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Is it just me?

 

I watch baseball games and I see all kinds of stats, BA with runners on, against hard throwing righties with 1 strike, average exit velocity and launch angle on home rubs, fast ball spin rate, etc., etc. etc.

 

In golf it’s almost crickets - yeah I get SS, carry and curve on some drives - but how about percentage of putts made by this particular player on 20 foot putts.

 

It just seems as if golf coverage is a few steps behind.

 

 

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Golf is way behind, not just with stats but with announcing as well. Listening to announcer say that he has 120 and if he doesn't get it within 10 feet it is not a good shot is just insane. I can't even watch let alone listen. It is changing but really slowly. 

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I am sure they can push more stats; they have them on the PGA website. I have seen some putting stats for the player compared to the field.

As@thezipr23 pointed out the stats would not be very impressive since players don’t hit shots as close as broadcasters like to make you think. Kind of downplays the excitement/drama that broadcasters try to create.

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8 minutes ago, cnosil said:

I am sure they can push more stats; they have them on the PGA website. I have seen some putting stats for the player compared to the field.

As@thezipr23 pointed out the stats would not be very impressive since players don’t hit shots as close as broadcasters like to make you think. Kind of downplays the excitement/drama that broadcasters try to create.

I would agree that it doesn't sound good and the drama does escape some. However they have to know their audience. The average golfer hearing that thinks it's true, when it is not even close. Max Homa wants to start a segment on golf coverages that show just the bad shots. His reasoning is that it would increase the reaction or praise when they do hit it inside 10 feet from 120. 

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I think part of it is the current crop of analysts prefer to live in their own world where their thoughts and feelings about the game are "correct" regardless of whether advanced metrics have disproven those feelings. Another part is a lot of the average golf fan doesn't care enough about the advanced stats and are perfectly happy to just accept what Azinger or Faldo say as the one true gospel. The amount of blowback I got for calling out Faldo for his bogus claims on graphite shafts from casual fans who just want to trust everything a 6 time major champion has to say was kind of a bit shocking.

 

You can even see it in the YouTube space. Rick Shiels is the leading guy on the platform and his videos are basically generic lessons or challenges and course vlogs built around entertainment. Meanwhile Crossfield is diving deep into advanced stats and new coaching methods and he's been sort of stuck in the 200-300k subscriber range. I get Crossfield can rub a lot of people the wrong way, but the point is he's a guy who's genuinely trying to take golf down the path of utilizing these advanced stats and new training methods to help people get better faster and he's got a fifth of the viewership that Shiels does. Maybe a better television broadcast from a stats POV might make people a bit more receptive to the ideas Crossfield is trying to get across in his videos but currently there certainly seems to a be a lot of pushback against the statistically driven content that Mark is producing.

 

It's disappointing, at least to me, that people would rather listen to the same old adages from the same guys time and time again when the players and the coaches continue to show those adages to be false, or at the very least, misguided.

 

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I’m so glad I’m not the only one. And I know the stats are out there - I enjoy checking them out on the PGA website but it’s tough to do while watching.

Our Rays coverage gives you all kinds of metrics and numbers. It’s really fun to watch a ballgame like that IMO.

Interestingly I read an off-season article that said the Rays should swing at 3-0 pitched more frequently, they gave and with very good success.

The Bryson story of seeing game improvement through statistical analysis should be an inspiration for every golfer. If he has room for improvement imagine the possibilities for the average player.


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3 hours ago, FrogginBullfish said:

Another part is a lot of the average golf fan doesn't care enough about the advanced stats and are perfectly happy to just accept what Azinger or Faldo say as the one true gospel.

 

This is so true and sad at the same time. 

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I think we are all a bit in the minority I know many golfers who would not be all that interested in the stats, of course that is not me. As evidenced by the YouTube views @FrogginBullfish mentioned. I agree though looking at them for your game is the easiest way to get better.

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It just seems to me that you can put up graphics beneath a players name approaches to the shot he’s hitting just as they do in baseball. The viewer can choose to read the stats or not.


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3 minutes ago, revkev said:

It just seems to me that you can put up graphics beneath a players name approaches to the shot he’s hitting just as they do in baseball. The viewer can choose to read the stats or not.


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I agree, that is where i see the putting stats.    The problem is that it wouldn't make the players seem like they play great golf.  People wouldn't believe a stat like this:

Approach to green 100-125 yards from fairway:  Dustin Johnson  ranks 124th on tour with average of 20'2".  

Most people expect that to be 5 feet.  

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I agree, that is where i see the putting stats.    The problem is that it wouldn't make the players seem like they play great golf.  People wouldn't believe a stat like this:
Approach to green 100-125 yards from fairway:  Dustin Johnson  ranks 124th on tour with average of 20'2".  
Most people expect that to be 5 feet.  



I suppose - they probably think their average is 20 feet when it’s actually 45.


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Nice read and very true -

 

I think I would add that Pros are good its just that most people's sense of what that means is way, way off.  Hitting a 6 iron from 200 yards to 30 feet half the time is pretty amazing.  Really amazing actually as is making 40 percent of 10 footers.  But I know guys who are ready to burry their putter when they miss from 10 feet (they are probably at a 25 to 30 percent make rate from there.)

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Yeah for sure, the pros are really, really good. It's just our perception of how good they actually is sort of skewed by the television coverage.

Golf's in a unique position from a coverage standpoint. It's not like other sports. It's one of the few sports where all of the action is spread out. In hockey, baseball, football, basketball, etc, the audience gets to see everything that happens the entire broadcast. In golf, we only get to see who the broadcast wants us to see and its usually only the guys playing well which definitely skews the perception of exactly how good they are for the average viewer.

I liken it to social media sites like Instagram or Facebook. The vast majority of people only share the highlights of their lives and from an outside perspective it might look like that person's life is amazing, which could certainly be the case, but it's also generally not as amazing as all those highlights make it out to be.

Nice read and very true -
 
I think I would add that Pros are good its just that most people's sense of what that means is way, way off.  Hitting a 6 iron from 200 yards to 30 feet half the time is pretty amazing.  Really amazing actually as is making 40 percent of 10 footers.  But I know guys who are ready to burry their putter when they miss from 10 feet (they are probably at a 25 to 30 percent make rate from there.)


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I have never been a big stat guy. The only stat I keep is the score. I enjoy watching golf, and other sports, but I don't really care for too much info. I just like watching the athletes playing their sport. I know that is contrary to most, but I'm old, and I grew up when the only stat that was important was if someone could bring it when the pressure was on.

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Only stat that matters is how many times it you to get the ball in the hole.

Take Dead Aim




I don’t disagree I’m just fascinated but what goes into that -

We are told there are a lot of different ways to make a score but what if that’s a myth? What if there is a formula at the top of the game? Bryson’s n seems to think there is.


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If I want to know a players stats, I'll just look at the PGA website... plenty to look at.  For me, watching golf on television is one of the last remaining venues that has not been over-hyped (well, The Wasted Management aside), is relatively sedate, and dosen't make my head hurt.  Sometimes less is more.

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3 hours ago, revkev said:


We are told there are a lot of different ways to make a score but what if that’s a myth? What if there is a formula at the top of the game? Bryson’s n seems to think there is.
 

 

There are people that believe there is a formula to playing top golf.  That is the whole essence of what Scott Fawcett teaches from a course management/decision/emotion perspective with DECADE.  For every shot there is a single answer on how to play the shot and where to aim based on what is in front of you.  Some people like him others don't; but for someone into stats,  he is an interesting follow on twitter and has some videos on the topic on youtube.   He is working with Lou Stagner and uses Shotlink data as a basis.   his system isn't complicated,  but people allow emotion to change away from the strategy.  

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15 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

If I want to know a players stats, I'll just look at the PGA website... plenty to look at.  For me, watching golf on television is one of the last remaining venues that has not been over-hyped (well, The Wasted Management aside), is relatively sedate, and dosen't make my head hurt.  Sometimes less is more.

Isn't providing a false narrative on tour players' stats over-hyping it a bit? I mean all we hear about on the broadcasts are how far these guys hit it, and how good they are from here or there, and what a great putter so and so is. What if the stats don't actually reflect these statements? What if, by providing actual player stats, the broadcast could also give context to the distance debate and course design? 

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