Years ago, I was lucky enough to join a special golf club that had a well-earned reputation as the most difficult test in our area. Golf soon became my passion and I was pleased to invite friends and clients to experience the course that I loved. Before their 1st round, I would offer my guests a standard wager. I would have them choose a score 5 to 10 shots above their conceivable scoring max. I would bet $10 that they could not break that lofty number. For the extra cocky, I would also bet that they could not avoid at least one double bogey. How difficult is my course? In 30+ years, I have NEVER LOST either of those wagers.
Just imagine how Concession members could cash in on a wager like this! Not to mention the number of lost balls or sleeves of balls. I couldn’t help but think of the time it might take a foursome of average golfers to finish. Including out of bounds and/or balls hit out of play, Concession appeared to be just about the most challenging driving course EVER. The breaks in the healthy vegetation featured problematic water off the tee on NINE holes.
To bolster my point, I dug into exactly how the 71 top Tour players handled Concession. I had my genius program extract two important stats from the ShotLink data that do not appear in the Tour’s stats:
- Driving Errors: Penalty results this week were more than twice the Tour’s 2020 season average. .40/round vs. .19/round for the 2020 season. This means that on average the best 71 players on Tour had 1.6 drives result in a penalty* situation during their 4 rounds at Concession while the entire field of the 2020 Tour would have had only .8 such driving errors every four rounds. *Penalty = OB, Lost or Penalty area requiring 1 stroke penalty and drop.
- Short Game Errors**: These were also twice the Tour’s 2020 season average. 4.2% of shot attempts resulted in errors vs. 2.1% for the 2020 season. Below are the main Around the Green (Short Game Tour stats). NOTHING about these stats would lead me to believe that the FIELD had any such dramatic problems around the greens. If you watched, as I did, you understand my point.
**Short Game Error = Shot attempts from within 50 yards of the hole (Chip/Pitch or Sand). The shot MISSES the green AND requires 4 or more TOTAL strokes to hole out.