People miss these on #2
Stop 3-putting the 2nd Hole!
By klangdon on 4/11/07
The number of scores entered into oobgolf is growing and we hope to start using those numbers to everyone's advantage. Every other week we will try to dig through the data and post interesting patterns that could help us all shave a few strokes.

This week we wanted to take a look at putts per hole. Our guess was that hole 1 would be the worst. We assumed that few people used practice greens and therefore hole 1 was where we learned how the course greens were going to play. We were very WRONG. Hole 1 is the second best putting hole on the course. The only hole oobgolfers perform better on is after the turn on number 10. The worst hole is number 2. Which brings us to our revelation.

Golfers are 21% more likely to 3-putt hole #2 than hole #1.

We believe its all about relaxation. It makes sense that hole #1 and hole #10 would be the two holes where your most relaxed. At #1, you still haven't written anything down on a scorecard and your most likely feeling good about the upcoming round. At #10 you just put down beer in the clubhouse to forget about how bad that front 9 was. As the commercials during the Masters drove home, it's a game played in the 5 inches between your ears.

Let's hear what you think...

[ comments ]
klangdon says:
Both those holes are close to the clubhouse and your likely to have an audience. Maybe its not the relaxation but instead the pressure of onlookers that draws out the best touch?
volleyhart says:
I think - for hole #1 at least - that you're still somewhat uncomfortable and not expecting much. If you haven't spent time warming up you have low expectations for the first few clubs, just want to put a good swing on it. I know I *seem* - in my head at least - to play better when I'm not thinking about it. Perhaps there's something to the fact that you just let muscle memory take over and stop thinking so much.
Josh says:
Maybe people just perform better on holes where the sum of the digits is 1

1 = 1
1+0 (hole 10) = 1

When you see number 1 it makes you think of yourself (as in "looking out for number one") so that makes you feel like it's YOUR game, which makes you perform well.

Just call me Freud (or maybe Fraud)
svj says:
i agree with klangdon. why is it, that us golfer focus on being more relax and less about pressure. i know when there is a little bit more pressure on the line, i focus on it more and seems to make me believe more, but that's just me.
Kickntrue says:
Doesn't make sense to me that it would be pressure of an audience. By the time you get to the hole the clubhouse patrons wouldn't see you. If anything- that would only be applicable to your tee shot on #1.

I think it just has to do with concentration and refocus. People always say golf is all mental- and their def is something to that. I'm not sure why #2 would be one of the worst- but it would explain #1, and #10. I'd think things would get sloppy again around 13-17.

I know I get lazy and bored on the course. That's why I always come home so happy with my ball striking and not with my score. I hit shots as good (and even consistantly) as my friends who are 10-15 handicaps- but I lose so many silly shots around the green because of just rushing chips, pitches and putts.
DeepRough says:
Gotta love data mining! I'm sure you guys can do some magical things with the enormous set of data you will accumulate over the summer...perhaps you could even sell access to it to Steven Levitt (author of Freakonomics)...perhaps he can prove beer consumption is lower in areas with fewer three putts ;)
Snyper says:
check out the percent of people who hit the first green in regulation compared to the second green. remember, if you miss the green, you putting stats look a lot better. i bet most people miss the first green, thus lowering the number of 3 putts.

additionally, most golf courses fashion the first and the tenth holes to be a little easier so that the pace of play starts out quickly. courses want people to play that first hole from the clubhouse as quickly as possible.
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