Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Golf Predictor to Wind Down

It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing the cessation of Golf Predictor as a public enterprise at the conclusion of the 2020 GP season (calendar year). In more than twelve years of assiduously producing statistics for European and US PGA Tour events for the public, I have processed:

  1. 209,846 tournament result records (from 1556 tournaments) since 2003.
  2. 151,658 tournament field stats (aka prediction) records (from 1094 tournaments) since 2008.
  3. 6,360 golfers.

Unfortunately the time has come to call it a day. It had to happen sometime and the difficult decision to end this labour of love has been arrived at due to the following reasons:

 

  1. Like myself, the technology behind Golf Predictor is ageing! While, it was the latest and greatest back in 2007 when I started the project, the technology is now somewhat out of date. Unfortunately, I have neither the time nor inclination to rewrite the entire site using the latest technology (see following points).
  2. My main hope for Golf Predictor was to make a living from it and to be able to devote my time full-time to it. Unfortunately, that never came to pass and I had to develop and run the site in my spare time, while maintaining a day job to pay the bills. This is not feasible in the long term, now that my personal circumstances have changed.
  3. While I developed a complex website with many great stats and features, I have always struggled to get enough users to make it viable as anything more than a hobby. This is true (and personally very disappointing!) even in the past year when I made the site free for all users. Unfortunately, this makes both the current site and an entire site rewrite unviable.
  4. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single minute of what must be thousands of hours spent on developing and enhancing Golf Predictor over the years. However, the ongoing weekly tasks have become a grind in recent times as more and more data has been imported into the site. On a typical week with two tournaments, I now have to source, process and import up to fifteen data feeds all on my own time.
  5. There is an almost year round weekly commitment to running Golf Predictor, which can be difficult. I haven't missed a single week of producing stats in over twelve years, which amounts to all 1092 events on both major tours from the 2008 Masters on. This task was carried out even when ill, on holidays, during family funerals and even my own wedding and honeymoon! During the Coronavirus lock down earlier this year, I enjoyed the absence of the weekly grind and this probably influenced my decision to call it quits now.
  6. Despite my best efforts and producing what I think is a good quality golf feed with over 40,000 posts, I have failed to build up a significant enough social media presence to possibly make the entire enterprise viable.
  7. Since the first major I covered was the 2008 Masters, it's only fitting that the last major I covered was the 2020 Masters!
  8. The end of the GP Season (calendar year) is the most logical time to stop.

 

I'd like to thank sincerely all the users of the site down through the years, in particular all the subscribers in the first eleven years and the generous donors in the last year of operation. All unused portions of donations will be returned in due course and I have disabled the log in and registration pages on the site.

 

I hope those few of you that registered or subscribed/donated found Golf Predictor useful over the years - I certainly did. Using the site to pick golfers (normally in the 40/1 to 80/1 range), I managed to make money long-term from the bookies, something that is not easy to do. I was delighted to finish on a high note with a 60/1 Antoine Rozner win the other week in Dubai. However, at the small stakes I bet at, this betting wouldn't fund my retirement either!


Now, if anyone is interested in purchasing a catchy domain name, an ageing website or a quality database of all the results* on the European and US PGA Tours since 2003, please let me know via the Contact GP page!

 

So long, and thanks for all the fish. 😀


*I also have a large amount of world ranking, strokes gained, bookmaker odds and DraftKings data!



Sunday, 13 December 2020

2020 Golf Predictor Betting/Tipping Summary

Another golf year has finished and it's time to report on the 2020 Golf Predictor bets/tips. It was a strange year due to the Coronavirus, which meant a lengthy lay off period, followed by many rearranged and new tournaments. This did not make the job of backing golfers any easier, but I am delighted to report that despite an horrendous first two thirds to the year, I was able to finish very strongly to record a modest profit. The distribution of my winning bets (places/outright wins) during the year is shown below:


2020 bets - Winning bets (Places/Wins)

 

This clearly shows the aforementioned brutal period up until September and solid finish there after. A similar chart below shows the  amount won with the winning bets over the full year:

 

2020 bets - Winning bets (Units won)

 

Based on a one unit each way bet in each case, the basic stats for my year of betting/tipping are as follows:

 

Bets: 158
Outright Wins 2 Catlin, Ireland (40/1), Rozner, Dubai (60/1)
Places 22 15 full, 7 dead heat
Withdrew 1 Soderberg, Irish Open
Total outlay: 316
Total Win: 336.66
Profit 20.66*
Profit Margin 6.54%

 

As you can see, despite only two wins and fifteen full places (and seven more partial, or dead heat, places), I still managed to turn a profit in 2020. That is because my betting strategy of predominately backing golfers in the 40/1 to 80/1 range doesn't need a high strike rate to be profitable, as I have demonstrated this year. Picking three or four golfers per event at these odds or above only requires one golfer to place to turn a profit and the occasional win can deliver a serious return. The chart below shows the odds distribution of my bets this year:


2020 bets - Odds Distribution

 

113 (71.5%) of my bets this year were in the 40/1 to 80/1 range, with just 21 (13.3%) at prices less than that. Of those shorter than 40/1, only 2 (1.3% of total) were less than 30/1 (a couple of 28/1 shots). The remainder of my bets were long shots with the highest price being 150/1.


Interestingly, the breakdown of my wins by tour shows that I landed far more places on the US PGA Tour, but no wins. The converse is true on the European Tour, where despite a measly three places all year, I did also manage to land my two wins at decent enough odds:


2020 bets - Winning bets (Places/Wins by Tour)

That meant that I made almost the same amount off both tours in 2020, as this final chart shows:


2020 bets - Winning bets (Units won by Tour)


The profit this year means that, over the longer term, I remain significantly ahead of the bookies. My performance this year also shows the importance of being in it for the long haul. Everyone has fallow patches, but it is possible to overcome them with patience if you have a decent betting strategy.



*Notes: I stuck with one bookie for convenience. If I used an odds checking site and multiple accounts, I probably would have have increased my profit by around 15 to 20 points.



2020 - Week 50 Winner

Matthew Fitzpatrick (ranked 5th by Golf Predictor) won the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai on the European PGA Tour. The 26 year old Englishman won his sixth tour title and first for two years with a great finish in Dubai. Fitzpatrick came out of the traps quickly on Sunday with four straight birdies to spreadeagle a bunched leaderboard and was never really threatened after that. However, he was pipped to the Race to Dubai title after Lee Westwood finished one shot back in second place. Our top ranked player, Patrick Reed, didn't play well over the weekend, but still finished tied third with an incredible display of short game skills. Overall, we had a very healthy fourteen of the top twenty plus ties (14/22) in this limited field event.

 

There was no event on the US PGA Tour this week.

Monday, 7 December 2020

2020 - Week 50 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions/statistics for this week, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai (European PGA Tour),are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the last event of the the year on the European PGA Tour and although no top Europeans like Rory McIlroy or Jon Rahm this year, there is still a decent quality field in Dubai. American major champions Patrick Reed and Collin Morikawa headline the small field for the season finale.

 

There is no event on the US PGA Tour this week.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

2020 - Week 49 Winners

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (ranked 1st by Golf Predictor) won the South African Open on the European PGA Tour. The 26 year old South African won his first home open and second tour title in a row at Sun City. Leading overnight by five shots, Bezuidenhout's advantage was cut to two strokes by Jamie Donaldson after a slow start by the South African. However, a birdie burst just after the turn allowed him to steady the ship and he had regained his overnight advantage by the end. Bezuidenhout was our top ranked golfer and we had nine of the top eighteen plus ties (9/19) in total. 

 

Antoine Rozner (ranked 3th by Golf Predictor) won the Golf in Dubai Championship on the European Tour. The 27 year old Frenchman won his first tour title in a final day battle with long time leader Andy Sullivan. The rookie closed with 64 (-8) to overcome a four shot overnight deficit and win by two shots from the Englishman. That made both him and me very happy as I had backed/tipped him at 60/1! Our top ranked golfer, Bernd Wiesberger, finished in tied 8th and we had seven of the top nineteen plus ties (7/21) in this new event. 
 

Viktor Hovland (ranked 9th by Golf Predictor) won the final event of 2020 on the US PGA Tour, the Mayakoba Golf Classic. The 23 year old Norwegian American won his second tour title in the birdie fest in Mexico. On a defenceless course in mostly benign damp conditions, Hovland broke out of a crowded leaderboard with Aaron Wise on the back nine. A play-off was looking likely, but the young Norwegian managed to birdie the final hole for a one shot victory. Our top ranked golfer, Justin Thomas, finished in tied 12th and we had twelve of the top twenty plus ties (12/22) in total.

Monday, 30 November 2020

2020 - Week 49 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the South African Open (European PGA Tour), the Golf in Dubai Championship (European PGA Tour) and the Mayakoba Golf Classic (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Not much by way of top talent in either European Tour event this week, but despite Dustin Johnson's withdrawal, four of the world's top twenty are playing in Mexico. On the plus side for the European Tour, they have managed to put on another new tournament, this time as a curtain raiser to the season finale next week in Dubai. Because of that, there is a fair number of tour stalwarts teeing it up in Dubai.

 

 

Sunday, 29 November 2020

2020 - Week 48 Winner

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (ranked 2nd by Golf Predictor) won the Alfred Dunhill Championship on the European PGA Tour. The 26 year old South African won his second tour title and his first on home soil with a good finish at Leopard Creek. On a tough final day in blustery conditions, Bezuidenhout steadied the ship after a poor couple of holes before the turn. He then finished strongly while others dropped shots all around him to win by four strokes in the end. Our top ranked golfer, Robert MacIntyre finished well for tied 6th and in an event that is usually difficult to predict, we had eleven of the top twenty plus ties (11/22) in total on the tough layout. 

There was no event on the US PGA Tour this week.

Monday, 23 November 2020

2020 - Week 48 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Alfred Dunhill Championship (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. Just the one event this week as the PGA Tour is taking a week off before its final event of the year next week.. Like previous years, there is a strong home presence in South Africa, where the field is pretty weak again. There is only five of the top one hundred in the world teeing it up, with home favourite Christiaan Bezuidenhout the highest ranked golfer in the field.


Sunday, 22 November 2020

2020 - Week 47 Winners

Joachim B. Hansen (ranked 19th by Golf Predictor) won the Joburg Open on the European PGA Tour. The 30 year old Dane won his first tour title with an impressive display in Johannesburg. Hansen closed with a bogey free 67 to overtake home favourite, the big hitting Nico Nienaber. The tall South African had led for a long time, including by three shots at the turn. However a good back nine of three under by Hansen coupled with two closing bogeys by Nienaber meant the Dane won by two strokes. Our top ranked player, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, finished in tied 15th, despite battling jet lag from Augusta. Overall we had six of the top eighteen plus ties (6/18) in this event with a poor field.

Robert Streb (ranked 126th by Golf Predictor) won The RSM Classic on the US PGA Tour. The 33 year old American won his second PGA Tour title in a dramatic play-off in Georgia. Leading by three overnight, Streb ending up trailing Kevin Kisner with two to play. However, he managed to birdie the penultimate hole and par the last to tie Kisner after 72 holes. After the two former champions halvied the first extra hole, Streb set up a winning tap-in birdie on the next with a brilliant approach from the rough. Our top ranked player, Webb Simpson, finished in tied 37th and in an event that's usually hard to predict, we had only five of the top eighteen plus ties (5/22) in the windy conditions. 

Monday, 16 November 2020

2020 - Week 47 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions/statistics for this week, the Joburg Open (European PGA Tour) and The RSM Classic (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. The European PGA Tour returns to South Africa for the first running of the tournament since 2017. No huge field this year, but the lack of any big names still makes it a bit of a lottery. This year, there are only two members of the world's top one hundred teeing it up in Johannesburg. The field is considerably stronger in Georgia where several big names have popped over from Augusta to tee it up! Webb Simpson headlines the field and it will be the second last chance before January for the lesser lights to put some FedEx Cup points on the board.