One of the most common measurements relating to scoring your golf game is the comparison to Par. Each hole on each course has a par value that a scratch or zero handicap golfer should be able to complete the hole in. Comparing your score against par makes your score universal in that you are not comparing to anyone else but yourself. So with several games under your belt in a season, how do you determine whether you are doing well or not overall? Compare your scores to Par at Fairways and Roughs with a Box Whisker Plot.
A Box Whisker Plot is a graphical way of viewing groups of data and are perfect for visualizing how your golf scores are stacking up against Par for the course! There are 2 major components of a Box Whisker Plot 1) the Box and 2) the Whiskers. The box represents 50% of the values in the data and the whiskers extend to the maximum and minimum values in the data. The box can then be broken down further into the median or middle of the data set. Half of the number of values are below the median and half are above. That’s the basics of Box Whisker Plots which should be enough to allow you to grasp how they relate to your golf score. There is plenty more details on the Box Whisker Plot at Wikipedia.
Now if we take a typical round of golf played, there will be a number of each type of holes (Par 3, Par 4, or Par 5) for the round. If we group them by type and display them in a Box Whisker format, we can then see how far off of Par we are. Let’s walk through an example game where the scorecard looks like this:
Now grouping them by type we have:
|On the Par 3 holes this person shot:||3,4,4,4|
|On the Par 4 holes this person shot:||3,4,4,4,5,6,5,5,4,3,4|
|On the Par 5 holes this person shot:||5,6,7|
And plotting them as a Box Whisker Plot we are presented with this:
This chart has 3 Box Whisker Plots in it along the X-Axis. One for the Par 3’s, one for the Par 4’s, and one for the Par 5’s. There are three horizontal lines representing the three par values going across the entire chart, red for Par 3, green for par 4 and blue for par 5. The lines that extend from the top and bottom of the box are the whiskers. Each value is represented by a filled circle as best seen in the Par 5 Box Whisker. The median value is filled with a yellow circle, the top most value is represented by a red filled circle, the bottom most value is represented by a green filled circle and 25% of the values above and below the median are represented by a purple and orange filled circle respectively. As stated earlier, the box in each of the plots is the middle 50% of the values, so statistically speaking for this game, the player consistently shot above par regardless of hole type with a couple instances of the shooting par on the 3’s and 5’s and an instance of below par for the 4’s. Ideally a scratch golfer will have the median for each hole type be at par. The better than scratch will have the box for all par values below the par lines.
At Fairways and Roughs, you can enter your game’s scores and compare your golf scores to par using Box Whisker Plots too. Simply enter your games and select the “Statistics” menu item and the website will create this plot and many more based on your golf scores. You can also select different time frames to include multiple games or a single game.
Do you want to compare your scores to Par with a Box Whisker Plot? Signup for a free account at Fairways and Roughs and get started today!