Sizing up the Green Jacket for 2017

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
Rory Mcilroy 1 6 1 8
Dustin Johnson 2 3 6 11
Sergio Garcia 18 24 13 55
Hideki Matsuyama 23 36 2 61
Jon Rahm 21 20 27 68

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

 

What makes the 12th at Augusta so difficult?

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