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 Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?

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pushslice
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PostSubject: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:09 am

After conference calls since 7am, I wanna enjoy my kopi and snake a bit Very Happy

i also like to look at stats, measured numbers. When I say best, I don't mean "my favorite" ball striker just because you like the guy's swing or because they win tournaments.

Great ball striking here means simply hitting it long and accurate. Just long CMI. Just accurate also CMI. It may involve ability to shape shots in order to get GIR under different course conditions.

PGA tour uses a combination of Total Driving or TD (driving distance, driving accuracy rank) and GIR % (Rank). So lets see if the ranking surprise us.

As of today, after 10-25 rounds. Top 75th-100th Percentile

Rank Name Rnd TD GIR

1 1 John Senden 15 8 2 6
2 2 Bubba Watson 18 12 10 2
3 999 Tiger Woods 10 14 1 13
4 4 Roberto Castro 18 20 7 13
5 - Lee Westwood 10 21 18 3
6 3 Martin Laird 21 25 16 9
T7 7 Hunter Mahan 18 34 13 21
T7 6 Bo Van Pelt 15 34 4 30
9 19 Boo Weekley 12 35 7 28
10 5 John Rollins 20 37 3 34
11 12 Jason Dufner 15 46 9 37
T12 9 Jason Kokrak 22 48 17 31
T12 13 Kyle Stanley 23 48 43 5
14 16 Harris English 24 51 40 11
15 T14 Dustin Johnson 20 53 28 25
16 11 Keegan Bradley 26 55 37 18
17 17 Robert Garrigus 17 56 40 16
18 23 Rickie Fowler 20 69 5 64
T19 20 Bill Haas 21 70 53 17
T19 24 Kevin S'therland 13 70 13 57
21 T27 Chez Reavie 17 71 47 24
22 T14 Graham DeLaet 19 72 20 52
23 25 Josh Teater 26 74 36 38
24 18 Chris Couch 14 75 27 48
25 T27 Jeff Maggert 19 77 13 64
26 T30 Brandt Snedeker 19 79 39 40
27 - Rory McIlroy 10 81 19 62
28 T30 Chad Campbell 16 82 6 76
T29 8 Brendon Jonge 22 83 32 51
T29 32 Jarrod Lyle 26 83 30 53
31 41 Matt Kuchar 16 90 23 67

John Senden has the best swing on tour. He is sufficiently long and accurate.

Looking at the list, I can conclude that a middle of the pack guys on tour can send the ball to the green like the top ranked players in the world. So why guys like Sende and Bo Van Pelt not winning as many tournaments?

Another point is the frequent winners are on the top 30: Kuchar, Rory, Snedeker, Bradley, Johnson, Mahan, Westwood etc. So definitely ball striking is a "necessary" conditions to compete on pro tour, but not "sufficient" to be successful

Look a the 25th-50th percentile in ball striking. Do you see anyone in contention on Sundays the past few tournaments?

120 T128 Troy Kelly 18 222 111 111
T121 117 Richard H. Lee 17 226 69 157
T121 T85 Charlie Wi 20 226 91 135
123 109 Tim Herron 24 227 138 89
T124 116 Martin Flores 21 231 136 95
T124 98 Marc Leishman 14 231 159 72
T126 T128 Ken Duke 26 232 116 116
T126 T140 Matt Every 15 232 153 79
128 137 Russell Knox 14 234 145 89
T129 121 Hunter Haas 19 238 85 153
T129 T138 Kevin Kisner 17 238 115 123
T131 131 Chris DiMarco 19 241 111 130
T131 115 Rory Sabbatini 23 241 124 117
133 T134 Paul Goydos 16 242 82 160
134 T125 Jeff Overton 17 243 94 149
135 T138 Jimmy Walker 24 244 158 86
136 T128 Spencer Levin 32 245 143 102
T137 127 Jason Bohn 17 246 113 133
T137 132 Tommy Gainey 17 246 94 152
T139 146 Aaron Baddeley 21 251 149 102
T139 133 Rocco Mediate 17 251 130 121
141 143 Scott McCarron 10 252 74 178
T142 T140 Colt Knost 19 253 130 123
T142 145 Patrick Sheehan 11 253 181 72
144 147 Jonas Blixt 19 256 101 155
T145 144 Stuart Appleby 15 257 149 108
T145 142 Camron Beckman23 257 137 120
T145 124 Justin Leonard 18 257 134 123
148 T152 Troy Matteson 20 263 123 140
149 T134 Kevin Chappell 23 265 143 122

Bottom 25th percentile: Do they even make cuts lately?

50 161 Greg Chalmers 18 266 119 147
151 149 Brian Davis 15 269 98 171
152 155 Jerry Kelly 15 270 108 162
153 154 Kyle Thompson 12 275 135 140
T154 151 Scott Brown 14 279 106 173
T154 150 David Mathis 16 279 105 174
T154 120 Nick O'Hern 17 279 120 159
157 T157 Edward Loar 11 283 132 151
158 148 Stewart Cink 17 284 148 136
159 159 Arjun Atwal 14 286 141 145
160 T157 James Driscoll 19 295 140 155
161 999 Anthony Kim 12 296 152 144
162 163 Michael Thomp 24 297 170 127
163 156 Tom Pernice Jr. 21 298 156 142
164 165 Vaughn Taylor 20 300 161 139
165 T152 Y.E. Yang 14 305 126 179
166 T167 Erik Compton 22 307 141 166
167 164 Alexandre Rocha 10 309 177 132
168 999 Andres Romero 10 315 145 170
169 162 Sunghoon Kang 23 323 160 163
T170 169 J.J. Killeen 26 325 156 169
T170 166 Steve Wheatcroft 12 325 175 150
172 T170 Gavin Coles 15 326 168 158
173 173 Stephen Gangluff 17 334 170 164
174 176 Joe Ogilvie 21 337 169 168
175 172 Tommy Birshenk 21 338 166 172
176 T170 Matt Bettencourt 23 340 163 177
177 T167 Billy Hurley III 16 343 178 165
178 T177 Ryuji Imada 15 347 180 167
179 T177 Derek Lamely 18 348 167 181
180 175 Chad Collins 13 355 179 176
181 999 David Duval 10 356 176 180

ok enuff break...meeting again.
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TigaWood
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:18 am

IMHO, At that level it is all about mental.
Do they have stats that measure that?
Perhaps who have the best sudden death play off record.
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:27 am

I love statistics!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:49 am

I think TW has amazing ball striking abilities.

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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:01 am

seebayho wrote:
IMHO, At that level it is all about mental.
Do they have stats that measure that?
Perhaps who have the best sudden death play off record.

Snedeker is so under rated. He has a good record in playoff.

Keegan is also one to watch out for.
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:01 am

Technospaz wrote:
I think TW has amazing ball striking abilities.

and the stats support that bro!
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:43 pm

I'm so happy Hunter Mahan (the swing I learn the most from) is right up there!!!

Over the years I've heard experts say .. If only Senden could put, he'd be world #1! This year, he's ranked #146 in strokes gained putting ...

Rory is #2 in putting , and #1 in the world!

So ... why is putting (and short game) more important , or decisive, compared to ball striking ...

The website shows PGA pros make approx 2 out of 3 puts from 6ft, and 1 out of 3 of putts from 10ft ... and obviously their make% gets lower and lower as you go further away from the hole ...

The point being ... that high GIR doesn't account for too much ... whats more important is distance from the pin ... you can hit a GIR from 200 yards away to 20 feet ... brilliant shot .. however the make % is really low ... just one for the highlight reel ... the other player misses the green , chips it to the hole , ALSO makes par!

Whats more important is getting within 6ft from 100 yards in ... chipping/ pitching to 2-3 feet (where the make % is close to 100) and making the putts.

Luke Donald was putting and chipping/ pitching phenomenally well last year and became #1, Rory this year , Tiger at his peak .. same thing .. Jack wasn't the best ball striker ever either!
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:45 pm

A bit Topic OFF ... sorry
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:27 pm

not OT bro, you hammer the other, obvious, point home Very Happy

The proximity to the hole stats shows how good Rory's short game is.

Rory's just middle of the pack in proximity to the hole and in GIR, but he's no.1 in low scoring average

so his putting and chipping is the best right now. this guy is the best one chip one putt golfer on tour Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:48 pm

I've started practicing my short game at the MBGC practice facility since the past couple of weeks ... and have (pleasantly) been surprised by the following:

1.) Chipping/ pitching is NOT that difficult, its actually quite easy when compared to the long game! Apologies to Duval for calling his forte easy, and for thinking one doesn't have to be a professional athlete to do it really well!

2.) It makes Golf even more fun! My scores are better. There is less pressure on my approach shots. A chip-in is a great feeling. Pitching the ball close to the hole, and having your opponent pick up the ball for you is immensely satisfying. We see fewer 8-10 foot putts that we all miss, yet for some strange reason, always get pissed off about!

3.) The short game is considered by most as a par-saving activity, and it is to a large extent. However, it is also a great offensive weapon. You will make more birdies!

I read somewhere : the better putters are always the happier golfers!

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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:55 pm

Panji, just would like to add something further to Tourswing's post if you dont mind.

in my opinion, GIRs is a MUST for playing pros. So many will work towards getting that result. ANy where on the green will result on GIR

On the flip side, if its back pin and the ball is on the front and leaves you with a "mile long" putt....

Maybe a good statstic to find will be GIR + average distance from cup.
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:44 pm

thanks Winston

As proven by Rory and Luke Donald last year, high GIR% isn't a die die must. About >60% GIR is just good enough. Guess what was Luke's GIR % last year? 67%, good for Top 40 only.

Proximity to cup is avg distance from cup. Check out last year stats TOP 20 in proximity to the hole

Any winners you see from below? Only David Toms and Luke Donald.

Rank Name Distance to Cup GIR Rank

1 1 Heath Slocum 89 31' 11" 2
2 2 Paul Goydos 81 32' 0" 120
3 3 Chad Campbell 99 32' 1" 4
4 4 Joe Durant 71 32' 3" 3
T5 T5 Shane Bertsch 62 32' 7" 126
T5 T5 Brian Gay 90 32' 7" 145
T5 T5 David Toms 78 32' 7" 6
8 8 Jason Dufner 78 32' 8" 52
9 9 Luke Donald 73 32' 10" 41
T10 T10 Woody Austin 59 33' 1" 54
T10 T10 Alex Cejka 59 33' 1" 74
T10 T10 Jim Furyk 87 33' 1" 38
T10 T10 Brandt Jobe 100 33' 1" 14
14 14 Chris Kirk 87 33' 2" 58
15 15 Davis Love III 70 33' 3" 28
16 16 Kris Blanks 92 33' 4" 20
17 17 Jason Bohn 74 33' 5" 42
18 18 Chez Reavie 92 33' 6" 26
T19 T19 Stephen Ames 69 33' 7" 101
T19 T19 Kevin Stadler 88 33' 7" 33
T21 T21 David Hearn 88 33' 8" 21

Therefore being good in GIR + Proximity to cup is not enough to win them tournaments

Top of the tour in Strokes Gained Putting + Scrambling are closest to "a must have"

and being slightly above average in ball striking will definitely help.

PS: Heath Slocum was the approach shot KING last year and was way way down in Fedex cup ranking.

imho Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:56 pm

Ya , whether your GIR shot leaves you with a 15ft or 25ft putt or even just off the green may make interesting reading, it has little impact on your score .... as all three players will make par on most occasions, and the make % is not significant from such distances.

The key distance for GIR is inside 10 feet ... especially 6 feet and in ... and that usually happens from inside 100 yards (the scoring zone).

Moral of the story: rest your longer clubs , and wear out your wedges and putter!!!

Thank you Dave Pelz for changing my approach to the game, for the better!
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:29 pm

pushslice wrote:

Therefore being good in GIR + Proximity to cup is not enough to win them tournaments

Top of the tour in Strokes Gained Putting + Scrambling are closest to "a must have"

and being slightly above average in ball striking will definitely help.

How about GIR + Scrambling + Distance to Cup????

Intrestingly, recently been able to watch slightly more golf on TV these days and keep hearing the commentators mentioning : his/her total putting yards is........

Wonder how this impacts the game
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:44 pm

TourSwing wrote:
I'm so happy Hunter Mahan (the swing I learn the most from) is right up there!!!

Over the years I've heard experts say .. If only Senden could put, he'd be world #1! This year, he's ranked #146 in strokes gained putting ...

Rory is #2 in putting , and #1 in the world!

So ... why is putting (and short game) more important , or decisive, compared to ball striking ...

The website shows PGA pros make approx 2 out of 3 puts from 6ft, and 1 out of 3 of putts from 10ft ... and obviously their make% gets lower and lower as you go further away from the hole ...

The point being ... that high GIR doesn't account for too much ... whats more important is distance from the pin ... you can hit a GIR from 200 yards away to 20 feet ... brilliant shot .. however the make % is really low ... just one for the highlight reel ... the other player misses the green , chips it to the hole , ALSO makes par!

Whats more important is getting within 6ft from 100 yards in ... chipping/ pitching to 2-3 feet (where the make % is close to 100) and making the putts.

Luke Donald was putting and chipping/ pitching phenomenally well last year and became #1, Rory this year , Tiger at his peak .. same thing .. Jack wasn't the best ball striker ever either!

I just bought a putting matt.
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:38 pm

for me, the best ball striker are as follows

Bobby Jones....deceased

Payne Stewart ... deceased

Fred Couples... retired Senior PGA

TW

and Lefty

Bubba Watson is the future
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:08 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:12 pm

Rory McLlroy. Beautiful swing and finish. On Green
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:18 pm

TW and Keegan Bradley, amazing iron play Cheers Jump
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PostSubject: Re: Ball striking as PGA pro. Who's the best?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:10 pm

Boo Weekley #1 green in regulation on the PGA tour in 2011
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