Graeme's Golf Data Lab Blog


Friday, 30 April 2010

testing...

We've been having problems migrating or emigrating or whatever it's called with this Blog thingy since early March. Just testing to see if it posts...


Sunday, 31 January 2010

Internet Browser compatibility

Microsoft admits that IE8 doesn't work with a high proportion of websites and so has included a compatibility feature that allows it to behave as if it were IE7. As this remains the ONLY internet browser that makes life difficult on Golf Data Lab when the recording a Rd function is being used, we recommend Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

click here for Microsoft's official site and for IE7 compatibility mode

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Friday, 18 December 2009

Confidence & Momentum - Measurable?

Measuring performance in golf involves the provision of facts, specific feedback of Driver results, irons performance, Short Game and Putting. There are occasional similarities between golfers in the areas or categories of the game where they share strengths and weaknesses but it is becoming apparent that no two golfers are the same.

For example, golfer A at the start of this season missed 8 putts from less than 3 feet in 3 Rds whereas we normally expect a missed 2 footer every 7 or 8 Rds. Golfer B is very strong Holing Out everything from 6 feet and in (over 93%) but from Medium and Long range simply can not buy one, leaving numerous birdie opportunities out there. Golfer C gets a good average of the longer range putts to drop but from 4, 5 and 6 feet particularly, you wouldn't put a sizeable stake on him holing it. All three conclude that their putting represents the major area for improvement for 2010, yet all three are already demonstrably some of the best golfers in the country, given their tournament results throughout the year.

Continued success in golf depends on intangibles - an X factor, confidence, momentum, call it what you will. Until now, we might reasonably expect that this winning quality was an immeasurable unknown factor being something embedded within the mental side of golf, an area of golf that is also very much in its infancy when it comes to academic scrutiny, understanding and articulation. But how unattainable is this in measurement terms?

Golfer D was struggling on the greens up until last year, averaging almost 32 Putts per Rd but in 2009, he is the best putter on the database. The consistency of his putting results all year has been staggering and well above the pretty stiff targets that we ask for expert putting performance. By subjecting one's game to the best scrutiny, utilising innovative measurements and a programme design that reveals almost everything that happens on the course, it is becoming apparent that even the X factor - confidence in putting particularly - can be seen, quantified and illustrated.

Pablo Martin won the first event of the 2010 European Tour season last week, his first professional win. He's top of the board on day 2 in progress currently on 11 under. Edoardo Molinari has had an incredible run of results and from the Challenge Tour in 2009 has forced his way to the cusp of the world top 50. Ross McGowan's win in Madrid provided a surge of adrenalin, confidence, momentum, X factor, which lifted his subsequent performances on to a different level. Securing his 2010 card may have been his aim pre-Madrid, his bar has been set much higher post-Madrid.

I reckon that their vastly improved performances are measurable and if their games were subject to the proper scrutiny, the particular reasons for this would be apparent.

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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

European World Champions again

The Molinari brothers superb World Cup win at Mission Hills completes six consecutive European Winners. Since 2004, it's been England, Wales, Germany, Scotland, Sweden and now Italy. Before that and since 2000, it was the non-Europeans that dominated with USA, South Africa, Japan and South Africa again in 2003.

I'm not sure if the European Ryder Cup captain can take much credence or encouragement from a 4 day tournament in which many of the world's top players are absent, but nine different winners this decade makes for excellent competition.

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Sunday, 22 November 2009

Kellett comes 2nd in Argentina

Scotland internationalist Ross Kellett entered the first Rd online on Golf Data Lab back in January 2009. During that same trip, he was the beaten finalist in the New South Wales amateur. Today he was beaten in the final of the Argentinian Amateur by France's Romain Wattel who threw 12 birdies at him to win the 36 hole final 7 & 5 in Buenos Aires. Ross also came 2nd by one shot in the European Individual Amateur in Paris this summer.

Three seconds in major amateur events in one year might be the source of some frustration but in my book, getting in to these positions should be the source for much pride and a confidence booster. History will show that Padraig Harrington came second so often before he broke through to the very top. Also Wayne Grady - who was relatively unknown in the UK when he lost the play off for the 1989 Open at Troon - came second an astonishing number of times but in 1990, he won the US PGA.

Two major winners racked up loads of seconds before they got to the top. The fact that you keep on putting yourself in the right positions at the top of the board is excellent, RossKo, and take great heart from this. The old cliches about keep knocking at the door and keep throwing mud at the wall has more than a ton of truth about it. Great week again. Embrace the positives. There are no negatives. You're already a European Champion this year with Scotland. At 21 years of age, look back at 2009 as a tremendous year in your development. Some of us expect 2010 to be even better.

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Friday, 20 November 2009

As illustrated by Messrs Storm & Wood

At level par after two Rds in the Dubai Desert Challenge are Chris Wood and Graeme Storm. The latter shot 78, 66, the former 66, 78.

On the Home Page of every Golf Data Lab user is a chart plotting the Rd by Rd scores throughout the season. Some players show dramatic zig zag fluctuations, others are pretty constant. In analysing golf scores in more detail, the qualities of Scoring consistency or inconsistency becomes a defined and measurable pattern. In one report to a professional this year, his Scoring inconsistency was highlighted to him as he would often follow one Rd with a 10, 11 or 12 shot swing (better and worse) one day to the next, often on the same course. A 13 shot swing was his biggest in 2009.

I remember in the 80's when Matthew Cox from Hazlehead shot 86, 68 at the Inverurie open. His excuse for his 18 shot improvement was simple. The hangover he teed off with in the morning Rd abated throughout the day. Professional and top amateurs obviously have more discipline than the handicap amateur but if a pattern of huge swings continue, this provides fertile ground for the mind coach. Golf is played in the six inches between the ears. Momentum can be found or lost, often within the same 9 holes. Managing the ups and downs in this game is all.

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Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Predictive Stats

Did you know that statistical analysis can predict the future?

Now that the draw has been made for the 2nd stage of Q School later this month - he said, throwing in the biggest whopper of a herring rouge seen this side of Romanov's Champions League aspirations - there will be more Scots on the European Tour in 2010 than 2009. Fact - soon to be proven.

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