PGA – MY 2012 FRANKENGOLFER
If you could be any PGA golfer, who would you be, and why?
This is not an easy question for me to answer. I can’t choose just one.
There are many PGA players who do certain things really well, but I can’t think of just one player who consistently excelled (overall) in all areas of their game in 2012.
So, I’ve decided to piece together my own “Frankengolfer”, containing certain attributes of different players into one.
My version looks something like this:
- Driving Accuracy – Hunter Mahan
- Short game – Rory McIlroy
- Bunker play – Jim Furyk
- Putting – Brandt Snedeker
Driving Accuracy –
First, in driving the ball off the tee, distance is really important to me, but I also want to be accurate. There’s nothing more discouraging than starting off by hitting the ball into the rough (or worse).
So, when I look at 2012’s statistics, I want to find a player who hits it far, but made the fairway a good amount of the time.
I first notice that most of the top 20 longest hitters on the tour last year (over 300 yds) also had subpar accuracy.
For example, Bubba had the longest driver on tour last year, hitting an average of 315.55 yds. But, his accuracy only ranked #125 out of 191 top PGA players.
Only Graham Delaet & Keegan Bradley hit the ball on average over 300 yards and had more than 60% accuracy. (Delaet – 60.4) (Keegan – 61.7)
So I need to find a player who hits less than 300 yards on average and is super accurate.
Louis Oosthuizen is a good candidate. He hit the ball 299.5 yards on average and had 62.4 accuracy.
Justin Rose also looks good to me as well. He had a driving accuracy of 65.8. But, he only drove the ball an average of 290.9 yards, about 25 yards shorter than Bubba.
Lee Westwood had better length off the tee than Rose (298.1 yards) and decent accuracy (62.2).
Still, I think I can do better.
Bingo: Hunter Mahan. His average length was 293.1 yards last year. And, his driving accuracy was ranked #17 – 67.7, best out of any guy hitting more than 290 yards. He seems to have harnessed his power well without nuking the ball while still being accurate.
So, I’ll take decent yardage with more accuracy. Hunter will then become the driving portion of my Frankengolfer.
Short Game –
Now that I’ve channeled Hunter and put myself in decent position on the fairway, I need to get that ball on the green close to the hole.
In looking at the stats, Rory McIlroy had the best short game in the sport last year.
Think about this: Rory ranked 60th out of 190 players in the category of “Greens in Regulation” and 156th in “Driving Accuracy”.
Yet, he also ranked 4th in Par 3 Birdies and Par 4 Birdies, had the most Birdie Conversions, and the 6th highest number of Eagles on the tour last year.
He also had the lowest average score (68.87). And, Rory tied for most top 10 finishes (10).
These stats are pretty crazy, considered his accuracy issues off the tee. No wonder he finished #1 in the world. Short game, my friends. We all obviously, want to be this guy while in the rough.
So, I’m taking Rory for the short game portion of my Frankengolfer.
Bunker Play –
If for some reason I’m in a bunker during one of my rounds (which is a high probability), I want to be Jim Furyk. In 2012, he had some great stats out of the sand, overall better than any other player on the tour.
For instance, in “Scrambling from Sand”, Furyk ranked 1st with a success rate of 70.59%; he was 3rd in “Sand Save Percentage” (behind Blixt & Chalmers), with a 65.15% success rate; 5th in “Sand Saves from 20-30 yards”, making 22 of 32 saves; and 6th in “Sand Saves from 30+ yards”, making 5 of 8 attempts.
In this area, Chalmers and Blixt & Rose ranked high, but none more consistently than Furyk. Yeah, he’s the Bunker portion of my Frankengolfer.
So, if I’ve successfully gotten my ball out of the bunker and up onto the green, I want to be Brandt Snedeker when it’s time to putt. His 2012 numbers are ridiculous in all categories of this area.
For instance, he finished ranked 1st last year in a new PGA stat called “Strokes Gained-Putting”. By definition, this stat measures: “the number of putts a golfer takes relative to the PGA Tour average, taking into account the initial putt distance on each green.”
Snedeker also ranked 2nd in “Total Putting”, behind Luke Donald ; 2nd in “Putting Average”, behind Jonas Blixt; 2nd in “Birdie or Better Conversion Percentage”, behind Rory; 2nd in Puts Made Distance, behind Ben Crane; 3rd in Puts Made Per Event Over ‘10, behind Luke Donald; 2nd in Average Distance of Putts Made, behind Ben Crane; 2nd in Putting per Hole, behind Jonas Blixt; and 2nd Puts Per Round, behind Jonas Blixt.
The Finished Product.
So, there you have the players I’ve built into my Frankengolfer, based on last year’s statistics.
Now all I have to do is actually get out onto the golf course and mentally be each one of those guys when the time comes. Well, that is, after the snow melts and I shake off all the rust…
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