I've been doing some at-home analysis of my stats for the past 16 months and wanted to share in the hopes that you might be able to provide some ideas or insight into what else could be done with this information.
After every round I input date, score, round index, number of: birdies, pars, bogeys, doubles, triples, putts, GIRs and fairway percentage into a google drive sheet. I then update scatter plots that show score vs.: birdies, pars, bogeys, double, triples, GIRs, putts and FIR and a separate set that shows round index vs each of those stats. My initial goal was to see how each of these stats correlated with my score/index and to see if I could use this information to improve my game.
Here's a summary chart of my findings:
I'm not a stats wiz per se, but did take a class in college and know my way around excel/google drive. For the uninitiated, the R-squared of a regression tells you how much the two variables correlate. The highest possible R-squared value, 1.0, would indicate that two variables correlate perfectly and the lowest possible value, 0.0, would indicate the two variables do not correlate at all. For the sake of simplifying the analysis I used a second degree polynomial regression and the following correlation ranges: 1.0-0.7 Strong, 0.7-0.4 Medium, 0.4-0.2 Small, 0.2-0.0 None.
Some insights from the data:
1. First of all, I was surprised that none of the stat categories had a "strong" correlation to my score/index. This makes me wonder if there is something else that does correlate well or if the score/index is just influenced by too many different variables for one to really shine through.
2. I rarely make birdies (4 total over 30 rounds of golf) so it makes sense that they would have no correlation with my scores.
3. Because birdies are so rare, pars are essentially the lowest score I make on a hole. It therefore makes sense to me that these have the second highest correlation to my score/index. The highest correlation belongs to triples, likely because they represent the highest possible score on a give hole. Its not rocket science to know more of the lowest score and less of the highest score lowers your overall score/index but its good to see the data back it up.
4. There is hardly any correlation between score/index and bogeys or doubles. This is likely because it matters less how many of each I make as opposed to what they "would" have been. By that I mean on any given day I could score well with a lot of bogeys if they otherwise "would" have been doubles or I could score poorly with a lot of bogeys if they otherwise "would" have been pars. The same goes for doubles that "would" have been bogeys or triples.
5. All else being equal having less putts should mean a lower score but number of putts doesn't tell the story of how you got to the green. I am much more likely to three-putt after a GIR because I am typically starting farther from the hole. Likewise I am more likely to one-putt when I've chipped it close which usually means I missed the green so an extra stroke had to be taken. For this reason it makes sense to me that putts have a small correlation on score/index. However, I can't explain why the putts would better correlate to index (borderline medium correlation) compared to score. See below for more on this.
6. I would have expected GIR to correlate most with score/index and am surprised at how little it does. My only explanation here is that as with birdies, I don't have many GIRs overall so the impact they can have is limited. Similar to putts there is also a disparity between the correlation between score (borderline medium) and index (none) that I can't explain. I am also confused by why the disparity between the two stats is reversed from putts to GIR. The only semblance of explanation I can think of is that I was lucky enough to St. Andrews this past year and their oversized greens produced outlier numbers by increasing both my number of putts and GIRs. However, this was only two rounds out of 30 (both produced slightly better than average scores and indices), is the data that sensitive?
7. There is absolutely no correlation between FIR and score/index, this is the clearest answer of all the stats. This is backed up by recent Shot Scope data that farther is better than straighter (assuming both are in bounds).
I think I'd be most curious to see if other people find similar correlation (or lack thereof) between their stats and score/index, what might change based on handicap, and what other analysis could be done with this or similar data?