Golf is looked at as an individual game. There is no help from teammates and you control your own destiny. However, each player has to play with someone else and it struck me that your playing partner could have a huge effect on your game. So I figured some playing partners must be better than others.
I decided to take the results of this year’s majors and note scores lower than 66. The idea being that to shoot a score lower than 66, the golfer enjoyed the company of his playing partner. I cared 0 about the golfer who shot the low number. The player who was with him is what I paid attention to.
Rounds lower than 66 happened a total of 47 times during the 4 majors. Tiger Woods was with a golfer 3 times who shot 66 or better topping the list. Everyone else on the list was 2 (and there a ton of guys with 1 but they didn’t make the cut). The scoring average of the golfers who were playing with this golfer is the number in parentheses. The lower the score, the better effect that golfer had on his playing partners.
T. Woods – 3 (71.33) 18 scores
P. Mickelson – 2 (71.875) 24 scores
B. Snedeker – 2 (72.7) 20 scores
L. Oosthuizen – 2 (73.58) 24 scores
M. Kaymer – 2 (71.8) 20 scores
B. Grace – 2 (71.9) 22 scores
M. Jones – 2 (72.66) 12 scores
S. Garcia – 2 (70.9) 24 scores
D Johnson – 2 (70.75) 24 scores
H. Stenson – 2 (71.375) 18 scores
B. Horschel – 2 (71.18) 22 scores
T. Fleetwood – 2 (71.71) 14 scores
Horschel and Stenson are only on the list because of Jordan Spieth’s first 2 rounds of the Masters. Louie’s final number got blown up by Tiger and Fowler firing 80 and 81 respectively during the Open’s first round. Tiger’s negative playing has no ill effects on his partners. What does it all mean?
Unfortunately after sifting through all of this data, the results are pretty inconclusive. To start, the premise is probably completely wrong that just because someone shot a round lower than 66 with that playing partner, that it had anything to do with how good of a partner they are. Assuming that actually holds any validity, the results show that you want Dustin Johnson or Sergio Garcia as your playing partner.
Another skewed aspect is that these low golfers also had 24 scores of playing partners, and were near the top of the leader board, which means that they usually play with the best golfers. With these details in mind, I pretty much wasted a ton of time coming up with results that have no significance whatsoever. You’re welcome.