How To Pick Golfers At The Right Time
Finding a Golfer’s Sweet Spot
Guide to picking golfers in DFS at exactly the right time
When picking players for your roster in daily fantasy golf, there are two factors that many people consider to be the most important – player form and previous form at the course. You can be very successful when using these two factors, however it is a fact that many people will be using the same method for picking the players. This will mean that many of the players who study the events might actually have similar rosters, so you’ll not actually have an edge here.
So, how do we grab that edge? For me, one way of doing this is to try and pick golfers who are playing at their ‘sweet spot’. This is the point when the preparation for the event is ideal. Obviously you’ll not have a great knowledge about what a golfer is doing off the course, however there are many pointers you can use from his activity on the course.
In this article firstly you’ll find:
- How the overall schedule of a golfer can affect the performance.
- Next the short term schedule of a golfer is examined and how this might affect results.
- Next the progression of a golfer is examined, both over a number of tournaments and within a tournament.
- Finally it’s all put together and you’ll find a summary of the ideal conditions that will point to this ‘sweet spot’.
PGA Golfers Overall Schedule
In professional golf, the top players can pretty much pick their own schedule, where they’ll play a certain number of standard PGA Tour events, alongside the bigger events on the Tour such as the Majors, the Players Championship and the Fedex Cup Playoffs. Look at the schedules of the best players in the world and you’ll see they will play around 25 tournaments every year. Rory McIlroy, in his stellar 2014 year played 24 tournaments, so we can assume this amount of tournaments enables a player to play at his best (2 Majors, the flagship event on the European Tour and a Ryder Cup would attest to this).
So assuming 24/25 events is a good guide for a successful year, players who play a much heavier schedule might suffer, making it a good idea to be wary of picking them. Last year a prime example was Jordan Spieth. He started off the year very well, with a second place at the tournament of Champions and carried on the good form in the Masters where he finished runner up. However for a player of Spieth’s talent he had something of a poor run in the latter part of the year. Between the end of July and the middle of September he had just one top ten finish in seven events, every other event seeing him outside of the top twenty or missing the cut. At the end of this run he had already played 26 tournaments with nearly 4 months of the year remaining. After the Ryder Cup he had a nice break of over a month and it was no surprise to see him bounce back with a couple of wins at the end of the year.
Therefore, keep an eye on a player’s schedule. If his schedule is pointing to 30 or more events a year it is likely he will become jaded.
Players Short Term Schedule
It’s always a good thing to look at the last four weeks for a player. Firstly there are the two extremes where he has played for all of the previous four weeks and none of the previous four weeks. In both of these cases I’d shy away from picking them. Playing for a fifth week in a row is not ideal as once again a player might well be jaded. Conversely four weeks away from competitive golf might mean that the competitive edge has gone. Picking a player who has played twice in the last 4 weeks is ideal.
Golfers Progression – Trending Up?
Look at the recent form. Is the player moving closer to the top of the leaderboard, or dropping away. I’d much rather pick a player whose last two events have seen finishes of 45th and 18th, than a player whose previous two outings have seen him finish 12th and 37th. Also look at progression within the previous tournament. I’d prefer to pick a player who shot a 68 on Sunday when finishing 20th than a player who shot a 76 on the Sunday and finished 16th.
Putting it all Together
So what are the ideal conditions for a golfer? This is an example of when all the planets align and the golfer is primed for the perfect week:
A golfer is on schedule to play 25 events throughout the year. In the last four weeks he has played twice – three weeks ago and last week. Three weeks ago he finished 28th and last week finished 9th in the tournament. In that tournament his scores for the four rounds were 72, 71, 70 and 66. Perfect!
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