bkuehn1952 vs the LPGA: A statistical showdown
By bkuehn1952 on 9/11/12
The man needs no introduction by now, but at oob we believe those who deserve to be recognized should be recognized. Therefore, it's is my greatest pleasure to share with you Brian "bkuehn1952" Kuehn's latest submission. And in case you missed any of his 33 previous posts, I've linked them out here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Enjoy!

As we all know, one of the more interesting aspects of golf is that everyone, to a certain extent, rank amateur to elite professional, plays the same game - same rules, same playing field, same equipment. Not exactly the same, of course. The venues and conditions of the professional game are significantly more difficult than those faced by the average Joe Golfer and the tuned set of clubs played by the pros are several notches above what we purchase from Dick's Sporting Goods. The similarities remain, however, as does the ability to compare oneself to the professionals.

Being a somewhat statistical driven person, as probably many of we oobers are, I wondered how my game compared to the professionals on a statistical basis. Initially, I thought to compare myself to the PGA. Frankly, my game bears little resemblance to what Tiger, Rory and the gang do on a weekly basis so I figured it made more sense to look elsewhere. The Champions and Web.com tour players are similarly light years ahead of me and my game. No, sadly, my game most closely parallels the LPGA.

Watching the LPGA is fun. I can relate to the ladies when they hit an 8 iron from 140 yards. If I kept accurate numbers on driving distance my suspicion is that I would be one of the "ladies" searching for another 25-30 yards to compete with Yani (269 yards) and Suzanne (266 yards). For fun I sat down and ran some other numbers.
  • Driving Accuracy: I consider myself a fairly straight driver of the ball. My current oob stats say I hit the fairway 59% of the time. My misses tend to be very playable. Compared to Mika Miyazato at 85.5%, however, spray hitter would be a better description of my game. My 59% would place me in 140th place this year on the LPGA tour. Laura Davies and Yani may be standing in the rough as often as I but they would be 40 yards closer.

  • GIR: Probably the worst part of my game is iron play and hitting greens. My oob stats say I am a shade under 41% of greens in regulation. Respectable but not competitive on the LPGA. I would be dead last, trailing Karin Sjodin (75.2%) by almost 2 to 1. Stephanie Kono, in 151st place, still beats me by over 5 percentage points.

  • Sand Saves: A description of my sand game might be "competent". Making a save in 1 of 4 chances places me well above the median among my senior golfing peers. I don't, however, come close to the LPGA's leading beach player Leta Lindley's percentage of 66.7%. My sand game places me at 143rd place, beating out only a handful of ladies.

  • Putting: The LPGA is the only tour that keeps stats on total # of putts per round. I average 33.4 putts. Inbee Park stomps my number by over 5 strokes (28.22). The worst putter on the LPGA averages 32.65. It is apparent I need to practice a bit more on the green.

  • Total Money: For 2012 my total winnings stand at $302 in my senior group, the MPSGA. Currently Inbee Park has cashed $1,419,940 in checks for the year. She had 17 events in which to accumulate those winnings versus my 12 so with a bit more play, I might narrow the gap! #159 on the list, Hanna Kang, is at $2,342. Of course, winning an MPSGA tournament nets one $100 so the girls are playing for a bit more money. Based on their statistics compared to mine, however, they certainly deserve the extra cash!
So how do you guys and girls stack up? Let's hear from you.

This was written by Brian Kuehn, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.

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Image via LPGA

[ comments ]
accarson3 says:
Great article! Based on the stats you compare, I am hitting about 48% of fways, have around 32 putts per round, GIR - practically non-existent, Sand saves - don't track...Total Money - won couple of bucks from my son in an informal closest to pin on par 3's during a round. Speaking of the ladies, my wife just started playing and she was kicking my a** on a few holes. So LPGA players still light years ahead of my game.
legitimatebeef says:
Good stuff Brian. You are doing great for an recreational player. It's the Hanna Kang's, Stephanie Kono's etc who need to lock themselves in the bathroom, take a good hard look in the mirror and ask themselves just what the hell has gone wrong with their golf games.
Virtuaframax says:
very interesting article Brian; however, I've just got even more depressed about my game... i cannot even remotely relate to the LPGA stats... 32% fairways and 33% GIR... wow i need to improve...
birdieXris says:
haha i'm not even close to any of that. 54% gir, 49% driving, and 34 putts. Man, i wish i hit like a girl.
GBogey says:
Interesting because the ladies don't hit it that much further (except off the tee) but you got to remember that these are world class athletes and one would never try to compare to world class female swimmers, runners, etc. I instead like to use the stats to keep myself in perspective. If the pro's only hit 65%(men)/70%(women)of fairways, then I shouldn't expect myself to hit 90% (actually pretty pleased with 59% - just need to lessen the number of really bad drives). Likewise, the pros who are highly skilled and practice all the time save only about 50% of holes from sand bunkers, my expectations should be much lower. I think I saw somewhere that mid-handicappers save from the sand about 10% of the time - seems about right to me - my goal is to get out and 2 putt or less every time - getting better but not there.
GBogey says:
As I have been shooting in the low-mid 80's recently (and even got lucky twice to break 80), I have been tracking some stats from a Golf magazine article from a year ago on how to break 80. They went something like this - players who break 80 hit the fairway 62%, hit the green from 150 and in 50%, scramble for par 35%, and make 60% of putts from 4'-8'. I tend to fall just short in every category, which is why I shoot low-mid 80's.:)
Matt F says:
I don't even need to look at my stats to tell you I'm dead last...I need to take up bowling. lol
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