(Photo and statistics courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Department. Additional statistics courtesy of Golfstat and Birdiefire.)

I had some time on my hands this week, so I thought I’d take a look at how the season has, somewhat numerically worked out. We’ll take a look at scoring comparisons on the par 3, par 4 and par 5 holes. This will show difference between “best in field”, Ohio State, and field median. The ‘median’ in this article, will refer to the average score per hole for the team that ranked “middle of the pack”. For my purposes, ‘median’ (the midpoint of a range) is an adequate substitution for the statistical average.

The data will cover the multi-round stroke play tournaments played in 2016-2017 season. Any match play or single round events are not included.

Even though these tournaments are “play five, count four”, I am counting all five players for each school that competed as part of the “team”.  Any score by a player that competed as an Individual is not included.

In describing the results, I’ll use the shorthand of Best In Field, Median Team and, of course, Ohio State.


There may be a chance of increased sodium intake on your part, so please be careful with your grains of salt.

First, this is not intended to be a judgmental nor prescriptive article; merely descriptive. These numbers compare Ohio State’s performance against the winning school and the school that finished in the median position in their events.

The field of contestants was different each week and the golf course was different each week. I don’t believe you can make an absolute statement but you can make a relative statement about the results.

Hole Average

First, we’ll look at the “par” scoring; par 3, par 4 and par 5, below:

Best OSU Median
Par 3 3.06 3.19 3.22
Par 4 4.02 4.16 4.13
Par 5 4.57 4.82 4.75

Par 3:

The par 3 scoring isn’t that bad; it’s .13 higher than Best In Field (BIF) and a bit better than the Median Team (MT). With, typically, only four par 3s per round, the scoring differentials are somewhat muted.

Par 4:

The par 4 scoring appears to be an issue. They .14 stroke higher than Best In Field. That doesn’t appear to be much, but with 10 par 4’s on the course, little differences add up.

Par 5:

The par 5 scoring appears to be another issue.They are well behind the BIF and even lagging a bit from the MT.  The score spread is just a bit more than the par 4 results. Fortunately,  there are only four par 5s per round, but these are the holes where a team should score well. This will become more apparent, below.


Composite Round

With the above results, I’m going to create a composite round. I’ll multiply the par 3 results by “4” (there are typically four par 3 holes on a course, multiply the par 4 results by “10” and the par 5 results by “4”. This will ‘normalize’ the results somewhat to a base golf course of par 72.

Best OSU Median
Par 3 12.23 12.75 12.87
Par 4 40.17 41.63 41.26
Par 5 18.29 19.30 19.02
70.69 73.68 73.15


Things begin to clarify once we extrapolate the ‘hole’ scores into the ’round’ scores. Keep in mind the Best In Field and Median Team are different characters each week. Also keep in mind, the above is a composite round; a tournament team score would be the round average times four. (Not exactly, but close enough the point is still valid)

  • Ohio State is about .5 stroke higher that Best In Field on the par 3s. Since the BIF is a different team each week, this isn’t too bad; whoever the BIF team is, Ohio State is very competitive week in and week out.
  • The scoring differential of .14 on the par 4’s really shows in the composite score. Over the course of par 4 play, ten holes, OSU is losing almost 1.5 strokes per round. Per player.
  • The par 5 results are somewhat similar;  they are about 1 stroke higher than the BIF.


Wrap Up

First, I doubt we are dealing with any state secrets here. The coaches have access to the same database as I. More finely parsed, actually.  This is not new stuff to them, nor the players.

  • Based on their good par 3 performance, it appears their short-middle iron play is pretty good.
  • Regarding their par 4 and par 5 results, I’d think one facet that may need brushed up is driving. Based on their solid par 3 performance, the short and mid-iron play is okay, so their shots into the greens should be decently close to the hole. I don’t think iron play is a problem.
  • They make their fair share of birdies and even have a handful of eagles sprinkled in, so putting is not an issue.
  • However, they do make a fair number of double bogeys (and worse).  A possible cause of this is off-line tee shots (believe me, it’s something I’ve been dealing with). It may not be the cause, but as mentioned above, the putting and short-mid iron play seems to be okay.

The OSUMG team is in West Lafayette, IN for the Boilermaker Invitational this weekend. I’ll be out of town for the weekend, so tournament recap will be early next week.

Tomorrow, I’ll “paint by numbers” the OSUWG season.

Go Buckeyes!