Predicted Approach Distance - Course Fit

Cool new feature.

Didn’t see anything about it before I found it.

Interesting that at the furthest yardages (200+) the long hitters have that number much more often, I’m inferring that there are alot of middle distance par 5’s that the short guys can’t reach but the long guys can. Kind of sets up long hitters for the win on this course and we are seeing that happen.

I remember from an older blog post that short par 5’s and really long par 5’s don’t really favour anyone, so this course with reachable ones for the long hitters and not for the shortest ones must really favour this group of guys.

I love golf stats and thanks again for another cool feature.


Agreed. Awesome feature.


Question for @matt_courchene or @will_courchene:

Is this “approach shot distance bucket” prediction data being used in the model? If so, for how long has it been incorporated? Thanks.

Not in the model. When we started working on this, I thought we’d do it for approach, around-the-green, and putting, and would then add it to the model. But turns out this was harder to do than I thought, so it’s still a work in progress. The approach stuff is good now… but putting / arg are trickier. It has also been harder to add to our update flow than expected, so that’s been annoying.

But I am still optimistic that this kind of analysis can improve our course fit estimates. It’s always bugged me that we don’t really make any adjustments across courses for players’ approach / short-game / putting. But I think this approach could help on that front: our old approach answers the question ‘do good approach players player better at this course than elsewhere’, while this new approach could answer ‘do good wedge players play better at this course than elsewhere’. And given that courses do vary a lot in their typical approach distances for players I think the latter question should pick something up. The other important part to this though is whether we can meaningfully estimate players’ skills in specific distance buckets. That has been one of the issues with putting; it’s so noisy that it can be hard to estimate players’ skills at e.g. <5 foot putts versus >5 foot putts.