Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the 1994 World Scientific Congress of Golf

By A. J. Cochran; M. R. Farrally | Go to book overview

34

A unified golf stroke value scale for quantitative stroke-by-stroke assessment

L.M. Landsberger

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,

Abstract

This paper introduces a unified quantitative system of value for single golf strokes. The system uses as input the pre- and post-stroke distance to the hole, and green attainment, along with more subjective factors such as lie, obstacles, wind and slope. By quantification of two different types of standards for long and short strokes, an integrated scale is developed, relatively consistent with established course rating systems, by which all strokes can be compared. This also provides a framework for calculation of effective handicaps for different stroke types, and development of personalized performance standards.

Keywords: Stroke Value, Standards, Statistics, Quantitative Analysis, Handicap.

1 Introduction

At present, the finest-scaled objective measure of golf performance is the number of strokes that a player takes on a given hole. While accurate and indisputable, this number is often quite unsatisfying, since the clearest basic building block of a golf round is the episode of a single stroke. The objective of this paper is to present a quantitative system of logic for integrated objective evaluation of a single golf stroke, so that its value toward the final score for the hole can be compared to that of other single strokes.

This system bases its judgement on the factual result of the stroke. Given where your ball started before the stroke, and where it came to rest after the stroke, what was the stroke worth, compared to a “Course Rating” (CR) standard, or compared to your “personal average” standard? While there often is the necessity for subjective judgements of wind, slope, lie and obstacles, this system provides a useful, integrated framework for comparison of the value of each stroke to the value of any other stroke.

For example, consider a relatively straightforward and flat 400-yard par-4 (a male golfer in this example) with a not-too-severe green on a windless day. The golfer hits a 200-yard tee shot, and a fairway stroke that finishes wide of the green 60 feet from the hole. Then he chips to 15 feet, putts to a foot and a half, and makes the short putt. On the scorecard it is a 5 (bogey). But last week he made his 5 by 3-putting from 10 feet! How is he to distinguish between these drastically different scenarios, with dramatically different consequences on his mental state? The serious golfer, with an eye to game-improvement, can greatly benefit from objective stroke-by-stroke record-keeping. The system described in this paper provides a tool for such fine discrimination on a quantitative scale. Then, if any of the two scenarios described above were more common than the others, such record-keeping could recognize strengths and suggest effective practice strat egies to improve on weaknesses. This system, inspired by Cochran & Stobbs' (1968) (C&S) book chapters on “Analysing a Tournament”, provides a vehicle to capture and record in a quantitative, objective way some of the richness of information that is lost in

Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. Edited by A.J. Cochran and M.R. Farrally. Published in 1994 by E & FN Spon, London. ISBN 0 419 18790 1

-216-

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