Math and Staring Dogs

A bit o' math, this is from the Open and Advanced men at Hotlanta 2000:

Pro Adv
Redan Avg 55.3 59.8
Lenora Avg 50.4 55.8
Redan Best 47 50
Lenora Best 41 46
Redan Std Dev 3.8 5.4
Lenora Std Dev 3.8 3.8

Huh?  Oh, I did the colors because I felt like it, of course.  So what does this say?  I'm not sure.  

For one, the pros improved by 5 shots going from Redan to Lenora, while the ams only improved 4.  Of course, the pros played hole #2 long (which changes it from the easiest hole on the course to one of the hardest to birdie) while the ams played it short. So figure the pros probably averaged a little bit over a 3 on it and would've averaged about a 2.5 from the short pin, call it 1.5 shots difference total.  Which means the pro differential would be about 6.5 shots compared to the 4 shots for the ams.  Why?  

I think the ams had more wind in their morning round than we did, and that might have something to do with it, but mainly I think it's a simple matter of arm strength.  We had 30 open players, essentially all of which can reach every hole at Lenora easily except 2, 6, 7, and 8, and there are a good number of us that can reach some or all of those.  The advanced men had 62 (I think), of which most would have trouble reaching a lot of those holes.  

Check out those standard deviations, to me that says Redan is significantly more difficult for the ams but for the pros, they're really both pretty easy.  I'd love to see us get a course that would spread the pros a little more.  I just spent a few minutes trying to find scores from last year's US Championships to figure the standard deviation at Winthrop, but all I can find is the final order, not the scores. Well, I have them in the magazine, I'll type in the first round or 2, 'cause I'm pretty curious.

1st round: 4.99
2nd round: 5.34
3rd round: 5.30
4th round: 5.57

It turned out to be awfully easy to type in, so I just did 'em all.  Says to me that Redan:Ams::Winthrop:Pros.  (Note that it also stays true if you say Redan:Winthrop::Am:Pro.  Is that always true?  Hmm...) If you're wondering why the 4th round is so much higher, it's because it rained hard the whole time.  Some people play better in the rain than others...   But why is the 1st round so much more closely packed than the 2nd and 3rd?  Maybe some of the players didn't know the course very well going in?   Once they became more familiar with it the better players were able to exploit it better?  Or maybe it's because the 1st round was randomly grouped and after that the good players played better because they were grouped with the other good players.  I really have no good idea, though.

I'm surprised how poorly the pros shot at Redan, overall.  Of the 18 holes (with everything long except 9, that in the middle), there are 5 holes I feel like I should birdie absolutely every time (9, 11, 12, 16, 18) and only 3 (4, 13, 15) that I rarely get.  The rest I feel like I should get every time, but I miss them enough to realize that I won't.   So let's be pessimistic.  Of the 5 gimmes, you get 3.  Of the 10 should-but-might-not's you get 3.  Of the other 3 you don't get any and bogey #15. That leaves us with a 49, or a 5 down.  Of the 60 rounds shot by Open players during hotlanta, there were exactly four of 49 or better.  Four.  Ok, figure tournament conditions, we'll throw in one stupid bogey somewhere, now we're at a 50, which give us all of 7 rounds. Why?

I know, we're talking tournament conditions, but that's why I had our golfer miss 2 of the gimmes and bogey 15.   I really don't understand why the scores were as bad as they were.  If you've got any ideas, I'd love to hear 'em, because as it sits now the only thing I can figure is that most of us just plain suck.

Doug's thoughts on nothing in particular