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Golf: Putt For Dough – Not So

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Is putting on the PGA Tour overrated? This incredible chart seems to suggest so,” is Alex Myers’ look at the recent revelation by Columbia professor Mark Broadie, who conceived of the strokes gained concept

Drive for show, putt for dough
The history of this remark goes all the way back to a fine South African gentleman who was so good that in two-and-a-half years on the PGA Tour, Bobby Locke played in 59 events; he won 11, and finished in the top three in 30 times.
Too good in fact, the PGA managed to lock (Hey that’s a partial pun) him out of playing the tour.

Most of us who regularly play the game are frequently reminded that putting is so very important and yet Mark Broadie keeps coming up with statistics which suggests we overrate its importance.

Lies, damned lies and statistics
Every time I read of Broadie’s latest breakthrough statistics I think of Mark Twain who attributed the saying, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics," to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

And every time I think of famous golfers who could support my suggestion that there’s something wrong with Broadie’s methodology I think first of all of my favourite golf character Walter (The Haigh) Hagen who frequently manifested that three of them (Not so good shots) and one of them (A life saving putt) made all the difference.

And then there was Ben Hogan who in addressing Billy Casper who was in the same class as Bobby Locke said, "If you couldn't putt, you'd be selling hot dogs behind the tenth green."

The long and short of it
Alex concludes with, “In other words, you can still putt for a lot of dough. You just don't have to make nearly as many if your long game is in top form.”

Link to Alex Myers

Quote of the Day
“In 2016, 7 of the top 15 money per event leaders had negative strokes gained putting. None had negative strokes gained from approach shots.” – Mark Broadie


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