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  • Daily Fantasy Golf Research and Strategies: How to Win in PGA

How to Use PGA Statistics

Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

Statistics are quickly becoming the talk of the town in the wonderful world of daily fantasy golf. They are a great indicator of future success, especially when you can determine which statistics are important for the course at which the event is being held each week. This lesson will cover three different types of golf statistics: general statistics, course-specific statistics, and DraftKings’ specific statistics.

The hard part isn’t gathering the statistics on each player; it’s being able to decipher the information and use it to build better lineups. Not all courses are created equal as some favor accuracy, some favor short games, and some favor the long bombers. Researching the course beforehand is critical to identifying which stats are important to use that week. A quick Google search of the tournament will help you find which statistics you should be targeting each week.

My favorite site to use is for statistics is PGAtour.com. They have the most accurate stats of any site that I’ve found, and they are updated weekly. They also have hundreds of different statistics that can be broken down into any type of split that you are looking for (yardage, putting by distance, on or off the fairway, etc.).

Predictive Statistics (Apply to all courses)

A golfer’s total score each week is comprised of two statistics: strokes gained tee to green and strokes gained putting. When combined, the two will tell you exactly how many strokes a player has gained or lost on the field that week. These two statistics are the most predictive of future performance on tour.

Strokes Gained: Tee to Green

“The per-round average of the number of strokes the player was better or worse than the field average on the same course and event minus the player’s strokes gained putting value.”

This is a catchall statistic that really measures a player’s overall tee-to-green game. It’s similar to ball-striking, but it goes a step farther as it also includes shots from off of the fairway and scrambling around the greens. A player with a great tee-to-green game should, in theory, have the ability to strike the ball well on any course.

Strokes Gained: Putting

“The number of putts a player takes from a specific distance is measured against a statistical baseline to determine the player’s strokes gained or lost on a hole. The sum of the values for all holes played in a round minus the field average strokes gained/lost for the round is the player’s Strokes Gained/Lost for that round.”

The old adage “drive for show, putt for dough” applies to everyone, even the pros. A player may be able to knock it within 10 feet, but if he can’t finish off the scoring opportunity, his scoring won’t reflect it.

Great putters can hide the inefficiencies in their tee-to-green game. One example that comes to mind is Freddie Jacobson. He’s ranked near the bottom of the PGA Tour in many categories, but he’s consistently one of the best putters in the game, which is why he’s able to make so many cuts each season.

Course Specific Statistics

Ball Striking

“Ball striking is computed by totaling a player’s rank in both total driving and greens in regulation.”

Before the PGA released the strokes gained tee to green statistic, ball striking was the premier statistic to use to measure a player’s tee to green game. Ball striking combines total driving (accuracy and distance) with greens in regulation. Great ball strikers typically find a lot of fairways and a lot of greens.

Greens in Regulation

“The percentage of times a player was able to hit the green in regulation (greens hit in regulation/holes played).”

Greens in regulation is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the percentage of greens that a player is able to hit in regulation with regulation being defined as on the first shot of a par three, the second shot of a par four, and the third shot of a par five. This is a good statistic to use when driving accuracy isn’t at a premium that week. Even if a player doesn’t hit many fairways, as long as he is hitting greens and giving himself a chance at birdies, that’s all that really matters.

Driving Accuracy

“The percentage of times a tee shot comes to rest in the fairway (regardless of club).”

There are a few courses on the PGA Tour that require great accuracy from players, especially off the tee. When you have tree-lined fairways with water hazards in play, accuracy is a premium over distance off the tee.

Driving Distance

“The average number of yards per measured drive. These drives are measured on two holes per round. Care is taken to select two holes that face in opposite directions to counteract the effect of wind. Drives are measured to the point at which they come to rest regardless of whether they are in the fairway or not.”

There are also courses on tour that favor the bombers. These are typically the tracks that lead the tour in length. When we have these long courses, shorter hitters just don’t stand a chance. Knowing when to employ the bombers is important in daily fantasy golf.

Scrambling

“The percentage of times a player misses the green in regulation but still makes par or better.”

Scrambling is very important some weeks and not as important others. Courses that have greens that are tough to hit require creativity and precision around the greens.

Proximity

“The average distance the ball comes to rest from the hole after the player’s approach shot.”

This is a great statistic to use on courses that have small greens. Proximity measures how close players hit their approach shots. This comes into play on courses where you have to be accurate with your irons. This statistic can be broken down by distance.

Par 3, Par 4, and Par 5 Scoring Average

“The average score on all Par 3’s, Par 4’s, or Par 5’s.”

Finding out which holes are best for scoring at a particular course allows us to target golfers that excel on either Par 3’s, 4’s, or 5’s. Par 5 scoring is the statistic that I use more than the other two as a large part of a player’s score is typically made on the Par 5’s.

DraftKings’ Scoring Statistics

Birdie Average

“The average number of birdies made per round.”

In the introduction to daily fantasy golf, we took a look at DraftKings’ scoring structure. We noted that their scoring places an emphasis on players that can maximize their scoring opportunities. Birdies and eagles are more important than pars. Targeting players with a high birdie average allows us to use DK’s scoring structure to our advantage.

How Many Statistics to Use Each Week

Being able to identify the key statistics to target each week is more of an art than a science, and while it is important to use statistics, I’ve found that the more I use, the less helpful they can be. Outside of the top golfers in the world, there are going to be areas of weakness for most players on tour.

Using 10 statistics each week really waters down the impact of the key statistics that we’ve worked so hard to identify. For that reason, it’s recommended to narrow down your favorite two to five statistics each week. It varies by tournaments, but I typically like to use strokes gained tee to green, strokes gained putting, birdie average and then two of the course-specific statistics that I identify as being important for the week.

Statistics are quickly becoming the talk of the town in the wonderful world of daily fantasy golf. They are a great indicator of future success, especially when you can determine which statistics are important for the course at which the event is being held each week. This lesson will cover three different types of golf statistics: general statistics, course-specific statistics, and DraftKings’ specific statistics.

The hard part isn’t gathering the statistics on each player; it’s being able to decipher the information and use it to build better lineups. Not all courses are created equal as some favor accuracy, some favor short games, and some favor the long bombers. Researching the course beforehand is critical to identifying which stats are important to use that week. A quick Google search of the tournament will help you find which statistics you should be targeting each week.

My favorite site to use is for statistics is PGAtour.com. They have the most accurate stats of any site that I’ve found, and they are updated weekly. They also have hundreds of different statistics that can be broken down into any type of split that you are looking for (yardage, putting by distance, on or off the fairway, etc.).

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About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

Instructor

Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

RotoGrinders.com is the home of the daily fantasy sports community. Our content, rankings, member blogs, promotions and forum discussion all cater to the players that like to create a new fantasy team every day of the week.

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