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CDW renews with PGA TOUR as ShotLink presenting sponsor

CDW, the presenting sponsor of the ShotLink scoring system, has renewed its marketing partnership with the PGA TOUR for four more years.

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Riccio of Columbia University wins first ShotLink Intelligence prize

The PGA TOUR and Official Technology Partner CDW announced that Dr. Lucius Riccio, a Senior Lecturer in Discipline at Columbia Business School, has won the inaugural ShotLink Intelligence Prize for his paper on determining the TOUR’s best long approach shot ball strikers, based on ShotLink data. By authoring the winning paper, Riccio has earned a $25,000 technology gift for Columbia from CDW.

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Hot Shot

CHALLENGING CONVENTIONAL WISDOM often leaves statheads underappreciated, not to mention undercompensated. So in conjunction with the PGA TOUR, I'm happy to announce some rewarding news: Lou Riccio, who teaches business analytics at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, has won the first ShotLink Intelligence Prize, awarded by the TOUR and technology partner CDW for the best new application of shot data to golf science.

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Why Scientists Love to Study Golf: The Game Is Well-Suited to Academic Research—Just Wire Up the Players; Secret of the 'Quiet Eye'

Among the things I learned at the World Scientific Congress of Golf last week in Phoenix: A golf swing becomes automatic only once it's safely lodged in the brain's basal ganglia. The Official World Golf Rankings are significantly biased against members of the PGA Tour. And researchers are divided on the relative contribution to club-head speed of wrist flexion/extension and ulnar/radial deviation. (If you don't quite grasp that last one, don't worry. I won't be coming back to it.)

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Strokes Gained: PGA TOUR Golfer Performance

So what does Strokes Gained tell us about PGA TOUR Player Performance? The PGA TOUR has recently begun publishing Strokes Gained – Putting statistics on its website. The PGA TOUR has not yet however endorsed the Strokes Gained (SG) methodology for use beyond the putting green. The PGA TOUR has however released the raw ShotLink data to a number of researchers. Mark Broadie is one of these researchers and has performed extensive SG analyses of all facets of the golf game (i.e. drives, approaches, chips, sand shots, putts, etc).

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Golf Analytics Competition Offers Tech Prize to Colleges

The PGA TOUR and CDW will award $25,000 to the university that produces the best research paper on golf analytics

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ShotLink Is Making Golf Easier For Hacks And Harder For Pros

In the not-so-distant past, professional golf was a game of very few metrics and statistics. You had driving distance, which was, at times, an estimated guess. You had things like “greens in regulation” and “putts per round.” But that was it. Those stats didn’t tell the full story. You could have a player who hit every green in regulation, but was 50 feet away each time, which wouldn’t help his score.

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PGA TOUR Looks Skyward for Improvements to its ShotLink System

Because the basics of golf—hitting a small ball a long distance into a small cup—have not changed since its accepted genesis in 15th century Scotland, the game seems timeless.

But a lot of development has, in fact, taken place, particularly within the last 40 years or so.

Equipment technology, including club design and composition is high-tech in every regard.

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ShotLink reveals some interesting statistics

The PGA TOUR has run a series of commercials this past year that winds up with the line, "These guys are good."

No one will question that, especially if you caught some of the "Best of Tiger Woods" highlights on the Golf Channel last week. It's still difficult to believe that he could hit a 6-iron some 205 yards out of a bunker, over trees and water to within 15 feet of the pin.

But if you read the stats produced by ShotLink ... it doesn't back up the TOUR's main theme.

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Economist studies PGA TOUR stats

Despite changes in technology that eliminated high-spin grooves on golf clubs, the scores of PGA TOUR golfers actually improved the following season.

"Following the technology ban, golfers employed more cautious strategies that in many cases improved their scores substantially by increasing the likelihood their ball would reach the green,” sports economist Todd McFall said.

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