Monday 26 June 2017

2017 - Week 26 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the HNA Open de France (European PGA Tour) and the Quicken Loans National (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. There aren't many big names at Tiger Woods' tournament this week, including the man himself, who is getting help for his addiction issues. However, Rickie Fowler makes his first appearance since contending at the US Open. The French event sees the European Tour début of rookie sensation John Rahm, thanks no doubt to its updated status as a Rolex Series event and the venue being the host of the next Ryder Cup.

2017 - Week 25 Winners

Andres Romero (ranked 147th by Golf Predictor) won the BMW International Open on the European PGA Tour. The 36 year old Argentinian won his second tour title with a birdie burst on the back nine to edge out Sergio Garcia, Thomas Detry and Richard Bland by a single shot. Ten years after his only other victory which was also in Germany, Romero relied on a sponsor's invite after falling to 837th in the world rankings. Indeed, he is the lowest ranked golfer ever to win on Golf Predictor (147) and he did it with an impressive blemish free final round 65 (-7). On a tightly packed leaderboard, Romero posted his score and after Garcia missed a tiddler on sixteen and Bland bogeyed seventeen, both needed an eagle on the last to tie. It wasn't to be and a grateful Romero returned unexpectedly to the winner's circle. Garcia was our top ranked player and we had ten of the top twenty plus ties (10/25)

Jordan Spieth (ranked 3rd by Golf Predictor) won the Travelers Championship on the US PGA Tour. The 23 year old American became the second youngest after Tiger Woods to register ten wins on the PGA Tour season in his first appearance at TPC River Highlands. Despite a good start, Spieth didn't play well on Sunday and was lucky not to find the water three times on the closing nine holes. He was caught by Daniel Berger, who played well on Sunday to come from five shots back to force a play-off. However, Spieth was not to be denied and he holed out spectacularly from the bunker on the first extra hole to get over the line. Our top ranked player, Rory McIlroy, finished strongly for tied 17th, despite swapping putters several times during the week! Overall, we had eleven of the top seventeen plus ties (11/25) in total.

Monday 19 June 2017

2017 - Week 25 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the BMW International Open (European PGA Tour) and the Travelers Championship (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. After the excitement of the US Open, it's back to the grind! Unusually for a week after a major, there are a fair number of the top players teeing it up this week. Six of the top twenty in the world are teeing it up in Connecticut and a couple more are making the trip from Wisconsin to Germany to compete.

2017 - Week 24 Winner

Brooks Koepka (ranked 15th by Golf Predictor) won the US Open on the European/US PGA Tour. The 27 year old American won his first major with a tremendous display at Erin Hills. Trailing by a shot overnight, Koepka blew the field away with a display of power, accuracy and putting to win by four shots over Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman. In doing so, he equalled Rory McIlroy's record score to par (-16), albeit on the long par 72 in Wisconsin. Koepka opened up with two birdies on Sunday and never looked in trouble after that. A burst of birdies on the back nine all but guaranteed him the title and he duly eased to the prestigious title. Our top ranked player, Dustin Johnson, was one of the unusually large number of top ranked players who missed the cut. As a result, we only had six of the top twenty one plus ties (6/22*) on what turned out to be an atypical US Open layout. 

*Mickelson famously and eventually withdrew, promoting Steve Stricker to the top 22 in the GP Rankings.

Tuesday 13 June 2017

2017 - Week 24 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the US Open (European/US PGA Tour) are now available on Golf Predictor. The excitement is mounting for the second major of the season on the relatively new Erin Hills layout in Wisconsin. All eyes will be on the USGA, who will be keen not to make it a hat-trick of calamities after the Chambers Bay and the DJ moving ball debacles! The long par 72 layout will feature wide fairways, fast greens and penal rough, if golfers veer too far off-line (as demonstrated by Kevin Na!). Defending champion, Dustin Johnson, will be on a high after becoming a father for the second time this week. Let's hope there are no controversial rulings for him this year!

Sunday 11 June 2017

2017 - Week 23 Winners

Dylan Frittelli (ranked 9th by Golf Predictor) won the Lyoness Open powered by ORGANIC+ on the European PGA Tour. The 27 year old South African won his maiden tour title in a bunched finish in Austria. Frittelli got his nose in front on the back nine on Sunday and held his nerve to win by a single shot from David Horsey, Jbe Kruger and Mikko Lorhohen. Our top ranked player, home favourite Bernd Wiesberger, didn't quite fire, but finished in tied 15th. Overall, we had seven of the top fifteen plus ties (7/19) in total.

Daniel Berger (ranked 6th by Golf Predictor) won the FedEx St. Jude Classic on the US PGA Tour. The 24 year old American won his second event on tour with a successful title defence in Memphis. On a strange final day where none of the third round leaders made any progress, Berger closed with a 66 (-4) for a come from behind victory. Our top ranked player, Rickie Fowler, had an uncharacteristic bad week and missed the cut. Overall, we had eight of the top eighteen plus ties (8/23).

Saturday 10 June 2017

Design Update for Golf Predictor!

Old Golf Predictor Design

New Golf Predictor Design
I am pleased to unveil a brand new look for Golf Predictor! This new look is now live on the site and I hope you will agree that it is a significant improvement on the existing design. Both the old and new designs are shown in the screenshots above. Gone is the now antiquated page metaphor and in comes a cleaner, more modern responsive design. Some notes on this new look:

  1. As my design skills are somewhat limited, I had to procure a new theme for the upgrade. As my budget was also somewhat limited, I used the free Corlate theme! Although this theme is a few years old, I found it appealing and I adapted it to my needs. 
  2. Unlike the debacle of the recent European Tour website upgrade, no functionality is lost or significantly changed. Indeed, most pages should look much the same within the new theme. The only change is that some menu items had to be moved (see below). Hopefully, this update will be smoother than the shambles of the European Tour one!
  3. I had to move some menu items to fit in with the new design. Many links that were in the main menu have been moved to the new bottom menu on each page (e.g. the blog/contact/links pages on the public facing site and the "My GP" Menu in the member section). The link to the search page in the member section has been moved to top right of the page and changed to a search icon.
  4. Unfortunately for me, updating the design was a much bigger job than simply changing the template. Although the content part of each page looks similar to before, almost all the CSS had to be rewritten and tested on various browsers and devices. The good news for me is that the site CSS is now much cleaner and the site will be much easier to update in the future.
  5. I have tested the new design on Windows on FireFox, Chrome, Edge and IE11, in addition to iOS Safari/Chrome (iPhone/iPad) and Android Chrome (phone and tablet). There are some minor issues with mobile devices and with iOS in particular (see below).
  6. The main problems with iOS are the pop-up charts and Features images hover text on home page. The latter doesn't work and the former is only an issue on iPhones (iPads are fine), mainly in portrait mode. Rotating the iPhone and using the extreme left or right to scroll up and down is an acceptable workaround for the iPhone 6 and above. However, viewing the pop-up charts on smaller/older iPhones may still present problems. 
  7. Chrome on iOS appears to have less of the minor display issues than Safari.
  8. I have been able to fix several minor bugs in the system which I found while testing the new design.
  9. Because this new look offers the ability to display much more text in an attractive manner, I have removed the text pop-ups from public pages and incorporated the text into the main body of the page. This also helps with page loading times, as fewer JavaScript files are loaded in the background.
  10. I have removed the breadcrumb from the top left of the content area, as it is not necessary, being beside the page title!
  11. Some compromises had to made to keep the site loading times to a minimum. For example, the home page images are the lowest acceptable quality and I threw out the fancy viewer for the Features images to save loading two more JavaScript files for a marginally better experience than the built in browser one.
  12. Similar to the tweaks outlined here, I consolidated and minimised the JavaScript and CSS files to minimise loading time for the new home page (and the other public facing pages). The new design has many more images than the old home design, but as stated above, I have saved them in the lowest quality possible without sacrificing quality.
  13. In case you're wondering, the three slider images on the new home page are from photos I took myself! The first is from the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura (Portugal Masters), the second is from Carne (my home course in County Mayo, Ireland) and the final one is the eighteenth green in Fota Island in Cork (Irish Open).
  14. You will have to refresh/reload any page you recently viewed on the site to see the updated version.
  15. Every web page on the site should have been updated and tested. If you spot any overlooked pages or other errors, please contact me via the support link below.

A lot of work has gone in to this new Golf Predictor design and I really hope you like it. As usual, any feedback is welcome, via the Contact GP page or commenting on this post. Just another way to make Golf Predictor even better!

Friday 9 June 2017

Site Upgrade Tomorrow - Access Disabled

To facilitate the implementation of a brand new design, logging in to and registering for Golf Predictor will be temporarily disabled tomorrow morning, Saturday, 10th June at approximately 9am Irish time (4am EST). Unlike the recent debacle with the European Tour website update, this update is a facelift rather than a whole new site! All the existing functionality in the member section will work as before, but just look a little nicer! Except for a few menu items, all functionality will be accessible from the same locations as before. The public facing section of the site will get the biggest overhaul, with a much more attractive façade, with nicer effects and graphics.

All going well, the process should not take more than a couple of hours, so I would ask for your patience during this time. If you are already logged in to the site, please log out or do not use it until I have completed the process, as you may experience errors or other inconsistencies. I will tweet and post on this blog when the new look Golf Predictor is ready. I hope you will like it - a lot of hard work has gone into updating the entire site!

Monday 5 June 2017

2017 - Week 23 Predictions/Statistics Online

The predictions and statistics for this week, the Lyoness Open powered by ORGANIC+ (European PGA Tour) and the FedEx St. Jude Classic (US PGA Tour), are now available on Golf Predictor. Although it's the last chance for a tune up before the US Open, there aren't many of the top golfers playing this week. Rickie Fowler are Adam Scott are probably the biggest stars teeing it up in Memphis, while former winners Chris Wood and Bernd Wiesberger are the only members of the world's top sixty playing in Austria.

2017 - Week 22 Winners

Renato Paratore (ranked 85th by Golf Predictor) won the Nordea Masters on the European PGA Tour. The 20 year old Italian captured his first tour title with a gutsy one shot victory in Sweden. Paratore took the lead on the back nine and finished with three gutsy pars to edge defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick and third round leader Chris Wood. The latter had a chance to win or make a play-off, but a wild drive on the last into the woods put an end to his chances. Our top ranked player, Alex Noren, finished in tied 15th and we had nine of the top fifteen plus ties (9/20)

Jason Dufner (ranked 19th by Golf Predictor) won the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide on the US PGA Tour. The 40 year old American recovered from a poor moving day to take his fifth tour title. After opening up with a tournament record thirty six hole total (130), Dufner squandered his five shot halfway lead with a third round 77 to fall four behind. However, despite a suspect putting stroke on the front nine on Sunday, Dufner steadied the ship and finished with a great par save in front of host Jack Nicklaus to win by three shots. Our top ranked player, Dustin Johnson, surprisingly missed the cut and we had seven of the top eighteen plus ties (7/21) in this event.