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davepratt
Jan 31, 2011, 11:38 AM
If what I witnessed on Sunday is called golf, then that's not the same game I play.
360 yards drives ?
Stiffing the approach from ankle deep rough?
Shaping every shot according to the layout?
Unbelievebale bunker shots?
175 yard 8 irons?
Incredible touch on the greens ?
This is not a game I'm personally familiar with.
These guys just get better every year.

Richd
Jan 31, 2011, 11:40 AM
the cameras need to show more of the shanks and misses

Lefty17
Jan 31, 2011, 11:52 AM
How about Phil and B Haas skanky shots out of bunkers and Hunters 5ft second shot on the first hole???

Dalys 44 on the back nine along with Tigers 75 full of bad shots.

Approaches shots in the water on 18.

davepratt
Jan 31, 2011, 11:58 AM
How about Phil and B Haas skanky shots out of bunkers and Hunters 5ft second shot on the first hole???

Dalys 44 on the back nine along with Tigers 75 full of bad shots.

Approaches shots in the water on 18.
That's MY game except it's the rule rather than the exception.

OldGeezer
Jan 31, 2011, 11:58 AM
If what I witnessed on Sunday is called golf, then that's not the same game I play.
360 yards drives ?
Stiffing the approach from ankle deep rough?
Shaping every shot according to the layout?
Unbelievebale bunker shots?
175 yard 8 irons?
Incredible touch on the greens ?
This is not a game I'm personally familiar with.
These guys just get better every year.

I agree Dave, when's the last time you, me or most anyone here, had someone pull the pin on a 72 yard approach shot, and almost make it!!! They are in another world!!!

Lefty17
Jan 31, 2011, 11:59 AM
That's MY game except it's the rule rather than the exception.

Then you play the same game as they do... ;):D

It's easy to hit 360 when you have hard fairways.

par72
Jan 31, 2011, 12:05 PM
Then you play the same game as they do... ;):D

It's easy to hit 360 when you have hard fairways.

Me and you have a different description of easy :rofl:

philly63
Jan 31, 2011, 12:10 PM
Wish they would use the actual distance of the hole. On one of the par 5's it said it was 610 or something, Someone hits a 350 yard drive and has only 187 left to the pin. How hard is it give the yardage the hole is playing. They always say the hole is up today or something but give the back yardage.

Lefty17
Jan 31, 2011, 01:17 PM
Wish they would use the actual distance of the hole. On one of the par 5's it said it was 610 or something, Someone hits a 350 yard drive and has only 187 left to the pin. How hard is it give the yardage the hole is playing. They always say the hole is up today or something but give the back yardage.

I agree 100%. 610 yards from the back tees but playing one up today with a front pin...so 550 it is. Same goes for the par 3s. 230 on the card but he's hitting 6 iron the hole is actually playing 200.

sLuGo
Jan 31, 2011, 01:20 PM
I figured he just read the "who far do you hit your..." thread and was trying to show off.

Big Shooter
Jan 31, 2011, 02:24 PM
If what I witnessed on Sunday is called golf, then that's not the same game I play.
360 yards drives ?
Stiffing the approach from ankle deep rough?
Shaping every shot according to the layout?
Unbelievebale bunker shots?
175 yard 8 irons?
Incredible touch on the greens ?
This is not a game I'm personally familiar with.
These guys just get better every year.

I guess the Pros have figured out the "new grooves", I think there needs to be "testing" of their clubs before they are declared the Winner, just like NASCAR!! :p

dekker
Jan 31, 2011, 05:27 PM
Comforting enough the guys in the booth,after watching these guys hit off the tee, didn't think they played golf either.

youngnchipper
Jan 31, 2011, 06:21 PM
If what I witnessed on Sunday is called golf, then that's not the same game I play.
360 yards drives ?
Stiffing the approach from ankle deep rough?
Shaping every shot according to the layout?
Unbelievebale bunker shots?
175 yard 8 irons?
Incredible touch on the greens ?
This is not a game I'm personally familiar with.
These guys just get better every year.

I likely wouldn't watch if these guys weren't doing amazing things day in a day out.

I suppose that is why they earn a lot of money doing what they do haha!

forgedblade
Jan 31, 2011, 06:49 PM
If they continue to get better year after year, then why is the scoring average flat year over year?

Powerfade
Jan 31, 2011, 08:03 PM
It really must be difficult...Driver-wedge-putt...Mid iron-putt...Driver-wedge-putt :eek:

goshawk
Jan 31, 2011, 08:58 PM
If they continue to get better year after year, then why is the scoring average flat year over year?The scoring average doesn't change because different golfers are doing the low scoring. If the same people were doing these -15 scores every week, the same people would be on top of the leaderboard every week.

The reason they are making these amazing shots is really twofold: incredible natural talent combined with tons of hours in "proper" practice. Of course, the entourage of people behind the scenes for these guys/gals doesn't hurt either! If we all had the time and money to properly practice and play every day for 8 hours per day, we'd be making these shots on a regular basis too.

forgedblade
Jan 31, 2011, 09:38 PM
The scoring average doesn't change because different golfers are doing the low scoring. If the same people were doing these -15 scores every week, the same people would be on top of the leaderboard every week.

Precisely! Some players improve each year, and some decline. Overall, the game of golf is not net better, it is maintaining the status quo.

If there was true improvement, we would see overall scoring averages come down. Instead of -15 every week (regardless of who the player is shooting that winning score) and improvement in the level of golf would shift to a winning score of something like -18 on a regular basis.

Chambokl
Jan 31, 2011, 10:05 PM
If we all had the time and money to properly practice and play every day for 8 hours per day, we'd be making these shots on a regular basis too.

Lionel... I can tell you 99% of the people on this site with 8 hours per day and proper practice would never come close to these guys...

I am sure 50% of them think they would be in the PGA with a little more practice...:rofl:

par72
Jan 31, 2011, 10:08 PM
Lionel... I can tell you 99% of the people on this site with 8 hours per day and proper practice would never come close to these guys...

I am sure 50% of them think they would be in the PGA with a little more practice...:rofl:

Thats true. There are thousands of professional golfers who could shoot in the low 60s any day since they were 13 years old struggling on mini tours, sharing hotel rooms and not making a living.

These guys do play 7 days a week 8 hours a day and are all great players that will never come close to playing on the PGA tour. Those guys are good.

Richd
Jan 31, 2011, 10:08 PM
I am sure 50% of them think they would be in the PGA with a little more practice...:rofl: if i could just get out a couple time more per week

Oneof1
Feb 1, 2011, 09:45 AM
Precisely! Some players improve each year, and some decline. Overall, the game of golf is not net better, it is maintaining the status quo.

If there was true improvement, we would see overall scoring averages come down. Instead of -15 every week (regardless of who the player is shooting that winning score) and improvement in the level of golf would shift to a winning score of something like -18 on a regular basis.

I disagree, the scoring average will not necessarily come down if the players get better. Personally I think these guys are getting better and better, and the reason the scoring stays pretty level is because of course design/redesign. We know that all these courses are getting longer but they are getting much tougher aswell with tighter fairways and tougher greens. I think the main reason for the level scoring I'd the designers are finding ways to emphasize mistakes making them more costly. Torrey and Pebble are two examples of great redesigns over the years to make them tougher, but look at the Old Course, relatively unchanged over the years, and the scoring average seems to be dropping there. Seems to me like these guys are getting better

Deuce66
Feb 1, 2011, 08:11 PM
the index for the Top 5, a staggering +8.2 using the standard USGA ratings, course handicap would be +10.4

North Course 72.1 / 129

South 78.1 / 143

Score – course rating * 113 / slope rating

Index * slope rating / 113 -10.4

66 78.1 143 -9.56
67 78.1 143 -8.77
67 78.1 143 -8.77
67 78.1 143 -8.77
67 78.1 143 -8.77
68 78.1 143 -7.98
68 78.1 143 -7.98
69 78.1 143 -7.19
69 78.1 143 -7.19
69 78.1 143 -7.19 -82.18 -8.22
69 78.1 143 -7.19
69 78.1 143 -7.19
65 72.1 129 -6.22
71 78.1 143 -5.61
71 78.1 143 -5.61
73 78.1 143 -4.03
68 72.1 129 -3.59
69 72.1 129 -2.72
69 72.1 129 -2.72
69 72.1 129 -2.72

brownboi
Feb 1, 2011, 11:04 PM
I disagree, the scoring average will not necessarily come down if the players get better. Personally I think these guys are getting better and better, and the reason the scoring stays pretty level is because of course design/redesign. We know that all these courses are getting longer but they are getting much tougher aswell with tighter fairways and tougher greens. I think the main reason for the level scoring I'd the designers are finding ways to emphasize mistakes making them more costly. Torrey and Pebble are two examples of great redesigns over the years to make them tougher, but look at the Old Course, relatively unchanged over the years, and the scoring average seems to be dropping there. Seems to me like these guys are getting better

Well put, a realistic and rational explanation. Lot of people in this thread who just don't want to admit how much better these guys are than "us" so to speak. They are definitely in another world. We can sit and dream about us practicing 8 hours a day and being as good as them, but you can see people living the dream on mini tours around the world. PGA boys go hard.

cyeskoo
Feb 1, 2011, 11:10 PM
How about Phil and B Haas skanky shots out of bunkers and Hunters 5ft second shot on the first hole???

Dalys 44 on the back nine along with Tigers 75 full of bad shots.

Approaches shots in the water on 18.

what about Rickie's 60 yard shot out of the green side bunker...:rolleyes:

brownboi
Feb 1, 2011, 11:22 PM
Yeah or his 70.35 scoring average in 2010
Lol to the guys who cling on the bad shots here and there, pretty sure he still only made bogey. And he got it to that par 5 green-side bunker in 2.

Leftygolfer30
Feb 1, 2011, 11:29 PM
If they continue to get better year after year, then why is the scoring average flat year over year?


Who cares about a meaningless stat like that anyway?

Do you expect the scoring average to decline by say a point a year? Do you expect it to get so low that everyone is scoring in the 50's??? :rolleyes:

Golf is a difficult game played by humans NOT robots.

Lefty17
Feb 2, 2011, 06:47 AM
what about Rickie's 60 yard shot out of the green side bunker...:rolleyes:

oh yes forgot about that one!!!

Milly6969
Feb 2, 2011, 04:12 PM
I volunteer every year for the Canadian open and being right there with the players is really cool. Like you said they semm to be getting better and better every year. But they are human they do sometimes make the same amateur shots will all make

forgedblade
Feb 2, 2011, 06:10 PM
Who cares about a meaningless stat like that anyway?

Do you expect the scoring average to decline by say a point a year? Do you expect it to get so low that everyone is scoring in the 50's??? :rolleyes:

Golf is a difficult game played by humans NOT robots.

Not sure if there was sarcasm in the first part or not, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume there is.

I never said what I expected in terms of scoring. I simply said the players are not getting better year after year, because the scoring average has not decreased.

You are dead on in that golf is a difficult game and mistakes will happen as we are all human. I would argue that even though we may see individual shots within a round that are better, but that does not mean the golfer is better, IMO. The tour player gets paid based on the scores they shoot, not the individual shots they make. If they are truely better, they would be shooting better scores.

petvan
Feb 2, 2011, 06:20 PM
Not sure if there was sarcasm in the first part or not, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume there is.

I never said what I expected in terms of scoring. I simply said the players are not getting better year after year, because the scoring average has not decreased.

You are dead on in that golf is a difficult game and mistakes will happen as we are all human. I would argue that even though we may see individual shots within a round that are better, but that does not mean the golfer is better, IMO. The tour player gets paid based on the scores they shoot, not the individual shots they make. If they are truely better, they would be shooting better scores.

Whats the trend on course rating? Certainly the courses are getting longer.

Maybe the ratings are rising?

P

Shadow
Feb 2, 2011, 07:25 PM
Whats the trend on course rating? Certainly the courses are getting longer.Maybe the ratings are rising?
Exactly. Twenty years ago a long Tour course was 7000 yards, a 450 yard par 4 was a brute and the greens Stimped at 9 or 10. Now the courses are 7500 yards, with 500 yard plus par 4's and greens running 12 to 13.

There is no doubt the players are getting better and most of that is attributed to the ball, the "forgiving" drivers, better fitted equipment and better conditioning. However, adding length to the courses balances the improvement in the Tour players' games, leveling the scoring average.

swingeasyguy
Feb 2, 2011, 08:09 PM
I've noticed 2 areas that players on the mini tours, and even better tours like the Asian or Canadian tours do not stack up with PGA tour guys: short game and mental game. Where a good player can chip or blast it to 4 to 6 feet, the PGA guys will put it within 3 feet, which is a huge difference in round totals. I've played with a few Canadian tour guys, and to a fault they don't have the mental game yet; they beat themselves up when things go bad and lose focus; they panic with the thought that they'll never make it to the big show. I also agree with the previous comment that tougher courses are fighting back over technology and strength training to keep scoring averages relatively flat. Another question, has putting of todays pros improved over yesteryear? I'd say no.

forgedblade
Feb 2, 2011, 08:34 PM
Exactly. Twenty years ago a long Tour course was 7000 yards, a 450 yard par 4 was a brute and the greens Stimped at 9 or 10. Now the courses are 7500 yards, with 500 yard plus par 4's and greens running 12 to 13.

There is no doubt the players are getting better and most of that is attributed to the ball, the "forgiving" drivers, better fitted equipment and better conditioning. However, adding length to the courses balances the improvement in the Tour players' games, leveling the scoring average.

Courses are longer because of the reasons you listed, except for players being better (ie better clubs, balls, better conditioning, etc). Adding length to the course is not to balance the improvement in the tour player game, but to balance the technological advancement.

Speed of the greens is a moot point. Everyone is playing on the same greens, and players adjust to the speed of the green, whether it is a 9 or a 12 on the stimp meter..

Remember folks,this is all IMO.

RiskyBusiness
Feb 2, 2011, 09:51 PM
If what I witnessed on Sunday is called golf, then that's not the same game I play.
360 yards drives ?
Stiffing the approach from ankle deep rough?
Shaping every shot according to the layout?
Unbelievebale bunker shots?
175 yard 8 irons?
Incredible touch on the greens ?
This is not a game I'm personally familiar with.
These guys just get better every year.

You weren’t aware these are all prerequisites for joining TGN :p.

- RB.

davepratt
Feb 2, 2011, 10:04 PM
You weren’t aware these are all prerequisites for joining TGN :p.

- RB.
I should have paid more attention to the membership regulations:D

Leftygolfer30
Feb 2, 2011, 10:12 PM
Not sure if there was sarcasm in the first part or not, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume there is.

I never said what I expected in terms of scoring. I simply said the players are not getting better year after year, because the scoring average has not decreased.

You are dead on in that golf is a difficult game and mistakes will happen as we are all human. I would argue that even though we may see individual shots within a round that are better, but that does not mean the golfer is better, IMO. The tour player gets paid based on the scores they shoot, not the individual shots they make. If they are truely better, they would be shooting better scores.

I wasn't being sarcastic but it was nice of you to make a wrong assumption (the second part WAS sarcastic - just for clarification).

My point was that scoring average means squat and that your insistence that "If there was true improvement, "we would see overall scoring averages come down.."

You can't quantify "true improvement" or whatever you think it means as there are too many variables between golf eras and golfers. Golfers aren't something that you can scientifically measure.

Ignatius Reilly
Feb 2, 2011, 10:34 PM
Exactly. Twenty years ago a long Tour course was 7000 yards, a 450 yard par 4 was a brute and the greens Stimped at 9 or 10. Now the courses are 7500 yards, with 500 yard plus par 4's and greens running 12 to 13.

There is no doubt the players are getting better and most of that is attributed to the ball, the "forgiving" drivers, better fitted equipment and better conditioning. However, adding length to the courses balances the improvement in the Tour players' games, leveling the scoring average.
Shadow is entirely correct. Scores are not coming down, because courses have become tougher.
Courses are longer because of the reasons you listed, except for players being better (ie better clubs, balls, better conditioning, etc). Adding length to the course is not to balance the improvement in the tour player game, but to balance the technological advancement.

Speed of the greens is a moot point. Everyone is playing on the same greens, and players adjust to the speed of the green, whether it is a 9 or a 12 on the stimp meter..

Remember folks,this is all IMO.

Greens stimping at 13 are tougher. That's just a fact.

I wasn't being sarcastic but it was nice of you to make a wrong assumption (the second part WAS sarcastic - just for clarification).

My point was that scoring average means squat and that your insistence that "If there was true improvement, "we would see overall scoring averages come down.."

You can't quantify "true improvement" or whatever you think it means as there are too many variables between golf eras and golfers. Golfers aren't something that you can scientifically measure.

So... you don't think stroke average is a measure of improvement?

Then.... what is?

(FWIW, I'm trying to lower my stroke average in an attempt to improve. Perhaps I'm misguided....)

forgedblade
Feb 2, 2011, 10:39 PM
I wasn't being sarcastic but it was nice of you to make a wrong assumption (the second part WAS sarcastic - just for clarification).

My point was that scoring average means squat and that your insistence that "If there was true improvement, "we would see overall scoring averages come down.."

You can't quantify "true improvement" or whatever you think it means as there are too many variables between golf eras and golfers. Golfers aren't something that you can scientifically measure.

Curious to hear what you would use to quantify improvement, if scoring average means squat.

Leftygolfer30
Feb 2, 2011, 10:54 PM
So... you don't think stroke average is a measure of improvement?

Then.... what is?

(FWIW, I'm trying to lower my stroke average in an attempt to improve. Perhaps I'm misguided....)

My apologies, I was referencing stroke average as it pertains to the best players in the world as that's what this thread started out being about.

Also, forgedblade seemed to be alluding to some sort of all encompassing overall stroke average for all of golf.

For us mere mortals, then by all means measuring and and lowering one's stroke average is a valid measure of improvement.

I too would love to lower my stroke average that skyrocketed last season :mad:

Leftygolfer30
Feb 2, 2011, 11:01 PM
Curious to hear what you would use to quantify improvement, if scoring average means squat.

As I said above, on an individual basis, lowering one's scoring average is meaningful.

If I am correct in my assumption that you have been referring to the overall stroke average of those on the PGA Tour (I assume this as this is what this thread was talking about from the beginning - PGA Tour players), then I maintain that using the overall stroke average of the world's elite players as a measurement of whether or not Tour player's are better now than in previous decades is invalid and of no consequence and means "squat".

The stroke average of the world's best can only get so low - they're humans not machines.

gbrgolf
Feb 2, 2011, 11:49 PM
Scoring average is a difficult measuring stick as the PGA Tour has made significantly different thorough the years. Courses are longer, firmer, rough is higher, bunkers have been added/changed, greens are firmer, pins are tucked, etc.
Not to mention technology has changed the game significantly.... Balls now go far AND spin, players hit it higher and straighter than ever.... The game changes!
Nicklaus said it best many moons ago when being compared to Hogan....paraphrased " the best you can be is the best our your era" everything else is speculation!

Leftygolfer30
Feb 3, 2011, 12:04 AM
Scoring average is a difficult measuring stick as the PGA Tour has made significantly different thorough the years. Courses are longer, firmer, rough is higher, bunkers have been added/changed, greens are firmer, pins are tucked, etc.
Not to mention technology has changed the game significantly.... Balls now go far AND spin, players hit it higher and straighter than ever.... The game changes!
Nicklaus said it best many moons ago when being compared to Hogan....paraphrased " the best you can be is the best our your era" everything else is speculation!

Well said.

Thank you!

Bentley01
Feb 3, 2011, 12:52 AM
My apologies, I was referencing stroke average as it pertains to the best players in the world as that's what this thread started out being about.

Also, forgedblade seemed to be alluding to some sort of all encompassing overall stroke average for all of golf.

For us mere mortals, then by all means measuring and and lowering one's stroke average is a valid measure of improvement.

I too would love to lower my stroke average that skyrocketed last season :mad:

He speaks the truth, here. I, and a couple of others, were witness to the round that raised his average for the year. It was like a pitcher who gets charged with 5 runs in one inning at the beginning of the year. He never gets it down to a decent ERA all year long.

Hope you go low your first game next year, Gerry!:D

Regarding the Stimps...most PGA Tour events run in the 10-11 range, very few events run at 12 and only the US Open runs higher than that (at most 13). I estimate the difficulty of each of these as follows:

11 is twice as hard as 10
12 is three times as hard as 11
13 is three times as hard as 12.

Obviously, these are estimates, but it is definitely not a linear relationship, each step faster is exponentially harder.

Best example - playing at 13. All putts are difficult, including two footers, yes, 2-footers. The slightest mis-hit, yip, twitch, spasm, brain-fart, competitor breathing too loudly, a cart moving three holes over, a leaf blowing across the green, a chipmunk scurrying among the trees, or your cell phone vibrating 40 yards away will send your ball on a rocket-like, laser-track aimed at the lip of the cup. These puppies never fall into the cup. If you're lucky and it only touches a slight bit of the lip, you might only have a 3 footer coming back - you're going to be a little MORE tense, but you'll still have a chance.

If you're unlucky, you'll watch in absolute horror, with both hands clasped to your cheeks, with your jaw dropped, creating an oval shaped gaping hole where your tightly pressed lips used to be. Something like this :eek:. Why is happening? It is because that laser-aimed putt is going to catch a bit more of the cup (good for you!), unfortunately not enough. You're about to watch the ball dip slightly into the cup. Then, as if ejected by a pinball machine, your ball will be catapulted away from the hole at a 90 degree angle. Now you've got about a 6 footer or more, and you can relax a bit (at least it's not a short putt coming up)!

That's just the little ones. Weight on longer putts can be misjudged by HUGE amounts - almost every such miss will be a 3+ putt (I've seen 6 putts from 12 feet - by a very good amateur putter).
13 is much, much harder than 12

TourIQ
Feb 17, 2011, 12:25 AM
If the professionals who derive their income from playing can not learn how to continuously improve, what chance do we mere mortals have, as a group, of defying the odds? No wonder, over the last 10+ years the average score for men and women has only reduced 0.4 and 0.5 strokes respectively. The golf industry doesn’t announce this fact too loudly, as they bring new golf balls, simulators, adjustable clubs, teaching and training aids, shafts, coaching techniques, launch monitors, video analysis, multitude of software, nutrition, forms of fitness, and various gizmo’s, etc. to market.
If what I witnessed on Sunday is called golf, then that's not the same game I play.
This is not a game I'm personally familiar with.
These guys just get better every year.Sunday on TV is generally reserved for the professionals who are at the top of the leaderboard. I am not suggesting these players are not deserving or performing, but there is a vast difference between their games during the week vs. the ones who go home early.

With respect to the guys and gals with the highest professional ranking, say the top 50, real data vs. opinion would suggest they are indeed not getting better year-over-year as the tours (not to mention the golf industry as a whole) would like you to believe, but rather they just jockey around for position or rank.
the cameras need to show more of the shanks and missesYou begin to get this sense of reality when you visit a tour event and are witness to the array of shotmaking from all who make up the event. What they tend to actually show on TV, and in particular the PGA Tour, are the Good-4-TV highlights to drive up interest and eventual ratings.
Then you play the same game as they do...
It's easy to hit 360 when you have hard fairways.Absolutely. Some of their fairways are manicured to a state of perfection with harder and closely shaven fairways than what we get to play on. They play on courses with excellent conditions which many amateurs are not familiar with.
The reason they are making these amazing shots is really twofold: incredible natural talent combined with tons of hours in "proper" practice. Of course, the entourage of people behind the scenes for these guys/gals doesn't hurt either! If we all had the time and money to properly practice and play every day for 8 hours per day, we'd be making these shots on a regular basis too.Yes Lionel if we all had the luxury of devoting more time and money to the game we are addicted to, we would appear to have more luck on our side, as we execute better ball striking and improved course management. Our natural talent would be better realized and we would still be interested in improving by virtue of a personal best score, longest drive or fewer putts per round. As a group we are never satisfied. Maybe it’s the constant challenge golf brings to the table we love.
Precisely! Some players improve each year, and some decline. Overall, the game of golf is not net better, it is maintaining the status quo.
If there was true improvement, we would see overall scoring averages come down. Instead of -15 every week (regardless of who the player is shooting that winning score) and improvement in the level of golf would shift to a winning score of something like -18 on a regular basis.It’s easy to remember the low scores from the top of the leaderboard, scores like -18 or -24 for the week. Heck I remember an easy short course like Seaforth, one which I enjoy playing each season, where you shot a ‘69’ at the end of your 3rd season of play. Sure it was tricked out for the CANTour to make it tougher with more penal rough, but many guys (and elite locals who Monday qualified) didn’t even break par under tournament conditions and pressure.
I disagree, the scoring average will not necessarily come down if the players get better. Personally I think these guys are getting better and better, and the reason the scoring stays pretty level is because of course design/redesign. We know that all these courses are getting longer but they are getting much tougher as well with tighter fairways and tougher greens. I think the main reason for the level scoring I'd the designers are finding ways to emphasize mistakes making them more costly. Torrey and Pebble are two examples of great redesigns over the years to make them tougher, but look at the Old Course, relatively unchanged over the years, and the scoring average seems to be dropping there. Seems to me like these guys are getting betterIn some cases, an uncontrollable variable like weather has a larger impact on scores than does the course design/redesign. The Old Course can be easy or a total bear, depending on the weather during the week.
Course set-up and conditions are relatively easy for the ladies who compete on the LPGA. They are not subjected to the many course designs/redesigns as the men, and they are still not improving, so course design/redesign might actually be a smaller influence / factor than what many believe.
the index for the Top 5, a staggering +8.2 using the standard USGA ratings, course handicap would be +10.4Great insight Deuce66. +8.2 index for the top 5 players. I think a similar exercise was done years ago with similar results. From memory, it was reported years ago that Tiger when he was winning everything had a +10 index and the next top 4 players were like +8 index. So with courses getting way more difficult it is still pretty much status quo compared to the past.If they continue to get better year after year, then why is the scoring average flat year over year?Allow me to present some gobbley-gook data to shed some light on the true facts. Many assume professionals must be getting better each year due to an abundance of common sense reasons, but the reality is the opposite is true.

Review the attached graph from data taken directly from the LPGA site. Scoring average over 5 years (2004 to 2008) by group (1, 5, 10, 20, 30, 50) demonstrates the following:
- scoring average is natural (random) variation year-over-year with a slightly increasing trend
In other words, one year it increases, and then it decreases, followed by an increase, etc.
- LPGA scoring average has increased by approximately 0.5 over 5 years (or + 0.1 strokes / year)
- Less than 1.0 stroke / round separates a top 30 players vs. a top 5 player in the world
- Excluding players 1 to 4, review the remaining line graph of groups (5, 10, 20, 30, 50). The 5 lines are a near exact image of each other, with the only difference being stroke average = operating level. Even their sigma dispersion over time (variability) is very similar for each subgroup.

The ladies have the same technology advances as the men without their course venues being tricked or toughened up as on the men’s circuit, so their stroke average should go down if they were in fact improving but historically it doesn’t. As you are well aware, the data doesn’t lie.

The graph suggests, what impacts one group (to go up or down), similarity impacts other groups at a constant rate.

pudubny
Feb 17, 2011, 03:12 AM
Review the attached graph from data taken directly from the LPGA site. Scoring average over 5 years (2004 to 2008) by group (1, 5, 10, 20, 30, 50) demonstrates the following:
- scoring average is natural (random) variation year-over-year with a slightly increasing trend
In other words, one year it increases, and then it decreases, followed by an increase, etc.
- LPGA scoring average has increased by approximately 0.5 over 5 years (or + 0.1 strokes / year)
- Less than 1.0 stroke / round separates a top 30 players vs. a top 5 player in the world
- Excluding players 1 to 4, review the remaining line graph of groups (5, 10, 20, 30, 50). The 5 lines are a near exact image of each other, with the only difference being stroke average = operating level. Even their sigma dispersion over time (variability) is very similar for each subgroup.

The ladies have the same technology advances as the men without their course venues being tricked or toughened up as on the men’s circuit, so their stroke average should go down if they were in fact improving but historically it doesn’t. As you are well aware, the data doesn’t lie.

The graph suggests, what impacts one group (to go up or down), similarity impacts other groups at a constant rate.


Ok, some good points and factual insight until you get to the last part.
The ladies venues have not been tricked up or toughened? I would suggest this is not accurate. Several of their venues have also been used for men's events. In general the LPGA has increased the lengths as well which offsets some scoring improvement.
In general championship courses used today for tournamnets would have a higher stoke average then courses used in the past (1980, 90's), regardless of measured for men or women. Narrow fairways, more severe bunkering, more water and slicker greens being four components that atribute to this.
Courses are rarely designed for the LPGA, if ever.
My Rant
Pud.

TourIQ
Feb 18, 2011, 12:54 AM
Ok, some good points and factual insight until you get to the last part.
The ladies venues have not been tricked up or toughened? I would suggest this is not accurate. In general championship courses used today for tournamnets would have a higher stoke average then courses used in the past (1980, 90's), regardless of measured for men or women.
Courses are rarely designed for the LPGA, if ever.
My Rant Pud.Good rant Pud. A course can host either a LPGA or PGA event, but set-up is never the same for the ladies as it is compared to the men’s venue. When the LPGA tour uses the same course, they will play more forward tee blocks, shorter rough, easy pin placement, etc.

The probability of presenting invalid conclusions dramatically increases when you venture back decades for a comparison vs. recent years. Lets not forget that during the 1980’s, many of today’s players were not even on tour, as most were juniors cleaning up at local and state events.

Relative to post #1 which stated “guys are getting better each year”, I am really struggling to understand why we keep coming back to golf from an era long gone (the 1980’s), otherwise the period of feathery / gutta-percha balls is fair game to compare vs. a Pro V1 / Tour B330, or hickory shafted irons vs. ones which are steel shafted.
Who cares about a meaningless stat like that anyway? Do you expect the scoring average to decline by say a point a year?

Do you expect it to get so low that everyone is scoring in the 50's??? Golf is a difficult game played by humans NOT robots.LG30, when everyone on the PGA is scoring in the 50’s, I suspect ‘you my friend’ will be ready for the CANTour and I will break ‘70’. Some might say ‘meaningless stats’ are just mere gobbley-gook and serves no real purpose, but stats can be rich to distil out new knowledge, which otherwise would not be known or even believed.

Considering all of the resources and experts afforded to a top ranked tour player, do you think a one point decline over a 10 year career = - 0.1 strokes each year is achievable, assuming all other issues being neutral?

How frustrating it must be for a world-class athlete to compete year in and year out and not improve. The golf landscape has an abundance of aspiring young talent who turn professional, only to realize after they have exhausted family money, that they can not find a way to elevate their game to the next plateau. Based on their talent, have they reached their optimized level of entitlement to shoot lower scores? I do not think so. Rather they do not understand or deploy a methodology by which to garnishes continual improvement.

Take people from this forum. On an individual basis, would this group be happy with their career if personal competency and resulting performance stayed status quo for the next 10 years? I do not think so. Most who do a job know all there is about how to perform the functional task except how to improve it. In this regard, professional golf is no different.

If the objective is to improve, then a tour player needs to be guided by data rather than subjective opinion. Since golf is a game where the player posts a score, then stroke average is the perfect indicator of overall performance. When you group players together and when the data is analyzed properly, then facts based on data can be derived within a statistical confidence interval (probability level).

If we poled 150 tour players and asked the following question, “Who is not in favour of improving by shooting lower scores”, we might be hard pressed to find one raised arm in the crowd. Their Vision (what they want to be) is not aligned to; Golf DNA Profile™ (cause analysis trivial many), Balanced Scoreboard (metrics and focus), Strategy (game plan vital few), and Initiatives with Targets (execute and lessons learned). What they lack is a systematic method why which to improvement.
So... you don't think stroke average is a measure of improvement?
Then.... what is?
(FWIW, I'm trying to lower my stroke average in an attempt to improve. Perhaps I'm misguided....)The BEST short paragraph I’ve read this month.
I volunteer every year for the Canadian open and being right there with the players is really cool. Like you said they seem to be getting better and better every year. But they are human they do sometimes make the same amateur shots will all makeI remember following one group in particular at the Nationwide stop at Whistle Bear in Cambridge, ON. After 6 holes, the up and coming advertised star who fizzled from the international spotlight, couldn’t hit a fairway, not even one. I watched a LPGA Tuesday practice round at the Hunt Club in London, ON and saw young ladies really struggled from sand bunkers and on the practice green to group 2-3 balls together from a short range.

Richd
Feb 18, 2011, 08:58 AM
so if players are getting better every year why is there even a discussion comparing (Hogan/Nicklaus/Palmer in his prime with (Woods/Mickelson etc.)? It should be clear that the modern player is better?

Lefty17
Feb 18, 2011, 09:23 AM
so if players are getting better every year why is there even a discussion comparing (Hogan/Nicklaus/Palmer in his prime with (Woods/Mickelson etc.)? It should be clear that the modern player is better?

Different technology and course setup and conditions being the problem.

Richd
Feb 18, 2011, 09:27 AM
I think somebody should set up a "throw back tournament" all players should have to play with Persimmon woods and balata balls.

Rod Morningwood
Feb 18, 2011, 09:37 AM
I think somebody should set up a "throw back tournament" all players should have to play with Persimmon woods and balata balls.

Not sure about the PGA but there are "Wooden Stick" events held here and there for people with vintage weapons.

Knickers mandatory.

RM