Another Word From Professor Obvious

English: Histogram of sepal widths for Iris ve...

A few of my previous posts (here and here) have reported on correlations between my putting, greens in regulation, and fairways hit with my score. The last time I looked at the data, all three parts of my game predicted my score about equally.

I’ve continued to record the data, and now have records from 53 rounds. That’s enough to satisfy my curiosity, and things seem to be stabilizing. My scores in those 53 rounds range from 73 to 88, with a mean of 80.85. That’s pretty typical for me these days, so I think it’s a representative sample of my play.

Overall, I can’t see any noteworthy difference in the degree to which fairways hit, GIR, or number of putts predict my score. All are about equally predictive. As before, a combination index predicts my scores very well (a Pearson r of .83 for you stat jockeys out there). The combination index is derived by subtracting the total of GIR and fairways hit from number of putts, so the lower that index is, the better I’m playing.

The interesting feature is the change in the data over the months I’ve collected it. Putting has become a weaker predictor, and during those moths I’ve started to get back some of the ball-striking skills that I’d lost for a while. In short, I’m not so reliant on my putting for a good score, and that shows in the statistics.

So what do I need to do to get better? The statistics suggest I need to work equally on everything, and that’s how I feel about it as I play. I have my good and bad days at all parts of the game, but I don’t feel like one part is notably stronger or weaker than another. My chipping and pitching is probably my strength, but I can’t figure out how to track that in the statistics without sucking all the fun out of my time on the course, so Professor Obvious is hereby retired from data collection until further notice.

He’s going to see if having fun hitting that little ball leads to better scores. Reports without statistics will follow as needed.


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