In this latest data nugget exercise, we analyze how the Match Play Index by Handicap varies, and how it behaves by hole type (Par 3, 4, and 5). If you don’t know what the Match Play Index (MPI) is, you can read our MPI post to learn more.
We analyzed millions of rounds played to get this data. As you probably already know, the idea is to simulate a Match Play against the most steady opponent (the course par) and see how the different handicaps fare. And then specifically break down that performance by hole pars.
This exercise can be helpful for you to compare yourself against similarly skilled players by looking at your own MPI and comparing it to this. But it also lets you compare your chances against different handicap levels.
Here’s the data on the Match Play Index by Handicap and Par Hole!
PAR 3: As we can see, players with a handicap between 4 and 9 have the lowest odds of beating the course on par 3’s. One potential reason as that Hole Indexes for Par 3’s are typically high, so these golfers don’t get strokes in these. Additionally, higher handicapped golfers not only are likely to get strokes, but also will play from shorter tees which is more impactful on par 3’s.
PAR 4: Here we see the MPI is more evenly distributed, with higher probability to beat the holes for the mid-handicappers.
PAR 5: Here we can see pretty clearly that more skilled players have an indisputable advantage on Par 5’s. Having more opportunities to make a remarkable shot, will position them to make Pars and even Birdies. Higher handicap players, on the contrary, have more room to make mistakes which hurts their Match Play Index score on Par 5’s.
How did you compare against players within two strokes of your Handicap? Do you have a particular Strength or Weakness in pars 3, 4, or 5? Remember that if you are a PRO member, you can always check your Match Play Index in the STATS section of TheGrint app. If you haven’t done the upgrade, this is your chance! The tools that we’ve built will elevate your game and help you understand better what areas you need to improve in order to lower your Handicap.
Enjoy your golf!