The 2017 Masters kicks off today and since all golf fans enjoy making a prediction on who will win the first major of the season we have delved into some of the key statistics to try and pick out some potential winners. Looking at the previous years at Augusta National, there are a few statistics that stand out amongst others as being important to having a strong week. The first of these is Average Driving Distance, Augusta has always been a course that favours long hitters and this year will be no different, especially if the wet forecast is to be believed. A second key stat is average proximity to the hole with approach shots, hitting greens is important at every tournament, however, with the extreme difficulty of getting the ball up and down at Augusta it makes hitting greens paramount. The third and final statistic that will be used to predict this year’s green jacket winner is Par 5 scoring average, the par 5’s at Augusta are all reachable in two and therefore it is imperative that you take advantage of the par 5’s over the week.
It may come as a surprise that a putting statistic is not included when trying to predict this year’s winner, however, putting is actually of less importance at Augusta than it is other weeks on tour. This was shown in 2014 with Bubba Watson not even ranking in the top 10 for putting on his route to victory.
In order to make our predictions, we tallied together the 2017 stat ranking for each player in average driving distance, average proximity to the hole and Par 5 scoring average.
And here are the top 5 predictions from our formula:
|Player||Driving Distance||Proximity to the hole||Par 5 Scoring Average||Total|
Do you think we’ve picked a winner? Let us know who you’re backing for the green jacket in the comments below.
Happy Master week!
– Ally Millar, Commercial Assistant
The 12th hole at Augusta, known as The Golden Bell, is the shortest hole on the course,t measuring just 155-yards. However, what this hole lacks in length, it certainly makes up for in difficulty. The 12th has claimed its fair share of Masters hopefuls over the years and with a stroke average of 3.28 showing just how difficult the world’s elite have found this little par 3. Jack Nicklaus even claimed that the 12th is the hardest hole on tour.
So, what makes this par 3 so difficult? First of all, the hole is protected by water at the front of the green meaning anything short will tumble back down into the water. It has bunkers at the front and back which both leave difficult up and downs. However, the main difficulty of the short par 3 is the tricky swirling winds that it produces, with players finding it almost impossible to judge the direction and speed of the wind. Tiger Woods once stated that he picks how far he wants to hit the ball, selects the club and then hopes he doesn’t get a gust of wind. This shows just how difficult it is to select the right club. However, executing the tee shot is not the end of the difficulty, the green is also one of the hardest on the course to read due to the shade created by the overhanging trees.
It is fair to say that The Golden Bell has provided plenty of drama and unforgettable moments over the years and we look forward to seeing what will unfold at the little par 3 this year.
You still have time to enter the Shot Scope Masters competition over on our Facebook. Just tell us, in the comments on the pinned post, how many birdies you think will be on the 12th at this year’s Masters for your chance to win a Shot Scope!
– Ally Millar, Commercial Assistant
On Thursday the top names in Scottish golf descended on the beautiful Prestonfield House to raise funds for the Stephen Gallacher Foundation. Shot Scope were delighted to be there and supporting the great work of Stephen’s foundation.
The evening started off with a game of HIT or MISS, where we predicted the outcome of some tricky golf shots and some difficult rugby conversions, featuring Stuart Hogg himself, to win a magnum of champagne.
The rest of the evening was spent listening to the panel on stage talk about their careers, predictions for upcoming tournaments and a grilling of fellow Tour pros! The on-stage panel was made up of two winning Ryder Cup captains, Bernard Gallacher and Sam Torrance, alongside Stephen Gallacher and Paul Lawrie who all took part in a Q&A hosted by Dougie Donnelly.
Dougie Donnelly asked each golfer who the greatest player they every played with was…
Bernard Gallacher: Jack Nicklaus. He “only played to win Majors, not make money.”
Stephen Gallacher: Tiger Woods. “I could see in ’95 he was something special, he has revolutionised the game.” Gallacher hopes to see Woods return but isn’t convinced that the former World Number 1 will be able to make a comeback. “It all rests on the Masters” said Gallacher on the night, which doesn’t bode well now that Tiger has withdrawn from the tournament.
Sam Torrance: Jack Nicklaus. Torrance once told Nicklaus that “in the 400 Majors I’ve won in my sleep, you were the runner-up every time.”
Paul Lawrie: Tiger Woods was “the most talented I’ve ever played against.” Rory McIlroy is the “most talented of this generation.” Lawrie’s high praise echoes his previous comments at the Scottish Golf Show when he predicted McIlroy to win the 2017 Masters.
With over 400 guests, a live and a silent auction and such high profile speakers the night was always bound to be a success. In the end the evening raised nearly £85,000 for the foundation which will go a long way to continuing their fantastic work with junior golfers.
Thank you to Stephen for holding such a fantastic event, to our guests for joining us on the evening and the hosts who made the night such an enjoyable one! We were delighted to support the work of the foundation and contributing to the future of junior golf in Scotland.
With the WGC – Mexico Championship being held at Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City, there has been greater talk of the effect of altitude on the golf ball than ever before. The Chapultepec Golf Club sits 7,835 feet above sea level at its highest point, thereby making it the highest PGA Tour venue of all time.
Most golfers have an understanding that the ball flies further when playing at altitude and this is true. The ball will carry a greater distance at altitude due to the decrease in air density which therefore makes it easier for the ball to fly through the air. The exact impact on distance is hard to calculate however a rough calculation shows that the ball will fly an extra 9%, compared to sea level, at the Chapultepec Golf Club.
The increase in distance this week was evident in round one with there being 39 drives over 350 yards and a longest drive of 387 yards by Jhonattan Vegas. More startling perhaps though was the distance that irons were being hit, with Dustin Johnson hitting a 2-iron pin high with his tee shot on a 332-yard par 4.
Although many of you will be sitting thinking that an extra 9% distance to your shots would be great, it also comes with its difficulties. Along with the increased distance, the ball also flies at a lower trajectory making the ball harder to stop on the green. On top of this, the altitude also makes clubbing much more difficult as the extra distance you get can depend greatly on the type of shot you hit and the distance each shot goes can vary greatly. The difficulty of clubbing was highlighted by Thomas Pieters who, in practice, hit one 9-iron 190 metres and the next 9-iron 160 metres.
So before everyone starts looking for a new golf course at altitude, just remember, the extra distance also comes with its fair share of difficulties.
– Ally Millar, Commerical Assistant
Team Shot Scope were an official sponsor of the Scottish Golf Awards in Edinburgh on Friday the 24th of February for a fantastic evening celebrating the achievements of the Scottish golfing community.
Congratulations to Hannah McCook – the winner of the Women’s Order of Merit after a stunning 2016 performance with two top-10 finishes and a solid performance all season.
Was good to dream for a night that one of us was lifting the real Claret Jug in triumph…! Great to catch up with Scottish golfing legends who have brought so much success to the Home of Golf, from Paul Lawrie to Stephen Gallacher.
Huge thank you to Scottish Golf for a wonderful event, we’re looking forward to another fantastic golf season in 2017.
A new year, a new you. Forget about all those three putts, sliced drives and chunked wedges. It’s time to dust off your clubs, stock up on tees and get practicing. Here are some of the goals the Shot Scope team have made for next season.
David Hunter – CEO & Founder, Handicap 6
Golfing Goal – “Play more and to break 85″
Gavin Dear – Chief Commercial Officer, Handicap +2
Golfing Goal – “If my work schedule allows, return to play in the Scottish Amateur Championship at Prestwick”
Jamie Binning – Commercial Executive, Handicap 2
Golfing Goal – “To play more competitive golf and to have a make percentage of 70% or above for putts inside 6ft”
Rachael McQueen – Community Engagement Executive, Professional LETAS
Golfing Goal – “I need to decide whether to continue my golf career as a Professional or return to the amateur ranks”
Neil McGregor – Commercial Assistant, Handicap 4
Golfing Goal – “To get my handicap down to 3 and to try and win my Club Championships”
Ally Millar – Commercial Assistant, Handicap 23
Golfing Goal – “To play at least twice a week and bring my handicap down”
Leading golf performance tracking brand Shot Scope has announced it is to exhibit at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida in January.
Since first coming to market in January 2016, Shot Scope has established itself as the first and only performance tracking system that collects data automatically, without disrupting play due to the need to tag or sync with a phone.
More than half a dozen employees from the Edinburgh-based company will be on the brand’s 400 sq ft booth to educate qualified golf industry professionals about the benefits of the Shot Scope system.
“We’re excited to continue riding the momentum that the brand has generated since coming to market almost a year ago, and we look forward to expanding our business on a global scale next year,” commented Shot Scope CEO David Hunter.
“With a significantly larger booth this year, the show will once again provide us with a fantastic opportunity to showcase the industry’s first ever automatic, wearable performance tracking system,” continued Hunter.
To book an appointment at the booth (#2063), please email email@example.com. For more information on Shot Scope, visit www.shotscope.com.
Manufactured entirely in the UK, Shot Scope’s smart, wearable technology is more intuitive and comprehensive than any other current market offering, with the patented system enabling players to track their progress based on more than just their score.
With the overriding goal of improving the way in which both amateur and professional golfers collect and analyse statistics from their game, Shot Scope is the first fully automated performance tracking system for golf.
Thomas Bjorn will become the first Dane, and the first Scandinavian, to lead Team Europe at the next edition of the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris France, from September 28th – 30th 2018.
Chosen by the five-man selection panel comprising of the three most recent European Ryder Cup Captains – Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Jose Maria Olazabal – as well as the Chief Executive of the European Tour, Keith Pelley, and European Tour Tournament Committee member Henrik Stenson, 45-year-old Bjorn will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role of team captain. According to the 2010 European Team Captain Colin Montgomerie, Bjorn was the “obvious choice” for the role. He said, “’I saw first-hand what he was like as a vice-captain in 2010, and he was exceptional. We need to win the Ryder Cup back in France, and I feel we’ve got the best captain to do that.”
Having featured in three victorious European Ryder Cup teams as a player, namely Valderrama in 1997, The Belfry in 2002 and at Gleneagles in 2014, Bjorn understands the pressures of playing in such a heated environment. Moreover, Bjorn has also served as a vice-captain on four previous occasions – most recently under Darren Clarke in the defeat to Team USA at Hazeltine this year. As well as possessing an impressive Ryder Cup record, Bjorn has also had a stellar individual career having amassed 15 European Tour wins over a 20-year career.
On the announcement of his new role, Bjorn said, “It’s a huge honour for me to be named European captain for The 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris. This is one of the greatest days in my career.”
Given Bjorn’s history with the Ryder Cup, as well as the respect he has garnered through his development of the European Tour as Chairman of the Tournament Committee, a role he has held since 2007, it is difficult to argue with the appointment with Bjorn as the next European Team Captain.
However, despite his glowing CV, Bjorn can at times be a feisty character – a trait he demonstrated in 2006 with an outburst at being left out of Ian Woosnam’s European Team. As such it will be interesting to see how he engages with his team, as well as the media. Additionally, Bjorn has previous experience of captaining a team having captained a strong Continental Europe Team in the 2009 Seve Trophy. Despite having the likes of Miguel Angel Jimenez, Francesco Molinari and Henrik Stenson at his disposal, Bjorn suffered a heavy defeat to the GB&I team losing 16.5 to 11.5.
Bjorn has no doubt learned from his previous experience of captaining a team, as well as having the benefit of the tutelage of Clarke and co. from successful Ryder Cup battles. As such, I am confident he remains the right man for the role. Indeed, now his appointment has been announced, I can’t wait to follow the twists and turns of the European Tour over the next few seasons to see who Bjorn will be taking with him to Le Golf National to try and win back the Ryder Cup.
By Neil McGregor , Commercial Assistant at Shot Scope