(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. Yesterday, we ran through some season-to-date numbers for the men’s team. Today, we do the same for the women’s team.
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.
First, we’ll look at the “par” scoring; par 3, par 4 and par 5, below:
The par 3 scoring is somewhat interesting. In two of OSU’s seven events, the Buckeyes actually had the best par 3 scoring in the field. The issues is that in three other events, they averaged around 3.30 strokes, worse than Median teams. When you’re hot, you’re hot – when you’re not, well…
The par 4 scoring appears to be an issue. Interestingly, like the men’s team, they are also .14 stroke higher than Best In Field. Again, played over 10 holes in a round, it makes a difference.
The par 5 scoring appears to be another issue. They are closer to the MT than they are the BIF. In the seven events, the BIF team, in every case, averaged below par. Ohio State averaged under par in only three events, so looks like an area of opportunity. Since there are only four par 5s per round, it’s not that much of an issue, but still an area that is probably being addressed.
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.
Things begin to fall into place 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 that the point is still valid)
- Ohio State is about .6 stroke higher that Best In Field on the par 3s. Since the BIF is a different team each week, this isn’t too bad. As mentioned above, for two of their events, OSU was BIF. However, they had several rounds where they couldn’t get the ball close to the hole.
- The scoring differential of .13 on the par 4’s really shows in the composite score. Over the course of par 4 play, ten holes, OSU is losing over 1.3 strokes per round. Per player.
- The par 5 results are interesting. The differential between BIF and OSU is small per hole (.16) and since we only play four par 5s, it’s probably not that much of a round-breaker.
First, we are not 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 par 3 performance, it is pretty safe to say there appear to be some inconsistencies to be “ironed” out. When they are on their game, they are Best In Class; when not, it’s Median’ish.
- I’m not sure what to make of the par 4 results, other than, if you look at their round by round, they are improving. In their first four rounds they averaged 4.28 strokes. In their last three rounds, it was 4.13. Were the last three events held on easier courses? I don’t think so; the difference in scores between the first and second half of the season (so far) of .15 is larger than the season spread between BIF and OSU. I think it’s improvement in play.
- I think the par 5 performance mirrors that of the par 3s. Ohio State plays them decently well, but on four of their seven rounds, their average score was higher than the MT average score.
- They can run hot and string together runs of birdie holes, but there is also a tendency to string together several bogeys.
The OSUWG team will be hosts this weekend for the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational. The venue is the OSU Golf Club – Scarlet Course. I’ll be out of town for the weekend, so tournament recap will be early next week.