Every Shot Counts: Using the Revolutionary Strokes Gained Approach to Improve Your Golf Performance and Strategy (Anglais) Relié – 6 mars 2014
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PRAISE FOR EVERY SHOT COUNTS:
"How much do distance and accuracy matter in golf? Mark Broadie’s new approach provides compelling and sometimes surprising answers to these and other questions at the heart of golf.”
—Mark King, CEO TaylorMade Golf Company
"Mark Broadie brings new insights to the ShotLink data set and uses that data to enhance understanding of both the professional as well as the amateur game. His analysis will surprise both avid golfers and laymen alike."
—Steve Evans, CIO PGA TOUR
Praise for Mark Broadie:
“Broadie is the pioneer of the strokes-gained approach to PGA Tour statistics … Players are taking notice.”
“Broadie [is] a devoted golfer with his fingertips on a wealth of golf information.”
—The New York Times
“An absolutely fantastic book! It could change the way people play the game.”
—Edoardo Molinari, European Ryder Cup star
"Broadie is the pioneer of the strokes-gained approach to PGA Tour statistics…Players are taking notice." — ESPN.com
Thanks to his golf shot database, Broadie was able to do away with the old-fashioned, simplistic stats we hear about on TV and figure out how the game is truly played. Just as baseball's statistical pioneers overthrew the tyranny of ERA and RBI by developing more meaningful metrics, Broadie saved golf from GIR with a concept called "shot value…Broadie's analysis helps us answer a question that it's never really been possible to solve before: How do you accurately compare one player with another? — Slate
Présentation de l'éditeur
Mark Broadie is at the forefront of a revolutionary new approach to the game of golf. What does it take to drop ten strokes from your golf score? What part of Tiger Woods’ game makes him a winner? Traditional golf stats can't answer these questions. Broadie, a professor at Columbia Business School, helped the PGA Tour develop its cutting-edge strokes gained putting stat. In this eye-opening new book, Broadie uses analytics from the financial world to uncover the secrets of the game of golf. He crunches mountains of data to show both professional and amateur golfers how to make better decisions on the course. This eagerly awaited resource is for any player who wants to understand the pros, improve golf skills, and make every shot count.
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Using new analytic methods (for golf at least), the book comes up with several major points about scoring and shot making. Interesting, the early work of Cochran and Stobbs (1971) came up with some of the same conclusions.
1) Long game approach shots are most important.
2) Long driving (as long as fairly straight) is better than short and straight.
3) 4 foot putts are the most important putt. Practice these.
4) You don't make many putts outside of 5 feet.
5) Short game is less important than long game.
6) Stay far away from out of bounds, even aim in the rough.
7) Make sure your putts go past the hole.
8) Sand shots are harder than chips.
9) Get as close to the hole as you can, do not play to a "good yardage".
So, for the amateur or pro golfer, what are the takeaways?
1) Practice your irons and hybrids
2) Try to bash it off the tee
3) Practice 4 foot putts.
4) Practice chipping only if you really stink.
What is Dave Pelz to do about this new data? Try to ignore it, it contradicts his preaching.
What am I supposed to do about this new data? Get better at irons. Hit it 20 yards farther. Make 4 footers.
Easy to say, harder to do.
Even though there is a foreword by Sean Foley, this is NOT a book about how to swing a golf club.
It is rather an extremely detailed analysis of the game using a measure Broadie developed, "strokes gained." You may have heard the term used on PGA telecasts, particularly in the context of "strokes gained putting," but Broadie has expanded the concept to cover nearly aspect of golf using data from the PGA Tour's ShotLink database as well as one he developed to gather similar data for amateurs, the Golfmetrics system. The result is about as easy to read as a set of IRS instructions, but just like slogging through the tax code, if you stick with it, it will pay off.
I won't go into all the details of how he reached his conclusions, but suffice it to say Broadie convinced me that many of the "truths" about golf I heard and believed for decades are just flat wrong. "Drive for show--putt for dough," for example. WRONG! Broadie's analysis shows that tee shots account for 28% of the shots gained in a round as opposed to putting's mere 17%.
How can that be, you might ask, if putts represent about 50% of your strokes in a round? The answer is that Broadie is comparing performance to the field of golfers, not to par. If you're playing competitive golf, whether on Tour or against your buddies at your local muni, your score relative to theirs will be more strongly affected by your driving than your putting.
That's not the real surprise, though. Broadie's most important conclusion is that the approach shot--not your drive, not your putts, not even your dazzling wedge play--is the most important factor in the game when it comes to beating your opponents. The approach accounts for a whopping 40% of the strokes gained on the field.
Add in the drive, and 68% of the strokes gained can be traced to the long game. This is based, by the way, on his stroke-by-stroke analysis of the top 40 pros during the 2004-2012 seasons. Interestingly enough, Broadie's research shows that the same ratios hold for amateurs at every level, too!
"Contrary to popular belief, this research proves that the long game explains two-thirds of the difference in scores between beginning and skilled amateurs, between amateurs and pros, and between average pros and the best pros. Academics call this a robust result: It holds for many different groups of golfers. It's the closest thing to a universal truth in golf."
Laying up to a full-swing wedge distance is another truism that Broadie proves is a "falsism." Haven't we all been taught that the key to a good lay up is to not necessarily hit it as close to the green as you can but rather to a distance where you can take a full swing with your favorite wedge? Here's what Broadie's research revealed:
"...most golfers will score worse from 80 yards from the hole than from 30, even if every layup to 30 yards lands in the rough, and every layup to 80 yards lands in the fairway."
Actually, I've been a believer in taking my chances with a half-wedge for several years, but felt like I was violating some rule or something every time I did it. Now I know I have been right all along--and the feeling is excellent.
If you can slog through the numbers, Every Shot Counts may well change the way you think about your game. Broadie spends a good portion of the book applying his analysis to strategic choices like where to aim when there's out-of-bounds on the hole and how to read and putt greens. He's got a section on drills, too, although some are perhaps not for the math-impaired.
Even if you need to take off your socks to calculate your winnings on a round-robin Nassau with three presses, you'd be well-advised to spend some time working on your game with Broadie's numbers in mind.
What kind of mysteries are being solved here? Only all the important ones, like:
*Why traditional golf statistics (GIR, driving distance average, Fairways-in-Regulation) can't rank players or predict winners.
*Why calculating "averages" is incomplete at best.
*What's more important, driving or putting?
*How should we reconcile counting stokes (per hole), vs. inches (putts), vs. yards (drives)
*What should you practice?
*Where should you aim?
*Why are the best players in the world the best?
When Mr. Broadie matches the data to his formulas, the names that rise to the top are the who's-who of golf: Woods, Els, Donald, Lefty, Rory, and the rest. There's a reason these guys are all household names and it is NOT their GIR, FIR, or Average Drive. The "Shots Gained" statistic explains it all, for every shot, drives, approach, even pitches and putts. The entire game is laid bare, finally. I would not doubt that Mr. Broadie already has a sequel in the works (he should!) because the contents of this book could be applied to much deeper golf questions. This edition had to get all the easy targets out of the way, but they are whoppers.
I can now see how every other golf book in history has fallen short. Nobody has had shot data like this in the history of golf, along with the skills to properly analyze it. It is not an exaggeration to say that 95% of golf books are now obsolete -- and now factually proven wrong. Right now it is spring, and my email box is full of ads and promotions that read (actual quotes: "How to Score Low! Did you know the pro's average 290 yards... blah blah" and "... master the short game with our wedges! ... drop the score on your scorecard!) ... I can now see the holes in these statistics (even the real ones) from a mile away.
I know what to practice now, and it isn't 30-yard pitch shots and 30-foot putts anymore!
** Criticisms **
Very, very few. Almost all the information in this book is illuminating for golfers of all skill levels. Mr. Broadie takes extra pains to make his statistics relevant to 80, 90, and 100-golfers.
I found the chapter on putting to be a bit tedious, for not much new insight. Many putting methods have covered these topics in detail over the years, and while Mr. Broadie's statistics confirm many of the truisms, they don't really add a lot of new insight. Those who haven't put in much study in the putting arena might find it helpful though. I found it quite comparable to the AimPoint school of putting technique, but without the specificity of the AimPoint charts (which is also used in PGA broadcasts to reveal putting lines, and is heavily physics based).
I definitely wanted more strategic analysis on game-type situations (fodder for the sequel, perhaps!). A fascinating study on how to play holes with OB on one side is very useful. I wanted to see strategies for going to tight pins, long par 3s or short par 3's, fairway bunkers, and similar. Like I said, there is still plenty of room for a sequel.
I don't often gush about products or books, but honestly I have read a lot of golf books, hang out on golf forums, and read all the magazines. This is the best golf book I have ever read. No joke.
Broadie's research is not as valuable as the various "blurbs" contend. The promo for the Broadie's book claims "Broadie uses analytics to uncover the secrets of the game of golf." This is pure hyperbole. There are no secrets, and to imply there are is misleading at best. The publisher's promo goes on to ask "What does it take to drop ten strokes from your golf game?" and implies the answer lies within the book covers. It does not unless you count the typical bromides-- hit it longer, straighter, don't leave putts short, and if you slice aim way left when out-of-bounds is on the right. There is also conflicting advice. Broadie advises against pounding balls on the range. Where Sean Foley says he has his guys hitting 4-irons until their hands bleed.
The real policy question that Broadie avoids is this: A player has limited money and time to invest in improving his game. What is the most cost-effective use of those resources? A player should be able to spot his deficiencies without Broadie's book. When he plays with better players, he needs to note what part of his game leads to higher scores than his playing companions. He may realize he does not hit it as far, but also recognize increasing his distance is not in the cards because of his physical limitations. Conventional wisdom says he will see his short game suffers in comparison to the better player. They do not scull their chips, flail away in sand bunkers, or three-putt with regular frequency. Since short game skills are a matter of technique rather than physical strength, concentrating on this part of the game seems the most cost-effective use of an average golfer's resources. Maybe future research can show this conventional wisdom is wrong. Until it does, a prospective reader should pass on Every Shot Counts and save $24.92 (plus shipping and taxes). Remember, every dollar counts.