The Data that is powering Golf

Golf, like most major sports, has received a boost from improved data collection and better analytics tools.

Traditionally, data collection in golf has depended largely on officials like the scorer and the green side operators to collect and report, leading to occasional human error impating player scores and positioning.

However, with modern tracking equipment, devices and technology, officials can collect data more accurately and analyse it in real-time to ensure error-free reporting and faster dissemination.

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Golf embraced the power of data collection and analysis with the adoption of the ShotLink system by the PGA.

The ShotLink system was debuted in 2008; it collects real-time data for every shot played and allows for on-the-go analysis. It enables the broadcast of real-time scores, performance metrics and comparative analysis.

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The introduction of the Shotlink system has resulted in a magnanimous change in the way data in Golf is being collected and used now when compared to the traditional means. 

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The Shotlink system has given officials and players great insights into the game, and ushered in an era where the top players rely on it to improve their performance. Officials and Sports Analysts use ShotLink metrics to determine the performance of players in various categories. With ShotLink data, golfers have been able to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and modify their training to improve their game.

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Dustin Johnson is currently at #1 in the OWGR over 27 weeks.

Analytics helped him find his weakness was wedge shots (short-distance shots with greater height, often to tackle hazards or get the ball onto the green).

By focussing on wedge shots and training to improve them, he was able to significantly improve them.

His rankings for 'Approaches from 50-125 yards', which depends on wedge shots, rose sharply since he first employed analytics.

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This Report was prepared by Kaushal Rao, RAP (Redwood Apprenticeship Programme) Intern, Redwood Algorithms; with assistance from Shefali Mahender, Digital Analytics Consultant, Redwood Algorithms; Megha Malpani, Digital Analytics Consultant, Redwood Algorithms; under the guidance of Rajdeep Dutta, Head, Redwood Knowledge Centre.

Sources:, ShotLink, retrieved 2017 Aug 22, PGA Tour, retrieved 2017 Aug 22, Official World Golf Ranking, retrieved 2017 Aug 22, GeekWire, retrieved 2017 Aug 22, GolfWeek, retrieved 2017 Aug 22