A New Kind of Putting Statistic
As we look for more and more ways to track our performance, I’m a believer that our putting and short game should get more attention. As it regards putting, for the most part the golf community either tracks total number of putts, or as on the PGA Tour, average number of putts for greens in regulation. Well I think I just might have a better idea for tracking your putting performance from round to round, and I’ll ask Kevin and Andrew to see about incorporating this into the oob tracking mechanism. But for now, follow along with me here, keep some records of your own and see what happens.

My idea is that the true measure of how good a putting round you had just might be to total up the cumulative feet of putts you holed out. When you lag one up to a foot on the first hole, that’s “1”. Make a six footer for par (or bogey) on #2, you’re up to “7”. Miss your putts – from any distance – on the next few holes, add in the distances of those remaining tap-ins. [I’ll add in here that you should round to the nearest foot, OK?]

Make a few good 5-10s during the round, maybe a bomb somewhere along the way, and you’ll get a total after 18 holes of the total distance of putts you holed. I have done this on a few rounds and have found it pretty interesting. If you are making your 3-6 footers, and knock in one or two longer, you can see a total in the range of 50-70’ total. That’s a pretty darn good putting round.

A day where nothing goes in for you might bring that total down to 25-40’. At my club, for example, our greens are getting s-p-e-e-d-y as the Mini-Verde goes dormant, and we’re not getting many 1-2’ tap ins right now. You have to make those 2-4 footers to keep a round together.

Let me give you my results from last week just to show you an example. On Friday, I hit the ball great – 15 greens in reg, but didn’t make anything it seemed. I totaled up my putt distance and got less than 40 feet. But on Sunday, it was a different day altogether. Wind was howling about 20-25 and I only hit 8 greens in reg. But I made almost 90 feet of putts!!! And I shot only two strokes higher than Friday.

So, I’d like to challenge those of you who are not snowed in to try this for a few rounds and let us know what you think of this new putting stat. Only count the last putt – the one that went in or was a gimmee – and run the total. It’s fun, it’s informative and it just might be a clue to those good rounds.

As always, the more you all chime in, the more we all learn.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and The Wedge Guy wished you the best of golf in 2009.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
Kickntrue says:
I really like this idea and think it is a helpful number, but I think to find a true measure maybe you still need to divide it by your total number of putts. What happens if I putt horribly but get lucky and make a 30+ footer? All of a sudden it looks like I putted pretty well when in reality I could've had 40 total putts. There is certainly something to take from this though, and to create in oobgolf.
12/23/08
 
possingk says:
Another wonderful article, it seems everytime I read something from the wedge guy, I want to go out and try it. Then I remember here in Harrisburg, it is freezing outside. Thanks again OOBgolf for bringing Wedge Guy to us, and thank you Wedge Guy for sharing all your knowledge. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New year.
12/23/08
 
smepple says:
I agree that this is a cool concept. My feeling is that you get as many stats as possible and use them all to get an idea of how various aspects of your game match up. Each stat is just a piece of the overall picture.

To play devil's advocate - what if my round included 4 or 5 long putts of 30+ feet? I would personally feel better about my putting if I was able to lag all of them to within 2 feet than if I sank one of them and left the others 5+ feet away, leaving tough clean-up putts.

This stat might be deceiving in that instance, but of course there will always be exceptions - overall I like the idea. I'll start tracking it as soon as all of this snow is gone!
12/23/08
 
Tim Horan says:
Can I count my Hybrid putts in these stats?
12/23/08
 
Tim Horan says:
Seriously my putting stats will be down using this method. I am finding that long putts (using my hybrid on the green) and pitch and run from just off with anything from lob wedge to 6 iron will leave me tap ins of 1 -2 feet.
12/23/08
 
Ward says:
a putt is a shot when the ball is on the green, it doesn't matter what club you use Tim.
12/23/08
 
Michael Ehmke says:
I usually on track the total number of putts. And how many 3 putts....to count shots I consider "thrown away". The reason I find total distance helpful is to see if I need to work on improving my iron play. I also usually keep track of the putts I miss from inside of 4 feet figuring that is a blown stroke as well. I think if you take total number of putts, distance of holed putts and maybe stimp. You may come up with a pretty good stat.
12/24/08
 
Michael Ehmke says:
Just a quick add on....Some guys putt better on slow vs. fast greens and vice-a-versa. If you want to get real picky....Where were the putts from. Above, below or side of the hole. Rt. to Lt. breaker or Lt. to Rt. If I knew that also.. I would know which putts I need to work on or which situations to try and avoid. If you want putting and short game stats...look to Dave Pelz's Short game bible and his Putting bible. A statistician's dream.
12/24/08
 
falcon50driver says:
I enjoy your observations in your columns, see my discussion on GIMMIES that evoked several replys. However I feel like the other side of the putting issue, lagging up close enough to 1 putt, is a huge part of the putting game and shouldn't be ignored if you're trying to define how good you're putting. According to your formula, a person on the green 30 feet away every time, putts up to within 6 inches every time and taps all of them in gets a score of 18 feet for 9 actual feet of roll ins, pretty poor by your standard. Guy number two is 30 feet away every time, hits first putt to 6 feet, second putt to 2 feet and sinks all of those for a score of 36 feet. Does that make him twice as good as a putter? Its seems pretty obvious to me that you need to divide the number of feet putted by the number of attempts to get an accuracy level. Keep up the good work.
12/25/08
 
onedollarwed says:
I'm not bragging here, but I've been using this stat for many years. Like I always say though, golf is about context. There is nothing wrong with tapping in for par or better - that's what you want. After that all the footage works. A friend and I developed a system ("putting index" - or "clutch scoring index"). Use the footage, but add 10pts for par and 20pts for birdie or better. Tapping in for par is equal to a 10-footer for bogie.
12/25/08
 
onedollarwed says:
So... tapping in for par on 9 holes gives you 11x9=99. A good nine is 100pts, a good 18 is 200pts. Any shot holed is used, not just putts. You can get into trouble if somebody eagles from 150yds out, but otherwise there is much information to be gained from the stat. I have tried to get OOB to let us use a blank entry which will add up and be graphed - any stat we choose.
12/25/08
 
onedollarwed says:
The most useful info is gleaned when glancing back at your card and seeing 12, 23, 9, etc. and quickly seeing the footage of putts (2 for par, 3 for birdie, and 9 for bogie). What was my longest putt today? A good round like you said, has many 5-10 footers. But they have to be in context, not because you rolled it by, or Aliced it. Who cares if you two-putt for birdie, or from how far, the birdie is what matters.
12/25/08
 
onedollarwed says:
So now I keep rough footage of "two-putts from." They should be >10 ft! Ha! A few tips on measuring: your putter is close to 3' typically. Use a stride and compare to your putter. Work on a 1-yard stride - just like in the fairway. Anyway, my system enhances the difference between a 6-footer for par and a tap-in bogie... which is where much of the game lies. Take a look back at my scores and see where and how I enter my putting index (PIF=front, PIB=back, PIT=total). I'm working on a new stat: Birdie-chance-feet/#holes. It should measure how close you got to birdie chance throughout the total round (in hundred of yards, heh). You heard it here first! -greg o
12/26/08
 
onedollarwed says:
Simply: 3ft for par=13 1 ft for birdie=21 13ft for eagle=33 or (43 if you want) 12ft for bogey=12 1 foot for bogey=1 See! This way those great long bogey putts can assert their significance to the game, just like the beuatiful chips and punches that sidle up to the pin!
I enter in the "Notes" section: PIF (12,4,6,22,3,1,1,17,11)=77 (a C+). You can see the 1-9 holes and quickly see the footages (in this case no birdies means I sunk putts of 2,4,6,12,3,1,1,7, and bogey11).
What do we learn? We apply our numbers to the course and conditions and consider if we adapted, and can apply a strategy in the future. When trying to score, can we avoid the dreaded 3-putt? Look back at those holes and replay your thoughts (typically we rushed, or got wierd on a fast downhill one and either forgot about the speed, or babied it) Where was the information or thoughts we needed?
Thanks for the space.
12/26/08
 
eric123 says:
How about a bit of a refinement based upon a modified Stableford scoring system? Assume for scores of double bogey or higher, the base number should be 0; for a bogey the base number is 10; for a par 20; for birdie 30; and for eagle 40. Then simply add the distance of the last putt made. So if you score a bogey (10) where your last putt was 12 feet, your total would be 22. If you score a par (20) where your last putt was 2 feet, again you total would be 22. Hence, there is some putting index overlap based upon your score. I think this would make your last putt relative to your score and reflect how your last putt distance either saves or losses strokes. Hence, if you score a par (20) but have sunk a 35 foot putt to save par, this superlative effort is reflected both in your score and your putting.
12/26/08
 
eric123 says:
Somebody might want to calculate what a good putting index front (PIF), putting index back (PIB), and putting index total (PIT) might be. I suspect PIF > 200, PIB > 200, and PIT > 400 would be very good. This gives appropriate credit for kick-in pars and a "bonus" for long putts which save bogey or even double bogey. Of course, the birdie putt of 25 feet (55 points) would be worth a lot in the overall index. Please consider and refine.
12/26/08
 
Macbirdie says:
Wow! No wonder no one can putt very well! Putting is not rocket science (despite what Dave Pelz says) and can be done well in any number of ways. The fewer putts you take the lower your score will be. If you spend time practicing your putting instead trying to find the best mathematical formula to evaluate it with, your putting and your score will most likely improve. Keep track of your putts and the next time you get around the course in 30 putts or less, give yourself a pat on the back.
12/26/08
 
onedollarwed says:
Well, what do we play for? If you're like me, you never play for money and never want to! The most I wager is a beer or two - and that just because somebody has to buy them. I've spent m,ost of my time developing cooperative scoring systems, and practice games. Like most players (Iverson etc.) I hate PRACTICING!!! I just want to play golf. Playing golf as I define it is "TRYING TO MAKE PAR" in 18 holes. I've broken par many times in nine holes, but barely ever in 18. This is the game. Match Play is mostly stupid, because all you have to do is beat some other lousy player, or catch a good player on a bad day.
In order to play this game you need to practice both physical and mental aspects of the game. You need to understand yourself and the course, and the game in general - we and the course and the game have limitations. So, I set as a goal... getting par on every hole and giving myself a chance at birdie.
12/27/08
 
onedollarwed says:
How to get there? Why all the games?
This is how we improve! I hate practice, but if practice is a game (fun and dramatic), I can do it. What keeps you in a round after the game (match play maybe) has been decided? What makes you put the real score on the card, and not imaginary numbers? So many people cheat as a rule in golf, they never know what they're doing. Make a New Year's resolution to write your real score. It's just a number. If you are playing for money, well, then there's good reason to cheat.
Otherwise, there is a lot going on, and the wedge guy is correct in finding the fact that making long putts, no matter what your handicap, or score is a good thing. The greenside game of chipping and putting (as a subset of the game) is so much a major part of the game is deserves special attention. The key to putting is to do as little as possible. We can design ways to reflect that.
12/27/08
 
onedollarwed says:
On a philosophical level, it was decided long ago that all shots in golf are valued the same. A 35 yd. run in football doesn't always score points. More often the 1 yd runs does. Maybe it was a mistake to value all shot the same. Try this...
Calculate your round where all shots until your on are worth 2, and all shots from the putting surface (luckily there is a line of demarcation) are worth 1. Then reverse it: Shots until=1, shots on=2. Philosophically, what is the best way to balance the game as Plato or Davinci would be proud. What is an ideal sport? What do sports/ games mean? Some guy at MIT could tell you that shots until (SU)=1.333 rpt) and shots on (SO)=1, and Par for the course (P18)=80.198! Different players would be at the top. Try the SU1SO2 system some time vs. friends and have a blast! The only problem is that it becomes more advantageous to lay up beside the green and chip close.
12/27/08
 
onedollarwed says:
So what is the best system that keeps you playing and learning and improving. Most players that I observe use systems that make them worse. My graduate work was in education, and the problems we had to solve were: ways to meaningfully assess performance in ways that improved future performances. In other words, kids that get D and F often give up, because most systems reward kids who come in way ahead. What if grades were reflections of improvement (like a handicap). This is where parents flip out because they feel that they have inhereted rights to their kid's grades. They can buy grades with good breeding, expensive tutors, etc. And they can. Now if you use bell curves, then a kid is better off with lousy competition (move him to a worse school (play easy courses)). Now maybe it's better to get rid of rewards all together, and use purely intrinsic rewards, but how does an individual define success?
12/27/08
 
onedollarwed says:
I am very fond of stating on the first tee, "If I am playing golf, I already have won!" And it's so true! But scoring creates more drama and excitement and keeps me coming back - just like money does for the average guy. Then the ultimate challenge... drum roll... Find the best way to enjoy and improve equally.
Three New Years Tips:
1. Stop cheating
2. Fun practice
3. Keep track
OOB is such a great tool for 1 and 3 above, and it keeps getting better and better. Sadly, most people have stopped learning to learn, and resort to the usual patterns of failure - not just scorewise, but funwise. I have been through 5 major surgeries, and even my left arm doesn't straighten out. Rugby, Soccer, tennis, basketball, etc. took their toll. Golf was always the thing you did when injured. Now marriage, parenting, taking care of parents, winter, etc. have created other challenges. Our lives define how, why, and when we play. We're free to measure that inmany splendid ways!
12/27/08
 
onedollarwed says:
Good ideas Eric. Depending on your level, points for bogey can work. With bogey(0), par+10, birdie+20, bogeys really suck - especially since so many are from 1 or 2 feet. Saving bogey from 10 or more is awesome. A B5P10B20 might work.

As for scores, 100pts per nine is great. Remember, I don't care if your tapping in for par all day long - that's what you're supposed to do. Of course, tapping in for birdie is, well... twice as good!
A one foot tap in for par is 11pts
11x9=99
11x18=198
Good enough
With giant putts for eagle and birdie, the scores really get up there. I count chip-ins too - whatever shot goes in. My highest 18s are over 200 and lowest are under 100. It always correlates to scoring, but more so.
12/27/08
 
Kickntrue says:
OneDollarWed- Thanks for all of the input and ideas. Wow! A lot to digest but pretty cool. Maybe there is something oob can do to help start tracking this for anyone in the community who wants to. My only real question is- What are these "birdie putts" you speak of? Never heard of it... :)
12/28/08
 
onedollarwed says:
Good one! Sorry if I seemed too serious. Oob is really fun too.
A stat I wanted to develop was related to birdie chances. We've had a good round if we've had decent birdie opportunities (BO). Missing BO from 10ft+ is understandable and usually= pars. So I though Birdie Foot Chances (BFC) = when your next shot will drop for birdie, how many feet away are you? It gets really fun when you hit OB on a par 4 and tee it up again. Now you've got a BO of 1200ft perhaps. Anyway you could add up all BFC/18= BFCPH (per hole)
The next logical step: Only count BFC on the green and divide by holes. BFCOG/#H. Trouble here is chipping from greenside. Now, we could say 50ft or on green is the limit and just count holes BC<50OG and count how many in a round, or only count certain holes again BFCOG<50/#Holes-snd and express it like this 32(11-2). 32 being the average, 11 being number of holes, and the 2 I added in to show how many were from the sand (I suck out of sand and it shouldn't be considered a real BO even if <50ft).
12/28/08
 
onedollarwed says:
This is kind of like what work you're doing to score - particularly your approach shot. I like it because I love to play aggressively. Obviously you want a low score on this number! Of course the original BFC/18 probably explains the most, ...sadly large numbers. I haven't kept the stat yet, but currently use a small "b" to indicate BO, and carry and extra stick of Right Guard.
12/28/08
 
kidputter says:
Why do you guys want to make this game so complicated? hit ball until it goes in the hole. count the strokes. add them up at the end. It's a game and it's fun. What more do you need?
12/28/08
 
falcon50driver says:
For crying out loud, what the hell are you smoking? One Dollar Weed?
12/28/08
 
falcon50driver says:
For crying out loud, what the hell are you smoking? One Dollar Weed?
12/28/08
 
onedollarwed says:
I smokin' my driver for one. Here in RI the snow has melted and temps in the teens have given way to 50's!
Hey, do you follow other sports? Say... American Football? What do you think of quarter back ratings? MLB... what about OBP? AVG? ERA? Duh! Wake up! I do hit the ball until it goes in the hole!
I look for ways to improve BESIDES shopping. These are some ways. Sorry if you felt like not hitting the ball in the hole. You better lay off the Classical Music too - way too complicated. Don't even attempt opera, light opera, opera buffa, belle canto. Pucini and Stravinski are right out. Don't touch jazz. If it has more than two chords it might burn your ears!
Are we having fun yet?
12/28/08
 
onedollarwed says:
ai did some digging and calculating.
1. It turns out that If you get a putting index (PIT) of >200, you'll probably break 80.
2. #of putts seems to be irrelevant to scoring. My best nines could have more than my worst. This is why PafterGIR is such a great oobstat.
3. I kept records of BFC for the first time yesterday. On 17 (par 4 364 yds), I put the Drive in the woods - lost! This gave me 1092 ft. I could average it in, or ignore and divide by 17. My solution was to use a median instead of a mean. This means if you line up scores great to small, the middle score represent the sample. Or, just use totals as is.
12/30/08
 
onedollarwed says:
Results for day 1 BFC trials. We played 27 holes in 37 degrees and breezy, but we had the course to ourselves.
BFCF (in ft.): 11,30,21,50,13,8,70,40,10 Median:21 Mean: 28.1 Score: 40/36
BFCB: 65,30,60,25,15,15,18,1092,30 Median: 30 Mean: 148.3 Mean/17: 26.9 Score: 41/34
BFCF: 3,35,10,8,55,15,49,60,20 Median: 20 Mean: 28.3 Score: 36/36

Frst9: birdie from: 8ft, Pars from: 11,30,13,10 bogeys from: 21,50,40(hzd) Double from: 70
2nd9: birdie from: 15, par from: 18, bogeys from: 65(snd),30,60,15(snd),30(snd), double from: 1092(pen)
3rd9: birdie from: 3, pars from: 35,10,8,15,49,60,20. bogey from: 55
12/30/08
 
onedollarwed says:
If you're not reading this, it's OK, some of my friends are.
Final Report for Beaver River 12/29/08



scr PI BFmd BFmn
FRNT9: +4=40, 82, 21, 28.1
BaCK9: +7=41, 88, 30, 148.3
TOT18:+11=81, 170,27, 89.1

FRNT9: E=36, 110,20, 28.3
12/30/08
 
onedollarwed says:
Last entry, I promise.
F9: +4=40, PI=82, #p=17, ftp=22, bfmd=21, bfmn=28.1
S9: +7=41, PI=88, #p=14, ftp=58, bfmd=30, bfmn=148
T9: EE=36, PI=110 #p=14, ftp=20, bfmd=20, bfmn=28.3
PI=Putting Index, #putts, feet of putts, BidieFeet Median, BirdieFeet Mean(avg).
As you can see, #putts and feet of putts are largely irrelevant to the score.
Truth is, on the middle 9 I was making longer putts because I was chipping and 2-putting badly and leaving them short and long.
On the third 9, I was converting really long 2 putts, and getting the ball close from 100yds.
enjoy
12/30/08
 
falcon50driver says:
Thanks for the promise. I'll bet $1000 this isn't the last we'll hear about ppprrr=000 yyt5 5 34hht bfmn=20 #5rr6 and other stupid formulas
12/30/08
 
southping says:
I find it more usefull to find value in someones thoughts and time spent trying to validate them . Not to mention he is just trying to support the thoughts of "The Wedge Guy" . (I think) . For some, the winter is spent just thinking about this great game . Maybe some reading . And not of what someone is smoking . So thank you dollarwed . Keep up the good work . I can only wait 3 months to give it a try .
12/30/08
 
falcon50driver says:
DollarWeed/southping, creating a new username isn't fooling anybody. How about the other players who went out on a windy 37 degree day to measure putts and do an exercise in trigonometry step up and enter their scores."we played" who's "We" Congratulations on posting your lowest scores ever in the winter, most people's scores go up when the conditions are miserable.
12/31/08
 
onedollarwed says:
We Southern New Englanders are exposed to all types of weather, and my playing partner - who gew up on Long Island - could potentially play all year. When describing and considering weather conditions, humidity and windchill are very significant - both concepts and statistics that took many years of debate before acceptance.
What made the even 9 possible was that is my second go round. As is typical at courses around here in the winter, blue and red tee markers are removed, and often just a single white marker remains. The whites are mercifully all the way up on the box. Drawbacks include: greens that haven't been rolled, volcano cups, twigs/ leaves/ goose poop on the greens, and bunkers rife with craters, canyons, mini-ponds, and cementlike "sand."
Back again to the benefits. We arrived at 8:15 AM and nobody was at the course. We found somebody in the tool shed and he was about to put out flags.
12/31/08
 
onedollarwed says:
He advised us to pay at the turn. So, we were the only ones on the course. Very easy to relax and get into the game at hand. By the first hole we realized that the course was extremely soft. After being under a foot of snow for almost a week with frozen ground, temps then soared into the 50's for a couple of days staying above freezing at night. Thus any ball landed on the green stopped dead - even a 295-yd drive on the fly stuck dead.
It took quite a while to get the feel of the greens. In the summer, the course can boast some of the truest greens in RI - yet never too hard. Now with a some winter shag and lots of moisture, they still rolled surprisingly fast.
The course also features many dog-legs carved through dense deciduous forest, on a hilly and rocky terrain. Driver can be a nightmare - for every hole requires significant draws, cuts and control. No two fairways run together; boulders and hardwood line them all - many edged by woodsy ravines.
12/31/08
 
onedollarwed says:
So, given all the factors, I grabbed my iron and thought about placement - a lesson I usually learn too late, and curse myself for on the drive home. This time I was waved through for another nine and took full advantage of all my previous mistakes. By now, too, pin placement on elevated greens, and mystery yardage on par 3's, everything came together for the third nine. The only reason I'm writing about this is because the Wedge Guy has provided me with a topic of great interes, and let's face it, wedges require much adjustment. After playing frozen-solid ground and bouncing the ball in like a superball a few weeks ago (literally landing a 100yd shot 40yds short to get close), it's a huge adjustment. Sadly, I usually require many holes to wake up and adjust to the conditions. By the way, my friend was too busy counting "jingles" for some funky way to decide who was buying beers, and keeping our collective score vs. course, to measure anything.
12/31/08
 
falcon50driver says:
Great shooting through all that, I played in a dogfight today and very few people broke 90, I wasn't one of them.
12/31/08
 
mantajim says:
The point of the Wedge guy seems to have gotten lost in the bloviation of some members. (So bear with me while I bloviate.) And that point was, "What's a better way to measure your putting (not birdie chances) in a given round?"
Just counting putts doesn't always work. Some of my lowest putting rounds were due to the fact I missed most greens and chipped or 'putted' from the fringe close enough to one putt several times in a round.
Merlin2driver made a good point way back near the top about dividing total footage by the number of puts, but on closer examination this also fails the 'How was my putting today?' test. Merlin's guy one had 540 total feet of putts divided by 36 putts for a score of 15. Guy two had 540'/54 putts = a score of 10, thus a higher score means a better putting day. Taking a more real world example, using onedollarwed's first and last nine, he had 478'/38putts (I think?) = 12.57.
1/3/09
 
mantajim says:
This seems to have merit, but take a couple of guys who have great iron/wedge skills and gets the ball within 15' every time for a total of 270' of putts. Guy one 2 putts every time for a score of 7.5 and guy two makes 9 one putts and two putts the rest for a total of 27 putts and a score of 10. Iron/wedge guy two and merlin's guy two both have the same score. One had 54 putts one had 27. This is not an accurate picture of their putting, plus itGÇÖs a lot of work measuring and keeping track while having fun playing with your buddies.
1/3/09
 
mantajim says:
What makes a good putting round for me? No three putts from anywhere, making everything from <5', making a few from longer, having a confident attitude about my putting and a confident stroke.
So, hereGÇÖs a suggestion on rating your putting that IGÇÖm going to try out on my next few rounds. On each hole, record the number of putts and rate your putting on that hole a plus, a negative or neutral.
1/3/09
 
mantajim says:
IGÇÖll use my last round as an example: Hole #1 GÇô 1 putt from about 15GÇÖ for a birdie, thatGÇÖs a plus; #2-5, all 2 putts, nothing special, all neutral; # 6, 2 putted from about 30GÇÖ up over a rise and steeply down on a fast green within 2GÇÖ, thatGÇÖs a plus; #7 & 10, 1 putted but only because it took 2 chips to get on, both neutrals. Holes 8, 9, 16 & 18 were all 2 putt neutrals; # 11 was a 2 putt negative, I had a chip from above the hole to within 5GÇÖ and missed; # 12 was an other 15GÇÖ 1 putt plus even though it was for a bogey; # 13 was my only 3 putt negative for the round; # 14 was a 2 putt plus from about 45GÇÖ on a notorious tough green; # 15 was a neutral because I chipped in, zero putts had nothing to do with my putting. And finally, # 17 was a 1 putt neutral, I hit a 9 iron to within 14 inches. I had a total of 30 putts and a plus two round. I was pleased with my green reading and my speed and had confidence in my putting.
1/3/09
 
mantajim says:
Next time you play a round try to rate your putting on a similar scale and stop with all the measuring. Sure, it's subjective and the statisticians won't like it, but it's easier and it answers the question 'How was MY putting today?'
1/3/09
 
falcon50driver says:
The saga continues.........
1/3/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Problem: The number putts in a round is largely irrelevant to your score, or how well you're putting.
Reasons: (1) GIR vs. Up and Downs, (2) Match play/ stroke play, (3) difficulty of greens.
#1 is obvious.
#2 happens when you need to sink a putt/ chip to tie or win a hole, and in missing you run it way past. Most people combine stroke/ match pretty regularly for social bets. Each game requires different strategies and risks - changing the outcome of many a hole.
#3 happens on the courses with large, fast, undulating and very sloped greens. You can't help but make 3-putts on these types of courses. Your position can be such that it may be impossible to get it close.
Plus: when making the deliniation of what is a putt and what is a not, is it when you use a putter, or when you're on the green? To me the deliniation is at best useless.
1/3/09
 
onedollarwed says:
The wedge guy and others realize the above limitations, and want something with relevance and that correlates to our experience. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but years ago I decided to eliminate the concept of putting and call it scoring. When standing over the ball when you have a decent chance to put it in the hole, you need to focus, or relax, or use techniques that you have to figure out a way to get it in. Most of us can agree that from about 20ft in, it's worth employing some kind of attack on the hole.
Now, if you're playing match and the other guy has hit OB, you may need to just get it close - and this is very important too! When trying to assure a birdie, par, or bogie, it may be important to just get it in in two - and that's really important. THE CONTEXT IS ALWAYS SIGNIFICANT. So, like I said before, I add 10 for par, 20 for birdie. Some people want to add something for bogey - go ahead! Find something that works for you.
1/3/09
 
onedollarwed says:
For match play, you could add 10 for a shot to tie, and 20 for a shot that wins. Some of the toughest putts are 4 footers when the pressures on. How about a 3 footer side-hill putt at a volcano hole to beat your father in law? Your boss?
But why keep track?
Personally, I needed to take a greater interest in my short game and putting. I didn't come from a golfing family; I didn't really know why people played. Smashing drives, and crushing big fairway woods was where it was at. Scoring was a secondary concern - I didn't even know how to score properly. Long story short - and with help from friends - my study of education, psychology, and sports philosophy led me to develop a comprehensive improvement plan. This was just one small piece - looking at the most significant area of the scoring game and studying it. We developed a large and diverse database with everything from who we played with, to when and what we ate/ drank before and during rounds - not to become supestitious, but maybe less so.
1/3/09
 
onedollarwed says:
As with all such things, a long and windy evolution followed. Many elaborate records were kept, yet the ones that stick tend to be simple and fun.
Birdie Chance Feet (formerly called BFC - because it's funnier) is useful because it sets the stage for the scoring segment of the game. It's also simple (with the use of a median instead of a mean, and just glancing back at the raw data, we can picture where we were). BFC is the counter point for CSI ((Clutch Scoring Index)formerly called Putting Index - because that what stuck) They really measure something. The next step is to devise a simple, fun, and easy to use system for measuring reasonable BCF conversions. I'll call it "Red Zone Sinkage." But what is the red zone? Percentage of BCFs<50ft=par or less?
1/3/09
 
onedollarwed says:
To answer the question about measuring... once you get used to it, you start to see putts as certain lengths - often pacing them off before putting. You start to encorporate the measurement as second nature and it helps gauge strength and break. Also, once your pacing is fine tuned, measurements are quick and don't interfere with play.
I laugh when pros take grass clippings to judge the wind. It's not only a measurement tool, but a way to establish mental order and rhythm. I think most golfers benefit from and untroubled head space. Keeping track of other things helps me focus less on my "score" and that helps regulate emotions. When things are going really bad, it's nice to find a cool ball in the woods - hey that's +1 baby!
1/3/09
 
mantajim says:
Forget this, simple, What you smokin, boy? (Said with a deep Texas drawl)
1/4/09
 
falcon50driver says:
You misspelled "incorporate"
1/4/09
 
onedollarwed says:
ha!
1/4/09
 
falcon50driver says:
Did you misspell "incorporate" on purpose, just to see if we were actually reading what you were writing, and genuinely trying to understand the concepts that were eminating from your obviously superior intellect. Or was it an attempt at jocularity? We are acutely aware of your plethora of humorous formulas I was particularly amused and entertained by how you changed up the abbreviation of Birdie Chance Feet to the shorter and rearranged (BFC) because I agree it is a looottt funnier. I still get a chuckle out of that as I am riding down the cow paths here in Texas, in fact, I almost fell off my horse laughing a couple of times just thinking back on that concept. As far as the music goes, yes we probably shouldn't be listening to that complicated Opera Buffa stuff the comedy would probably be too much for our simple brains, probably burn them, I believe you said, Besides the Opera Seria makes me cry anyway. I certainly wouldn't want one of them burned brains, if opera can do that to you.(maybe it can)
1/4/09
 
falcon50driver says:
But keep on enlightening us with ways to improve our golf games, that's what this site is all about. By the way, at your suggestion, my buddies and I have stopped keeping score, lest we damage one another's delicate egos. We don't gamble anymore either. It is so much more serene to just imagine that we shot under par and tiptoe to our cars and whisk ourselves home after a delightful walk amongst the tulips.
1/4/09
 
falcon50driver says:
By the way, I still stand by my assessment of putting accuracy being determined by the distance divided by attempts. The higher the number the better putter you are.
1/4/09
 
onedollarwed says:
There are more mistakes. If ewe davaide missspelngs bye attemse yull ghet meaning, oar thuh avridge, haw, haw , haw, shux.
Now you may have to use your imagination here, but say your job was to evaluate golfers in various facets of the game to win a scramble. Your an investor and have moola grande at your disposal. How would you do it?
I think what you're saying m2d is that once you're on the green, measure and divide by attempts, right?
Wedge guy and myself are interested in just the shot that goes in the hole. If you're dividing the last putt, the attempts are always 1. Then it's a contest of the most footage, which is easily accomplished by not sinking the putt by hitting it further away first.
If not, then please define a putt. Is it a shot from on the green? Is it a shot using a putter? In your system, you better not hit it too close with your wedge, or you'll be a lousy putter. Please clarify.
1/4/09
 
falcon50driver says:
I'll allow that you're correct in that if a person was to chip to one foot every time and tap in 18 putts in 18 holes he'd only have a bcf/pfi/hoa/swh,<=> 1 birdie chance feet,putt fall in, hole out attempt, score win hole, less than equal to or greater than one. In that case you should divide the total score for the round by the bcf and subtract the combined age of all the players multiplied by the square root of the speed of smell in free space.
1/5/09
 
falcon50driver says:
Do you see the analogy? Bringing in what a person had for breakfast and all those formulas? I know you are joking and feel a little sheepish for being reeled in. You win, It was fun.
1/5/09
 
falcon50driver says:
I rolled in a 45 foot curling downhill putt for par on the 18th hole Wednesday, on an otherwise crumby day. Somebody please come up with a formula that gets me something for that.
1/5/09
 
mantajim says:
Putting for some is feel, for some mechanical. Evaluation for each is different. My putting improves when I just let go and try to clear my mine.
Merlin, a putt like that on the 18th is a 1++, a crumb on a crumby day granted by the golf gods to keep you coming back.
Happy New Year everyone.
1/5/09
 
falcon50driver says:
Dollarweed I will try to clarify......."It seems pretty obvious to me that you need to divide the number of feet putted by the number of attempts to get an accuracy level. Keep up the good work. 12/25/08".......What is not to understand ? You say you'd better not chip it close or you'll have a low number for your putting accuracy 18 feet divided by 18 putts accuracy level "one" that is correct.
If all you ever putt is one or two feet you cannot claim to be a good putter. A great golfer yes, but this discussion is about PUTTING. This is where me you and wedge guy disagree. You want to just count the putts you MAKE. The FACT is that all your putts count, even if you miss. Just because you lagged from 40 feet and it stopped 1 inch from the hole doesn't mean it was a bad putt. In fact it was a fantastic putt. DIVIDE THE NUMBER OF FEET PUTTED BY THE NUMBER OF PUTTS.
1/5/09
 
falcon50driver says:
Putting is not defined by the last stroke only. Putting is defined by the hitting of the ball by a putter on the putting surface until it goes in the hole. You want to have a putting competition ? you count the number of putts it takes to sink the ball. The better putters can do it from a greater distance in fewer strokes. Distance divided by strokes.
1/5/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Right, thanks for clarifying. When keeping stats or making measurements, it's not always easy. Putting from the fringe? "Texas Wedge" from 100ft? Chipping from fringe 6 feet away?
Here's the point... When using stats, part of what makes them useful or not, is whether or not they can be corrupted easily. For instance, in baseball a guy can try to hit more homeruns than the other guy. This happens because HR numbers are used in contract negotiations, and fans and historians seem to care (a lot) about HR numbers. Probably in baseball stats carry more weight historically and salary wise. Football has its problems too.
Question: Do HR=wins? Do sack numbers=wins? What=wins? Sabemetricians have largely solved these problems and you can find the answers. For batters OBPx3 + slugging is a better estimate. Not even OPS. Good defense has less to do with errors and more to do with range factor.
1/5/09
 
onedollarwed says:
I know for a fact that golf success has very little to do with #putts and even feet/putts. Those may more accurately measure a course. That's what I'm explaining. One reason.. a person can try to inflate those stats and their game will suffer. PI and BCF are much less corruptable. Thanks for all the laughs.
1/5/09
 
onedollarwed says:
If you try keeping track for a while, you'll get experience with it. Is it practical? Memorable? Informative?
I just can't get over the reality that there are many hard short putts - for many reasons. Why is a 10 footer for birdie a more relaxed putt than for eagle? Why is that 9 footer for bogey so easy after your partner/ opponent has already tapped in to decide the hole? Putting has this kind of context.
MantaJim is onto something with his simple, memorable +/- system. Like a handicap, it follows a player subjectively and contextually.
A GIR two-putt from 40' with break looks like a "hard line-drive in the box score" whether you stub it half-way or tenderly roll it 1.5ft past - Merlin the Muledriver has the system for that.
Get back to me after keeping track for a while and we'll compare notes. What are good numbers? What does it seem to measaure?
If you lose interest, it probably wasn't such a good idea. I already want to employ a +/- because it's so easy!
1/5/09
 
falcon50driver says:
They say you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Research at Texas A&M University has disproved this theorem, however it takes two people to make it work. One to hold the horse's head in the water and another to suck on the horse's rear end. Sometimes you hear "Hey bro raise his head a little bit , I'm starting to get mud here". I've done all I can do to explain a very simple concept, but you are intent on adding a lot of stuff that has absolutely no bearing on the task at hand. I can't make you drink.
1/5/09
 
mantajim says:
It's amazing the quality of the research at Texas A&M.
1/6/09
 
mantajim says:
Thanks $1wed, although you are by far the most confusing oob poster ever, I appreciate the willingness to try a new simple stat. I have to thank The Wedge Guy for helping me think about a better way to evaluate my putting. KISS has merit but does a +/+ÿ/- have merit we'll see. Not sure how I'll graph them over time. A few more rounds will help.
Is a $1wedding the same as a shotgun wedding?
Oh, and what is a "sabemetrician"?
1/6/09
 
onedollarwed says:
"OnedollarWed"nesdays was an Oakland A's promotions from the late 90's. One dollar tickets for upper-reserved seats on Wednesday home games. I went to many a game and bought hundreds of tickets for my middle schoolers. Hot dogs were also $1, but we'd pick up superburritos from E14th on the way ($3.75).
Ironically, one of the original big supporters of saber-metrics was Sandy Alderson (A's GM) and later Billy Bean. Speaking of beans, Bill James get most of the credit - recentlly one of the brain trust who brought a Championship to the Red Sox. I'm sure it's all on Wikipedia. "Moneyball" by Micael Lewis is a must read for saber-metric-fans.
1/6/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Hey horse2pucky - all I'm asking is for you to inform us. So far, you haven't provided any measurements or data. Nor have you examined it or checked for any correlations. At least you should try it once and see if it seems to measure what you want it to.
I thought you were funny for a while, but you've proven (read everything above) yourself incapable of constructive discourse, or simple logic/ deductive thought. If you want to resort to immature banter and name calling you should have done it in another forum. If you have no interest in this topic, why are you continuing to read? Maybe you should take part in a 4th grade spelling bee - unless of course you're in 3rd grade. You've shown your true colors in all of your statements so I need not make any further analysis.
If name calling is where you're at... then you're a "fajfhljiagu." Now are you happy? Did I spell it right? Wahhhhhhhh!
1/6/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Not trying to be confusing, these posting windows are too small.
1/6/09
 
falcon50driver says:
I called you a name? please explain.
1/6/09
 
onedollarwed says:
See I told you you'd be interested!
1/7/09
 
mantajim says:
Oh, I don't think it's the smallness of the windows that makes it confusing. Things like: "I know for a fact that golf success has very little to do with #putts..." or "Last entry, I promise. F9: +4=40, PI=82, #p=17, ftp=22, bfmd=21, bfmn=28.1 S9: +7=41, PI=88, #p=14, ftp=58, bfmd=30, bfmn=148 T9: EE=36, PI=110 #p=14, ftp=20, bfmd=20, bfmn=28.3"
1/7/09
 
Tim Horan says:
Enough Already!
1/7/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Too much trying to abbvt.
If you chip in, how do you enter it in oob? 0 putts?
Also, most golfers are playing some kind of match play, yet keeping stroke score. When they need to make a long putt and run it past, and then take a 6ft. gimme, how is that entered?
And I think you made similar points about footage and #putt problems. The "fact" is that rounds with fewer putts DO NOT=Better scoring rounds. I looked back over the months and charted and averaged using a nine hole basis for more samples. I encourage everyone to try it. My better nines usually had more putts.
Now, if putting were some kind of hermetically sealed event where all things were equal - a true putting competition - you could compare. I think that is called "mini golf." Or... "putt-putt."
1/8/09
 
onedollarwed says:
It's like saying "better pitchers have more wins and better ERAs." Yet, ERA measures team defense and team offense perhaps just as well. WHIP (walks+hits/innings pitched), Ks, and K/BB ratios are better measures of isolated pitching. Some stats measure your team or your opponent, or your ballpark, not you.
Golf stats measure the course you're playing, the hole you're playing, etc.
Some really tough putting courses: Fenner Hill, RI. Delta View, CA
Tough chipping courses: San Geronimo, CA. Wood River, RI
A lot of these golf stats measure
1/8/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Well, I think we're all infavor of OOB letting us keep more putting stats. M2D and I both like the idea of measurements.
Some other thoughts:
1. get courses to develop "slope" ratings for greens in isolation. Then like "fair" hadicapping in OOB.
2. Develop a putting contest which anyone can replicate with some consistency - I'm sure there are already some around - like paractice routines. My Grandfather used to compete in billiard competitions with other groups, and radio in their scores (1930's) using the "set shot system."
Hey, M2D, If you come up with one I'll be a good sport and do it as well.
EX:
From 6ft: 6 level putts from different spots
From 12ft: 1 each from above, below, and to each side
From 18ft: 1 each from above, below, and to each side
From 36ft: 1 from each side.
From 64ft: 1 from above, one below.
Thats 18 attempts for a nice round number. Add up the putts, note the condition of the green, report to friends, chart over time, correlate to scores or handicaps.
1/9/09
 
falcon50driver says:
If my math is correct that would be a total of 356 feet of putts. So you are saying we should count how many putts it takes to sink all 18? As in the number of putts in a round of golf? Hmmm Interesting concept.
1/10/09
 
onedollarwed says:
It would be a kind of standardized test - probably doable on a practice green. If you like it play with the numbers - I kind of just tossed it out.
Standardized tests need to have some stability. So, the same person should usually get about the same score. If their putting improves in general, it should generally be shown on this test.
It wasn't until I was almost done that it occured to me that it could replicate the putts in a round of 18 - what are we likely to face. I'm not ready to break out a laser level, but the standard test green should have some slope.
Pacing is a good way to measure distances. Golfers should practice pacing a yard for the sake of distance estimation in the fairway, and this can be used in this case.
Perhaps 6,12,24,and 48 are enough?
1/10/09
 
onedollarwed says:
The goal can be clearly defined and the context controlled: as high a Ft/putts # as possible. This way even varying systems can be unified to some degree if you add up the feet.
A surface rating can be modified for difficulty by adding feet (for extra slopey or lumpy or dirty greens). Play around with it and see what you come up with.
1/10/09
 
falcon50driver says:
So let me get this straight. The goal as you define it would be "as high a Ft/putts as possible". What you are saying is Divide the number of feet putted in a game by the number of putts. I've got to say that is absolutely brilliant. I wish I could have thought of that myself. It seems to me to be much more reflective of your accuracy at putting than only counting the number of feet of putts that drop.
1/10/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Duh, I devised this for you! By removing chipping and golf context, it's now what you wished for. No more pars, no more chipping, as little measurement of other things. This is what you were talking about the whole time.
As you notice, it is not golf, but a way to compare putters - a task that regular golf has too much context and variation to do with single or small samples. What was needed was something more like mini golf. Wait... are you baiting me?
"sppore454!@##$%$!!!"
Anyway... This idea should roughly work.
I know a solo golf pool game which works too.
We need to get oob to track putting better - mainly encorporating distances somehow. Still, those who can make the makable putts (<20ft and straight/flat) consistently are winning. I'd like to see what ranges/breaks are the make or break ranges for most golfers. I can guess.... >4ft sidehill, >6ft straight
1/10/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Golf Pool Game: Played with cue and one other ball.
1. The cue starts on the center spot (dead center of the table) and object ball at the footspot.
2. When standing behing the cueball hole#1 is the side pocket to your left, #2 is the corner beyond you to the left, #3 is beyond to right, #4 is side right, etc. clockwise. Making six holes.
3. Start by sinking in hole #1. Count up your shots for the whole round.
4. everytime you sink an object ball it returns to the same footspot, but the cue stays where it ends up.
5. Any scratch, wrong hole, etc. is OB: return cueball to center spot and object ball to footspot AND ASSESS AN EXTRA TWO STROKE PENALTY. Thus, the shot was worth a total of three instead of one.
6. A good score is 2 shots per hole, 3 is OK. It can get really out of hand with high numbers.
1/10/09
 
onedollarwed says:
7. For two players alternate after object ball is sunk - leave cue where it lies - except on first hole only - each player starts from standard position. Play stroke or match play, with sudden death continuation in the case of a tie.
8. A great game because it forces you to make specific shots, and plan as well - kind of like target golf.
9. If you keep records you can develop a handicap system with a max out of 8 on any one hole.
10. Don't laugh, it's easy to shoot 20 or more per hole on occasion.
1/10/09
 
falcon50driver says:
Incorporate starts with an "i"
1/10/09
 
falcon50driver says:
Really though, the pool game sounds like a fun departure from the usual 8 or 9 ball.
1/10/09
 
onedollarwed says:
You should do stand up.

Ball busting is only funny when you know someone - well.

Anyway, I'm into the new puting game, and here's why:
1. I need to practice putting to improve.
2. I don't practice putting currently because my other practice games were competetive, and my current golf buddies are all having kids right now.
3. Practice shouldn't feel like practice - this game has some drama, it will feel competetive.
4. Good practice should include: record keeping, scalability, drama, anaysis, and it should be interesting.
5. In this case we end up with a number: ft/pts, three putts (thrpts), and from where on the clockface, or compass rose we struggled/ succeeded.
It might look like this: 2.14-3-NW
We can call the downhill side South, or 6-O'clock, and design the game using points. NW - downhill, rigth-breaking is tough.
1/11/09
 
onedollarwed says:
As for the pool game, I got it from a book and tuned it up a little. A good time to play is if you're at an empty bar and you finish the usual sloppy 8-ball and there are a few balls left on the table. You can play golf and have a buddy catch the balls before they go back in the machine. Mark the center spot with a chalk "x" after surveying a bit.
If you want to start a "league" for either the golf pool or the golf clock game we can do it and report our scores. Of course right now we got another 6" of snow - so it will have to be the pool.
Cheers!
1/11/09
 
falcon50driver says:
Maybe you should suggest this to our sister site, Oobpool. their logo is
b--b--o o O Think right hand, cuestick, left hand, cuestick, cueball, object ball, corner pocket... MMMM maybe not.
1/11/09
 
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