SABERMETRICS COMES TO GOLF. The Wall Street Journal (March 12) had an article on a new measurement for putting success of professional golfers devised at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. The statistic takes into account the relative difficulty of the green based on average performance, the relative strength of the field and the distance of the putt. (By the way, the average number of putts for a Tour pro from ten feet on the average course is 1.63. It’s at thirty feet that the average is about 2.0.) By the new metric, Luke Donald comes in #1 and Tiger Woods is #2. It’s nice to see that the article pays tribute to Bill James (“Together with other new statistics being developed by MIT and other academic institutions, “putts gained” could open up a new frontier in golf record-keeping and performance analysis comparable to the sea change in baseball statistics following Bill James’s pioneering work in the 1970s and 1980s.”)

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