Shane O’Donoghue spends time with 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett and his swing coach Pete Cowen to find out how Danny won at Augusta last year
Analytics are becoming increasingly prevalent in sport and when, among his victory “thanks” at Augusta last year, Willett mentioned a company called 15th Club for helping him “prep better for course strategy”, it brought new attention to the advance of detailed statistics in golf.
Players like Jordan Spieth have talked about how they need to improve on certain areas based on their strokes gained numbers, and along those same lines, companies like the 15th Club and people like Jake Nichols helped us understand the game so much better in 2016.
Data runs the world. We are a society addicted to data and few places show this more than the world of elite sport.
Thanks to research from 15th Club, we have been able to compare the single best performances of the season, across all 47 tournaments, in comparison to the field’s average score.
For the past 14 months, team captain Darren Clarke has been working with a data analytics company to assist him with key decisions.
When the statistical analysts from 15th Club first went to meet Darren Clarke, they expected a big, sociable, cigar-puffing golfer of the old school. What they found was a Ryder Cup captain hungry for data and detail.
Darren Clarke is using statistical analysis from 15th Club to gain a Ryder Cup edge
“Thanks to @15thClub helping me and @Smartie13 prep better for course strategy this week,” Willett tweeted after landing his maiden major title at Augusta in April.
CEO of 15th Club at the Ryder Cup – interviewed by CNN World Sport’s Patrick Snell
The Europeans have been employing the consulting services of 15th Club, self-described as a “passionate team of golf professionals, data experts and software engineers” for at least the last two Cups.
Danny Willett told the world that London-based anayltics company 15th Club were vital to his recent Masters victory win. So who the hell are they?
Be in no doubt that Darren Clarke is mobilising for this year’s Ryder Cup with a precision normally reserved for NASA scientists plotting missions to the outer moons of Neptune.
Final numbers: Stenson’s 20 under vs +9 field. In 2000 U.S. Open, Tiger shot 12 under vs +17 field. Both about 29 shots better.
The 2016 Open Championship wasn’t unique in this regard either. The European Tour have teamed up with data-analytics experts 15th Club, who crunched the numbers to show how preparation at the Scottish Open (or Irish Open in 2012) has been a major separating factor in the last five Open Championships.
The prospect of lifting the claret jug and pocketing a winner’s cheque for £1.175 million will be motivation enough for the majority of the field at the Open Championship, but there are other significant battles being fought at Royal Troon this week.
After a brief discussion, the two realized that the advanced data analysis used in soccer could translate to golf. Soon a software program was structured specifically to the game. Last September, 15th Club was officially born.
The wave of new statistical methods can seem overwhelming on the face of it, but its value is becoming increasingly acknowledged at the highest level. Following Danny Willett’s sensational Masters success in April, the 28-year-old quickly dished out praise to the usual suspects, family and friends, coaches and colleagues. Also thanked was 15th Club, the analytical performance group which, in Willett’s words, helped him “prep better for course strategy”.
RC2016: Countdown Episode 1
There is a new generation breaking through and already winning tournaments. Some of them will make it into Clarke’s team. So he’s been getting to know the 20-somethings such as Andy Sullivan, Matt Fitzpatrick, Thomas Pieters, Danny Willett and Chris Wood and playing in tournaments with them. He’s been digesting a 48-page dossier, too, compiled by statistics experts The 15th Club, which has been breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of all potential team members.
We also get a glimpse behind the scenes at the data analysis 15th Club are doing in preparation for this year’s contest, plus the announcement of Thomas Bjørn, Harrington and Paul Lawrie as vice-captains and recent wins for Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy and Chris Wood, showing that Team Europe is looking strong as the race for places hots up.
European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke said Friday that he has been gathering in-depth statistical information from a company called 15th Club in an effort of better understanding the pros and cons of potential team members.
PGA Professionals Piers and Andy of Meandmygolf are at Wentworth home to the BMW PGA Championship where they give their own picks on who they think will win the tournament and give a tip to help drive the ball straight
He has become something of a statistical nut, feeding off a wealth of information provided by a company called The 15th Club, who helped Danny Willett during the Masters.
Before he won the Masters last month, Danny Willett had limited experience at Augusta National Golf Club.
One of the most important things I’ve used constantly since Cup qualification started late last summer, is a stream of statistics. I know just about everything there is to know about potential team members thanks to the round by round data and intelligence supplied by 15th Club.
There’s A LOT of golf to be played between now and Sept. 30, when Team Europe will look to build on a run in which it has won six of the last seven Ryder Cups, including each of the last three.
After winning the 2016 Masters, the golfer Danny Willett thanked the new analytics firm 15th Club, an offshoot of the football consultancy 21st Club.
Jonathan Smart was still wearing his white boiler suit from Augusta when he turned up at his parents’ security firm in Yorkshire this week.
ather than referring to an illegal 15th club in his golf bag, Willett was tipping his hat to the golfing arm of a firm called 21st Club.
A year ago 15th Club did not exist. Now it has a major champion on its roster. For good measure the company is also helping Lee Westwood, who finished joint runner-up at Augusta, and Darren Clarke, the Ryder Cup captain, with Europe’s preparations.
Jacob Nichols, 15th Club’s head of golf intelligence, illustrates this with a simple fact. If a professional is able to lower their shots per round by just half a stroke, they will increase their earnings potential by 73per cent.
Willett’s nod to London-based analysts 15th Club following his Augusta triumph suggests golf is following suit.
Me and My Golf PGA Golf Professionals Piers Ward and Andy Proudman give their picks of who they think will win the golf masters for 2016 and tips to help play key shots at Augusta.
But I didn’t completely have my mind off the day job because I had a huge dossier from my statisticians, 15th Club, to go through every night.
It is intriguing that Clarke’s “stats men” are not the same as Paul McGinley used at Gleneagles in 2014. Clarke has opted for the expertise of 15th Club, the golfing offshoot of renowned football analysts 21st Club.