Monday, 28 September 2015

2015 - Week 39 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (European PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. There is no event on the US PGA Tour this week as it is the short close season. However, the European PGA Tour rolls on with the celebrity fest in Scotland this week! While there aren't many big golfing names teeing it up, there is a solid list of European Tour stalwarts teeing it up on the three courses. For once, it looks like golfers and celebrities alike have pretty decent weather for the event!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

2015 - Week 38 Winners

Thongchai Jaidee (ranked 7th by Golf Predictor) won the Porsche European Open on the European PGA Tour. The 45 year old Thai won his seventh tour title with an assured final day performance. Leading by one overnight, Jaidee traded the lead with Graeme Storm before finishing solidly to secure a one shot victory. However, he did need a good up and down on the final hole to secure his latest victory. Our top ranked player, Bernd Wiesberger, missed the cut, despite being joint leader after the opening round. Overall, we only had six of the top nineteen plus ties (6/23).
 

Jordan Spieth (ranked 4th by Golf Predictor) won The Tour Championship by Coca-Cola on the US PGA Tour. The 22 year old American capped a fantastic season by banking the FedEx Cup jackpot with his fifth title of the season. Spieth was locked in a head to head battle for the title and the FedEx Cup with Henrik Stenson, but pulled away around the turn with some great putting to win by four shots. Following his wins, including the two majors and now the FedEx Cup, Spieth must be a shoe in for the Player of the Year award. Our top ranked player (and only other contender in the POY award), Jason Day, finished tied 10th and we had fourteen of the top sixteen plus ties (14/17) in the restricted field event.  


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Data Panels Upgraded on Golf Predictor

Original sections (subset) on Prediction page

Updated sections on Prediction page

Following on from the recent update to the pop-up chart windows, all the data panels on Golf Predictor have been enhanced. Similar to the pop-up chart window update, the functional, but not very pretty, Microsoft AJAX collapsible panels (as shown in the first screenshot above) have been replaced with their more attractive Twitter Bootstrap equivalents. In addition, all non-collapsible data panels (e.g. Basic Details) have been similarly updated, as can also be seen above. As can be seen in the second screenshot above, these new panels look much better, with rounded corners, shadowing and better formatting. The panels shown above are the same portions of the prediction data page for Jason Day for the 2015 BMW Championship FedEx Cup event on the US PGA Tour. The panels have been updated on the following pages:

  1. The golfer Prediction Data page
  2. The main Tournament page
  3. The main Course page
  4. The main Golfer page
  5. The golfer Season Segment Data page
  6. The golfer Season Stats Data page
  7. The golfer Tournament Result page
  8. The golfer Performance Analysis Data page
  9. The Tournament Statistics (Rounds) page
  10. The Results by Player page

In addition, the data tables on most of these pages (e.g. the tournament results on the tournament page) have also been put into panels, so they can now also look better and can also be collapsed. Some notes on these new data panels:

  1. I have tested them on Chrome, FireFox, IE11 and MS Edge and found them to work fine.
  2. If you are using an older browser, you should not experience any significant issues. I have only been able to test this using compatibility settings on IE11, but the only issue appears to be the expected lack of rounded corners and shadowing on IE7/8. If you are still using a very old version of IE (or any other browser), it is really past time to upgrade or change it!
  3. Golf Predictor is not really designed for mobile devices, but I have also tested these new panels on Chrome (Android 5.1.1) and Safari (iOS 6.1.3). They appear to work fine in both cases.
  4. There are no arrow icons on the new collapsible panels to collapse/expand the panel. However, you can simply click on the panel title to accomplish this.
  5. You may have to reload a page or empty your browser cache to see the upgraded data panels. 
  6. The images are different widths above, because the second image is slightly longer than the first one and this confuses the blogging software! The page width (i.e. the white page on the green background) is the same in both cases, although the new panels are slightly wider than the old panels.

I trust you will agree that these cosmetic updates to the data panels are an improvement. Just another way to make Golf Predictor a little better!

Monday, 21 September 2015

2015 - Week 38 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions for this week, The Tour Championship by Coca-Cola (US PGA Tour) and the Porsche European Open (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. Only the top thirty in the FedEx Cup rankings are playing in the US season finale this week, while the other big US names rest in advance of the Presidents Cup and the start of the new PGA Tour season. Not many big names at the revived European Open, which moves to the continent for the first time. It was last played in England in 2009, but there are a considerable golfers from the mid to lower end of the world's top one hundred in action.



Sunday, 20 September 2015

2015 - Week 37 Winners

Rikard Karlberg (ranked 22nd by Golf Predictor) won the 72° Open D'Italia pres. by Damiani on the European PGA Tour. The 28 year old Swede won his maiden tour title with a play-off victory over long time leader Martin Kaymer. Karlberg holed a birdie putt on the second extra hole to leave Kaymer ruing his mini collapse on the back nine. Leading by three at one stage, the German hit a succession of poor short shots to come back to the bunched field. Kaymer was our top ranked player and we had eleven of the top twenty plus ties in total (11/24). 

Jason Day (ranked 1st by Golf Predictor) won the third event of the FedEx Cup play-offs, the BMW Championship. The 27 year old Australian continued his brilliant recent form by winning yet again, this time by six shots in Chicago. After he opened with 61, there was only ever going to be one winner and Day eased to his fifth title of the season. In doing so, Day, our top ranked player, deservedly became world number one for the first time. Overall, we had ten of the top thirteen plus ties (10/18).

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Pop-up Chart Windows Upgraded on Golf Predictor

Original pop-up chart window (Microsoft AJAX)

New Pop-up chart window (Twitter Bootstrap)

Loading screen for new pop-up chart window
The "Twitter Bootstrapification" of Golf Predictor has continued with the replacement of the pop-up chart windows on the site. The functional, but not very pretty, Microsoft AJAX pop-ups (as shown in the first screenshot above) have been replaced with their more attractive Twitter Bootstrap equivalents. As can be seen in the second screenshot above, these new pop-ups look much better, with a title row (complete with close button and new title!), rounded corners and a footer row (with main close button). The chart shown above is a comparison of the average finishing positions for the big three (McIlroy, Spieth and Day) ahead of the 2015 BMW Championship FedEx Cup event on the US PGA Tour.

This turned out to be a bigger and more difficult task than originally anticipated. However, with the assistance of the additional eModal helper, I was finally able to get them to look and work as desired. This eModal helper even inserts a loading message and bar while the content loads, as can be seen in the third screenshot above. Some notes on these new pop-up windows:

  1. I have tested them on Chrome, FireFox, IE11 and MS Edge. One of the advantages of using Twitter Bootstrap is better cross browser compatibility. The old pop-ups did not display as well on Chrome as they did on other browsers.
  2. If you are using an older browser, you may experience issues. I have only been able to test this using compatibility settings on IE11, but the only issue appears to be the expected lack of rounded corners on IE7/8. If you are still using a very old version of IE (or any other browser), it is really past time to upgrade or change it!
  3. Golf Predictor is not really designed for mobile devices, but I have also tested these new pop-up windows on Android 5.1.1 and iOS 6.1.3. They work, but like the original pop-up windows, it isn't a perfect experience.
  4. There are hundreds of pop-up chart windows on the site. The main Compare Predictions page alone and its tee-off group equivalent each contain 57 chart pop-ups, for example! It was not feasible to check every single chart, but as the code changes are the same in each case, if one chart works on a page/dropdown choice, they all should work. I have done a considerable amount of testing, but it is possible I missed something. If you experience any issues, please contact me immediately.
  5. You may have to reload a page or empty your browser cache to see the upgraded pop-up window content correctly.

I trust you will agree that these new pop-ups look a lot better. Even though the change is mainly cosmetic, the loading message will help slightly when the pop-up contents are slow to slow for any reason. Just another way to make Golf Predictor a little better!

Monday, 14 September 2015

2015 - Week 37 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions/stats for this week, the BMW Championship (US PGA Tour) and the 72° Open D'Italia pres. by Damiani (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. It's the third leg of the FedEx Cup play-offs in the US this week and the pressure will be on to qualify for the lucrative Tour Championship next week. The players should be refreshed though, after the rest week last week. As usual, the bigger names are still in FedEx Cup contention in America, but there still are a few players in the top fifty in the world rankings teeing it up in Italy this week.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

2015 - Week 36 Winners

Thomas Pieters (ranked 17th by Golf Predictor) won the the KLM Open on the European PGA Tour.  The in-form 23 year old Belgian won his second tour title in three weeks by a single shot over an even more recent winner Lee Slattery! A play-off between the last two tour winners looked to be on the cards until Slattery unfortunately three putted from long range on the last to hand Pieters the title. Our top ranked player, Martin Kaymer, finished in tied 57th and we had nine of the top eighteen plus ties (9/22).
 

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

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

2015 - Week 36 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions for this week, the KLM Open (European PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. Just the one tournament this week as it's the rest week in the FedEx Cup series on the US PGA Tour. There are not many big names in The Netherlands, but at least double major winner Martin Kaymer is there with a supporting cast of tour regulars.

Monday, 7 September 2015

2015 - Week 35 Winners

Lee Slattery (ranked 21st by Golf Predictor) won the M2M Russian Open on the European PGA Tour. The 37 year old Englishman won his second tour title with a one shot victory over Tano Goya. After trading the lead with his Argentinian adversary on the final day, Horsey chipped in on the seventeenth for a birdie and held his nerve for a par on the last to seal his first victory in four years. Our top ranked player, defending champion David Horsey, finished in third and we had seven of the top seventeen plus ties (7/21) in total in this weak fielded event. 

Rickie Fowler (ranked 11th by Golf Predictor) won the Deutsche Bank Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 26 year old American won his third event of the year with a one shot win over Henrik Stenson. While the Swede looked comfortable in the lead for most of the day, Fowler reeled him in and overtook him on the sixteenth after Stenson found the water and double bogeyed. The formerly overrated Fowler held on impressively on the final two holes to land another big title! Our top ranked player, Jason Day, finished in tied 12th and in an event where many of the bigger names did not perform, we had only six of the top twelve plus ties (6/21).

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Prediction Data Page Updated on Golf Predictor

Updated General panel and new DFS panel for Jimmy Walker ahead of the 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship    
Updated Season panel for Jimmy Walker ahead of the 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship    
I am pleased to announce several updates to the golfer 'Prediction' page on Golf Predictor. These updates vary from the cosmetic to the functional and are outlined below.
  1. I have moved the GP Score and the Performance Likelihood percentages to the same row in the General panel and enhanced their display with radial dials. The length of the arc on the dials is proportional to the values for the golfer. This can be seen in the first screenshot above for Jimmy Walker ahead of the 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship.
  2. I have moved the DraftKings DFS data out of the General panel and put it in a new panel of its own. This panel will only be visible for tournaments that have this DFS information. This can also be seen in the first screenshot above.
  3. I have added the best and worst results for the last five events for the golfer to this page. This brings the last five stats in line with the other historical stats on the page and allows for the creation of a box plot (see below) for last five events also. This can also be seen in the second screenshot above, also for Jimmy Walker ahead of the 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship.
  4. I have added seven new box plots directly to the page. These charts use the existing average, standard deviation, best finish and worst finish for each historical metric (GP season/last five events/course/tournament/last twelve similar events/similar weather/similar length course) and shows the results distribution for the golfer at a glance. The box plots for the GP season and last five events can also be seen in the second screenshot above. Much more on these great new plots here.

These updates should improve the prediction page for each golfer considerably. The radial dials and the box plots use JavaScript to work, but don't appear to impact on page load times. Just another way to make Golf Predictor even better!

Box Plots Added to Golf Predictor

New box plot for Luke Donald for the 2015 GP Season up to The Barclays
Ass above, but showing hover text.

I am pleased to announce the addition of useful new box plots to Golf Predictor. Box plots are a type of statistics chart that show the distribution of a data set at a glance. I have adapted them for use with golfer results in Golf Predictor, using the already available statistics on the various pages. This can be seen in the screenshots above, for Luke Donald for the 2015 GP Season up to The Barclays. There are five main parts to a box plot:
  1. The minimum value in the data set is the left most point (seen as a vertical tick above). This corresponds to the best finish for the golfer in the results analysed.
  2. The maximum value in the data set is the right most point (also seen as a vertical tick above). This corresponds to the worst finish for the golfer in the results analysed.
  3. The average value in the data set is the red vertical line in the box. This corresponds to the average finish for the golfer in the results analysed.
  4. I have adapted the box itself to represent one standard deviation either side of the average value. In layman's terms, this is where most* data points in the data set fall. This corresponds to the majority of the golfer finishing positions in the results analysed.
  5. The lines that join the box to the minimum and maximum values. These are known as whiskers and the longer they are, the more of an aberration (outlier) the minimum/maximum value is compared to the majority of the data points. In this case, a long whisker indicates that the best/worst finish is significantly different from the golfer's usual finishing position in the results analysed.

While ideally, a golfer should have the lowest best and worst result possible, in the real world, most top golfers will have some mixture of good, so-so and bad results, especially over the course of a GP season or longer time frame. A box plot tells you immediately where a golfer usually finishes and how different from normal his best and worst finishes are. Looking at the screenshot above, you can see that the whisker from the box to the best result is pretty short, while the whisker to the worst result is very long. This tells us that Luke Donald has usually performed much closer to his best result than his worst one in the 2015 GP season and that his worst result was a significant aberration from his usual result.

The ideal box plot for golfer results therefore is one with a low best finish, a narrow box** (=low standard deviation, which means high consistency), a very short (or no) whisker to the left and a long whisker to the right. For example, the box plot for Jordan Spieth for the 2015 GP Season so far almost meets these criteria (his standard deviation is a bit high!). Since his results have been so good in the main, the lower end of the box encompasses his best finish of first (see note 2 below) and there is a long whisker from the box to his worst finish of 119th.

Hovering over the box plot will display the main values for the chart, as shown in the second screenshot above. Most of this information is also just above and below the box chart, but the hover text also displays the lower and upper bounds of the box (which is the average minus/plus the standard deviation). Some notes on these new box plots:

  1. The box plot is hidden if the best finish is equal to the worst finish. In this case, the best/worst/average result are all the same, the standard deviation is zero and the box plot is a single vertical line!
  2. If the box bounds are lower than the best result or higher than the worst result, the box bounds are truncated at the best/worst result. This means if the average minus the standard deviation is less than the best result, the best result becomes the left side of the box (ditto for the other side of the box). This is because none of the majority of the golfer results can be outside the bounds of his actual results! For example, for Jordan Spieth in 2015 so far, his average minus his standard deviation is a negative number, which obviously can't be a finishing position in a tournament and is less than his best actual finish of first. Therefore, his box begins at 1, his best result.
  3. I have noticed that the edge of the box plot is slightly off in certain rare situations and only when at least one end of the box is the same as the best/worst result. This is only a very minor issue and beyond my control. All attempts to remedy it resulted in a worse situation, so I left it as is.
  4. These charts have been implemented using a modestly sized JavaScript library and should not impact noticeably on the page load time. If you experience any issues with this new functionality, please contact me immediately.

There has been a total of thirteen new box plots added to the pages on the site that show statistical information on a golfer's results in a certain collection of tournaments. Specifically, the box plots have been added to the following pages:
  1. Season Data page (1 box plot for season results)
  2. Golfer Data page (5 box plots for overall/regular/major/WGC/FedEx results in the golfer's career)
  3. Prediction Data page (7 box plots for GP season/last five events/course/tournament/last twelve similar events/similar weather/similar length course results)

This brings the total number of charts on the site to 433. I trust you will find these new box plots useful as a graphical representation of the golfer's performance in certain key areas. Just another way to make Golf Predictor even better!



*For the statistically inclined, for golfer results that follow a normal (or symmetrical) distribution, this will be 68% of his results. It will vary for non-symmetrical distributions and difficult to quantify, but it should still be above 50%. Most golfers should have a fairly symmetrical distribution (some good results, some bad ones and most in the middle), especially over a large result set, e.g. over a season or a career.

**The display of the box on screen is dependent on how different the best/worst results are from each other. For consistent golfers, this range will be small and the box may appear wide, while for golfers with widely fluctuating results, the box may appear narrow. You should take this into account or use the absolute values of the box ends as shown in the hover over text.