Golfstat Part II – 2016 Overall Results

For me the 2016 golf season is over.  I don’t like playing when the temperature gets below 10 degrees celsius so its time to pack away the clubs and recap what happened in 2016.

Before I get to the 2016 data here is a brief overview of my handicap numbers for the last couple of years:

End of season handicap factor    2014 – 4.5,  2015 – 3.8,  2016 – 4.5

As indicated in an earlier post I entered  my scores into the Golf Canada Handicap System using the hole by hole format, and I added a few basic stats, those being, number of putts and fairways hit.

Based on that the system generated considerable data.  The first screen shot shows the results for  “all courses”  while the second and third screen give the results for Bridges and Wildewood the two courses where I play the majority of my games this year.

(You can click on the screenshot to enlarge them for easier reading.)

All Courses  

2016-10-21-5

Bridges

2016-10-21-6

Wildewood

2016-10-21-7

In subsequent posts I will attempt to interpret the data and determine  if and how it can be used to direct practice, approaches on the course and hopefully overall game improvement.

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Scratch Golfers Turn Par 4’s and Par 5’s Into Short Par 3’s

Bridges hole 4

Depiction of the 97-159 yard par 3, 4th hole at Bridges Golf Course

 

In a previous post I talked about how high handicap golfers tend to score better (relative to par) on par 3 holes as compared to par 4’s and par 5’s, and how the opposite is true for scratch and low handicap golfers who score better  (relative to par) on par 4’s and par 5’s.

There are several reasons for this:

1)   The shorter the par 3 the easier it is to score well.

2)   Most high handicap golfers tend to play off the forward tees which means that for them most par 3’s are in the range of 150 yards or less.  Many scratch or low handicap players will play off the longer tees with an average distance closer to the 190 yard range.

Let me provide a number of examples for average distances of par 3 holes off various tees at two local courses:

Bridges Golf Course, Starbuck, MB

White tees          133 yards

Blue tees             153 yards

Black tees           178 yards

Southwood Golf and Country Club, Winnipeg, MB

White tees          152 yards

Blue tees             175 yards

Black tees           197 yards

So on par 3 holes high handicappers have significantly shorter tee shots to contend with than golfers playing of the back tees.

3)   In many sports there is no substitute for speed.  In golf there is no substitute for distance.  Generally speaking, low handicap golfers hit the ball further than high handicap players and in many cases are also more accurate.  Low handicap players, even though they may play off the longer tees, tend to have shorter approach shots into the green than high handicap players on par 4’s and especially par 5’s.

This disparity in distance off the tee means that for many high handicap golfers their approach shots on par 4’s and par 5’s are longer than their normal tee shot on par 3’s, whereas for low handicap players their approach shots on par 4’s and par 5’s are shorter than their typical tee shot on par 3’s.  In some cases par 5’s become two shot holes for the scratch player which further promotes lower scores.

The long and the short of it (pun intended) is that low handicap golfers because of their additional length and accuracy have the ability to turn their approach shots on  par 4’s and par 5’s into short par 3’s.

The shorter the “par 3” the lower the score.

What is your Handicap

And more importantly how is handicap index determined

If a golfer were to shoot 20 consecutive rounds of even par on a par 72 golf course with a course rating of 69.6 and a slope of 123 would his handicap index be  0?

The answer is no, his handicap index would be 2.1.

So, what about if another golfer who also played 20 round of golf on the same course and shot 1o rounds at even par, and the remaining 10 rounds were scattered between 73 and 82.  What would his handicap index be?

It would also be 2.1.

Why is that you ask?  Well, it’s because for handicap purposes the accepted practice is to use the best 10 out of your last 20 rounds for handicap calculation purposes and the best 10 rounds out of their last 20 were the same for both golfers.

So if the 10 scores used for handicap calculation purposes  were all even par why is the handicap index not 0?

The answer is that a formula laid out the Golf Canada is applied and that formula stipulates that the course rating and not the par for the course be used to calculate the handicap index.  In the case of the above two examples it would work like this:

The differential between the score shot and the course rating is calculated for each round used for handicap purposes.  In this case the differential for each round was the gross score minus the course rating (72-69.6=2.4) as the scores were all the same.

In real life the calculation would be done for each round, they would then be added up and divided by 10 to obtain an average.  That number is then multiplied by 113 which is the slope rating assigned to golf courses that are of average difficulty (113 x 2.4=271.2)  This product is then divided by the slope rating for the course in question 271.2/123=2.2

The last step in applying the formula is to multiply 2.2 by .96 which yields a handicap index of 2.1

The good thing for golfers is that you don’t need to do any of these calculations.  All you need to do is to enter your score into the computer and the handicap software looks after the rest.

So, if your handicap index is 2.1, the average of your best 10  out of your last  20 games playing off the white and red tees at The  Wildewood Club should be 72.

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!