Golf

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Tiger’s Worst Masters

The Associated Press captures the performance well:

Tiger Woods arrived at Augusta National as a favorite to win his fifth green jacket. Instead, he left with his worst score as a pro.

This chart, made with data from the Augusta Chronicle, shows his four-round average scores at the Masters since he turned pro in 1997. This year was the highest (which, in golf, if a bad thing):

It should be noted that weather conditions vary each year. Tiger finished second in 2007 when low temperatures and wind made scoring difficult, for example. Still, it’s a general indicator of performance. Another measure is the leader board position: Tiger finished 41st this year, by far his worst effort.

Tiger’s Tee Troubles

Tiger Woods struggled off the tee yesterday at the Masters, a key reason he’s tied for 29th in a tournament in which many picked him as the favorite.

Tiger’s driving accuracy has also contributed to the general decline in his performance since its peak in 2000. He’s looked better this season, though, leading to his first PGA Tour win since 2009 two weeks ago. 

This chart shows his driving accuracy over time, according to tour statistics

Here’s how Woods’ performance yesterday compares to his career — and the rest of the field at the Masters: 

See driving accuracy for all players on tour since 1980. 

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PGA Tour Driving Distance Increased By 30 Yards Since ’80

PGA Tour players hit the ball 30 years farther off the tee now than they did three decades ago, according to the tour’s statistics. That’s most likely because their equipment, fitness and coaching have improved dramatically over that time. 

These charts show a year-by-year average of all 980 players active on the tour since 1980, as well as the trend for Scott Verplank and Phil Mickelson individually.

(See larger interactive versions).

Data Source: PGA Tour

Charting Tiger Woods’ Career

Inspired by Tiger Woods’ victory on Sunday, I decided to chart some basic statistics from his 17-year PGA Tour career, including this one on how often he finished in the top 10 at tournaments: 

See all the charts.

The PGA site has tons of year-by-year data for each PGA tour player since 1980, including every imaginable question (putting, driving, greens in regulation, and many more). So this is just the minimum of what’s possible with golf statistics. 

Anything you’d like to see? 

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U.S. Open Venues

The U.S. Open golf championship has been held at 50 of the nation’s elite courses since it began in 1895, including this week at Congressional Country Club in Maryland. But those courses are in only 17 states. 

This map shows the frequency, by state, using proportional symbols:

New York and Pennsylvania have hosted the most tournaments (18 and 13, respectively). Rhode Island and Georgia are at the bottom of the list, with each getting one event: 

View larger maps | Download data | Made with OpenHeatMap