Global golf will be on the big stage this weekend with the 43rd playing of the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. The U.S. Team is statistically one of the best in history according to the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR). Especially off the tee, with bombers like Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau and Dustin Johnson.
But looking at strokes driving, Team Europe actually has four of the top five players from the 2021 season: John Rahm, Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy and Victor Hovland. And when it comes to putting, Team Europe has the edge. Especially with Ian Poulter, who ranked top 10 in strokes gained putting last season and always seems to drop clutch putt after clutch putt.
And then there are all the intangibles: chemistry, momentum, home course advantage, coaching … come Sunday night, we’ll know which team had the winning qualitative and quantitative formula.
But how about the Arccos Team U.S. versus Arccos Team Europe? Who would prevail in an all-out, strokes gained showdown utilizing Arccos Caddie’s Strokes Gained Analytics Feature?
Let’s check out the data from millions of shots recorded by Arccos members throughout the U.S., Europe and Great Britain.
There’s little separation world-wide in Arccos member handicaps. The average handicap for Arccos Team U.S. is 12.52 and Arccos Team Europe is 12.79. For reference, the average handicap for Arccos members around the rest of the word is 13.76.
While course designs vary widely by country and continent, overall, the fact that most regulation courses are par 70 to 72 and range from 6,000 to 7,500 yards creates a great deal of consistency in global data.
In terms of driving distance, and mirroring their professional counterparts, Arccos Team U.S. has a decided advantage at 236 yards versus 226 yards for Arccos Team Europe. As expected, the U.S leads Europe in strokes gained distance off the tee, but somewhat surprisingly are also a bit more accurate (half a stroke).
When it comes to the all-important approach shots, Arccos Team Europe starts to come into its own. Just as the European Ryder Cup teams have featured phenomenal iron and wedge players over the years, so does Arccos Team Europe. But the margin is oh-so-thin (a 10th of a stroke).
When it comes to strokes gained, there’s a fine line between strokes gained approach and strokes gained short game. Short game is a measure of a player’s ability to get up-and-down around the greens via chip shots of various lengths. The European Ryder Cup team has always had some magicians around the greens and so does, Arccos Team Europe. They prevail over Arccos Team U.S. by +0.02 strokes.
This has been the deciding game facet of the past Ryder Cups, but will the US feel more comfortable on home soil this time around? Arccos Team U.S. has a lot of data for strokes gained putting, over 66 million, where as Arccos Team Europe has wielded the flat stick more than 24 million times. Sample set notwithstanding, Europe prevails in putting by the thinnest of margins +0.0092 strokes.
And the Winner Is …
While Arccos Team U.S. is better tee to fairway, while Arccos Team Europe is better fairway to green, around the greens and on the putting surface. That’s a hard combination to beat, in the Arccos universe, and we’ll see how it plays out on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits this weekend.
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