The Open: Six surprising stats about the Old Course

The Open Leaderboard

With stats from over 6780 rounds, Shot Scope’s shot tracking technology reveals where amateur players lose, and gain, shots at this week’s Open venue.

With over half a million shots recorded on the St Andrews’ links, Shot Scope's technology reveals where amateur players play from the most, the toughest and easiest holes on the course, and how the Old Course ranks against other Open venues.

Let’s take a look at some of the more surprising findings...

How does St Andrews compare to other Open venues?

While many might regard the Old Course as being too easy for today’s pros, for mere mortals, it still poses a real challenge. Both Royal Troon and Royal St George’s have a lower scoring average than the Old Course, with this week’s venue recording an average score of 83.2 for mere mortals.

What’s the toughest green on the Old Course?

No surprise here, but it’s the 13th green that produces the most three putts on the course. The 13th, shared with the fifth green, is the largest on the course.

These three putts contribute to an average of 2.07 putts per green in regulation, meaning you’re more likely to make a bogey than a birdie, even if you hit the green.

13Th Green Size

What’s the easiest hole on the course?

The ninth hole, a short par-4, is the easiest on the course amongst Shot Scope users, with a scoring average of 4.15.

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And the hardest?

No prizes for guessing, the Road Hole, the 17th, is the hardest on the course, playing to an average of 5.31. That’s a higher score than the par-5, fifth, which plays to an average of 5.28.

Shot Scope Road Hole

What’s the best way to tackle the Road Hole?

The answer to this one might surprise you. While hitting the fairway is imperative if you want to make a birdie, around the green, the infamous Road Hole bunker might not be the worst place to miss. 

From the sand, 15% of Shot Scope users got up and down for par, compared to only 4% from long of the green.

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The Valley of Sin: is it really that bad?

Maybe not. It might be one of the most feared spots on the golf course, but nearly half the amateur players who end up here get up and down. Only 7% of players who find the Valley of Sin make a double or worse. 

Oh, and if you’re looking to finish with a birdie, the best spot off the tee is the left side of the fairway, over Granny Clark’s Wynd.

Valley Of Sin Shot Scope

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