Will new statistics unlock the secrets of golf?
As I've written this series, I've been haunted by the conversation that I had with former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk. I cornered Furyk as he walked off the driving range, starting in with my usual ShotLink spiel. He started, like many players had, by talking about how greens in regulation is a bogus stat. Then he stopped and looked at me.
"I don't look at that stuff," he said. Then he paused and said, "I know."
I'm kind of slow on the uptake: "Uh, what do you know?"
Furyk was gracious: "I know in my heart what I did on the course that day. If I don't have confidence when standing over a shot, I know that I need to go out and work on it."
He then stepped into a golf cart and drove away.
To hear Michael Agger, Josh Levin, Mike Pesca, and Hanna Rosin discuss Agger's "Moneygolf" series, click the arrow on the audio player below and fast-forward to the 16:35 mark:
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Correction, Aug. 16, 2010: This piece originally and incorrectly stated that the book To the Linksland was published in 2005. It was published in 1992. ( Return to the corrected sentence.)
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Photograph of ShotLink volunteer by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Video of Anthony Kim at the AT&T National © 2009 CBS. All rights reserved. Video of Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational © 2008 NBC. All rights reserved. Putting equation and chart from "How To Catch a Tiger: Understand Putting Perfomance on the PGA Tour," by Douglas Fearing, Jason Acimovic, and Stephen Graves.