Hi all, I've been off Shoptalk for a time now, but lurking nearby
reading the digest summaries. Saw some of the recent postings about
Cochran & Stobbs & thought I'd share some data summaries I worked up on
a whim and to satisfy my curiosity some months ago.

I started by wanting to have some hard data as support for generally
held views. For example: "Its better to hit 230 into the fairway than
250 with less accuracy." Is it? How much "better"?

Now, let me begin with the qualifier that the study these "statistics"
in the book are based on were from the 1960's and are summations based
of the skills of professionals and 1-2 handicap amateurs at that time.
In that light, the only real coorelation for us duffers is that they
still represent some pretty good standards of performance to shoot for:

>For every 3 drives into the fairway vs. ones that land in playable
rough, 1.2 strokes per round are saved.

>20 plus yards of added driving distance regardless of hitting the
fairway versus playable rough, saves exactly 1 stroke per round.

>Professionals, putting from 45 feet or closer almost never miss by more
than 3 feet (99%) and sink 99% of all putts of 3 feet or less.

>For every 25% improvement in average putting accuracy. 1.05 strokes per
round are saved. (Definition: if a golfer hits 100% of putts from
distance X and then learns to hit 100% of putts from distance 2X, that
is a 100% improvement, or 4.2 strokes per round saved.)

>All Pros chip well: From 20 yards the average chip stops 1.2 yards from the hole
from 20-30 yards 2 yds. from the hole
30-40 2.8
40-50 3
50-70 5

>Out of light greenside rough, the above chipping averages increase by
50-60%. Out of sand, by 100%

>Same data expressed differently is that a professional's chip stops an
average distance from the hole 7.8% of the distance the shot started
from. 12.8% from light rough and 15.8% from sand.

>Long approach shots reveal almost identical statistics to chips and
pitches except that there is no real accuracy spread on a shot hit from
the fairway versus light rough until shots become longer than 200 yards
and accuracy averages start to drop off. In otherwords, inside 200
yards a pro's shot will stop an average from the hole of 8% of the
distance the shot was taken from.

How do I use the above statistics? Well, if I'm say 150 yards out, I
know I've got to hit inside 15 yards (using 10% is easier math) to have
hit a professional quality shot and this math works for virtually any
approach shot regardless of distance. I know for a fact now, every time
I set up to drive that I've got to put the ball in the fairway first and
stop worrying so much about getting that last ten yards at the risk or
ending up in "unplayable" rough.

Lastly I know factually versus instinctively that nearly all practice
needs to be on the putting green.

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