research on the statistical analysis of crime with a view to using statistical analysis as a basis for deployment of police resources and reducing crime.  The research process involved not only a review of the academic literature on the topic but also meeting with Rudy Giuliani’s consulting group and members of the  Manhattan Institute for Policy Research  in New York City.   Giuliani was the mayor of New York when Compstat was implemented there and the Manhattan Institute was the home of George Kelling who had become well  known in policing circles when he proposed the “Broken Windows’ theory in 1982.  I also visited  Newark New Jersey, one of the many cities in the United States that had implemented programs based on the statistical analysis of crime and met with police officers there.  Upon completion of the research I submitted a  proposal ( click on ‘proposal’ and scroll down the agenda and click on item 85 for a copy of the report)to the City of Winnipeg and subsequently  Crimestat was implemented in Winnipeg.

Using statistics to improve your golf game

During that same period of time I was a very active golfer and started thinking about applying some of the same principles used to reduce crime  towards improving my golf  game.

In my mind I called it Golfstat.   As opposed to tracking where break-ins, car thefts and robberies were taking place and how to reduce them, Golfstat looked at where (on which holes) birdies, pars, bogies and double bogies were being scored with a view to coming up with a means to replicate the good holes and eliminate the bogies and double bogies.

The first step in the process was to gather data.  For those interested in this approach an easy first step is to change the way you enter your handicap scores.  As opposed to simply entering your gross adjusted score you start by entering your scores on a ‘hole by hole’ basis.  The RCGA software allows for not only this but also facilitates the inclusion of other statistical information such as fairways hit, greens in regulation, number of putts and the like and then provides useful information  based on the date entered.

The following shows the Golf Canada hole by hole entry screen:

2015-10-29

(click on image to enlarge)

Once you have entered sufficient data (ten games or so) you can start to do an analysis of the data and draw conclusions and formulate an action plan to improve your scoring.

A future post will examine some of the things the data tells you and how to use it to your advantage and improve your scoring.

Fore!

 

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Welcome to Golf In My Kingdom

The title Golf in my Kingdom  is a shameless take off on the title of Michael Murphy’s 1972 book Golf  In The Kingdom  which features the mythical golf professional Shivas Irons.

 This is my first post on this blog and the purpose of this post is to give you an idea as to my golfing habits and volume of play.  This will allow you to evaluate future posts in terms of ‘does this guy actually play the game and does he know what he is talking about’.

In the coming weeks and months I plan on writing posts on various golf related topics such as golf statistics,  scoring strategy,  meaningful practice,  how to attack a golf course, equipment, which tees to use and the like.

I will not delve into golf instruction as I am an amateur, not a pro and there already exists a plethora of instruction material that is at times both helpful and confusing for the average golfer.  I will rather talk about common sense approaches to the game and things the average golfer can do to not only enjoy the game more and learn to become a better overall golfer and shoot lower scores.

I invite readers to comment and enter into discussion as there is no right way to play this game and everyone has an opinion, some of which will no doubt be at variance with mine and those of other readers.

My 2015 Golf Season 

The golf season in Manitoba is short relatively speaking.  This year my golf season started on April 10th and ended on October 22nd.

During those 196 days I played a total of 162 games of golf which means that there were 34 days that I did not play.

My games were distributed between 16 different golf courses with the majority being played at two courses.

My high score for the year was a 85 (I had several of those) and my low round was a 66, shot at the Wildewood Club on June 13th.  while playing with a good friend  and yes there was money on the line that day and I made a few bucks.

My year-long scoring average was 76.2 and my end of year handicap was 3.8 having dipped down to 1.6 in mid-summer.

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Fore!