9 Holes with a Golf Expert -- Part 3: First Three Holes Statistical Analysis
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Recap from Last Time
† Stay in the present. In the course of a round, accept you'll make some bad shots and perhaps have some bad holes. What has happened can't be changed. How you react to it can affect your future shots.
†In the opening holes, play conservatively; don't take uneccessary risks. How you play the opening holes sets the tone for the rest of the round.
First 3 Holes
Well, I couldn't hold off. I had to do the statistical analysis of how the opening hole scores are related to the final total score. I analyzed about 1700 scores from my home course Men's Night. Handicaps ranged from +2 - 35. I compared the average total net score of the first 3 holes with the final total net score. This is what I found.
For the first 3 hole net total scores over par, 90% resulted in total NET scores over par. This would suggest shooting over net par on the opening holes almost always results in shooting over net par for the total round. Likewise, scoring at a net 75 pace or higher on the first three holes results in a total net score of net 75 or higher 82% of the time. Now part of this relationship might be due to the fact that those golfers not playing well on the first three holes do so because they just aren't playing well that day and continue to not play well.
Of the scores analyzed, 72% had over net par starts. This would indicate that the opeing holes at Salmon Arm Golf Club are difficult. The handicap ratings for the first three holes are 3, 9 and 7, respectively, thus confirming that they are difficult.
Of those golfers that shot lower than net par on the first three holes, 32% shot under net par total while 68% shot over net par total. Playing well at the beginning doesn't as likely lead to a good score as playing poorly leads to a poor score.
I think these statistics indicate that the opening holes do influence how one plays for the rest of the round. That's why I encourage you to play conservatively on the opening holes. Don't take uneccessary risks. Of course it would be nice if you could shrug off a poor start and not let it affect your game. Unfortunately, the "confidence bubble" for most of us is quite thin and delicate.
I'll see if I can get a hold of some PGA tournament scores and do a similar analysis with those. If so, that'll be the topic of my next newsletter. Otherwise, I'll continue with my "playing lessons" and the next few holes.
Hole #4 is the #1 handicap stroke hole. We'll find out why next time. Take a look at it in the mean time. Send me some feedback or ask some questions before I put out the next newsletter. Use this simple
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