Shoot lower scores, with course strategy

Shoot lower scores, with course strategy

In golf, there’s no such thing as absolute perfection. You can’t hit a pin-point target every time, because virtually every shot will have some degree of direction and/or distance “error” (for lack of a better term). Some people describe this as a ‘shotgun’ dispersion pattern.

But with the help of Circles, we can mathematically model the patterns in those direction and distance errors. This helps us understand the probabilities of different outcomes so we can make predictions on our game. 

It’s not magic though - the analyses cannot guarantee the outcome of any individual attempt. The whole point is that there is uncertainty in the outcome of every shot. The analyses indicate the option with the best outcome on average. It’s the “percentage play”.

For example, we could figure out the likelihood of a player hitting a 20 yard wide fairway at 250 yards, or the odds that a player’s tee shot will end in a bunker that is 30 yards left of their target line. For each tee shot, we use these algorithms to calculate the probabilities of ending in different areas (e.g., fairway, sand, rough, trees) for a range of target lines and lengths. We then calculate the expected score for the hole from each of those different positions.

This process essentially mathematically balances the benefit of a longer tee shot (i.e., shorter approach shot) versus any increased risk of a longer drive resulting in an undesirable lie (either because a hazard is only in play at a longer distance, or because a longer shot has a bigger chance of missing further left or right of the target).

By combining these analyses, we can determine the tee shot targets (line and length) that yield the lowest expected score for the hole, on average. It’s all based on probabilities. It’s just like we had a real player play the hole thousands of times using different tee shot targets, and then selected the target which resulted in the lowest average score for the hole. But it’s all done with an app.

The calculations outlined in this strategy use the dispersion patterns from previous rounds you’ve entered in Circles, and so they’re entirely unique to you. Target line and length analyses would be calculated from the back of the tee that you outlined.

Our strategy

With this new feature, your Circles course strategy includes:

  • Suggested tee shot target line & length for the lowest expected hole score
  • Indicative size of zone in which ~70% of approach shots would be expected to finish, for different length approaches

The suggested tee shot targets and approach shots are calculated using our algorithms that use mathematical models with your actual performance dispersions from past rounds. The algorithms also quantify the expected score from different second shot positions.

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