I’d like to take credit for this research, but I can’t.
In this month’s issue of Golf Digest, there’s a short piece about how much a Tour player would make if he shot 72 every round. Just think about it. 72 is kinda boring. Outside of the majors, rarely does a player of PGA Tour cailiber get worked up about an even par round.
But check this out: At the mid-point of 2008 (up to the U.S. Open), par would have earned just shy of $2 million dollars, 15th on the money list at that point, assuming he played every week (which is a big assumption). If Par just played the average amount of tourneys–sixteen–for the season’s first half, he would have made close to $1.2 million, 44th on the money list.
Par isn’t going to win you many regular Tour events, but you’re going to do freaking good in the majors. Par would have beaten Zach Johnson by a shot at last year’s Masters, and it would have beaten Angel Cabrera by five shots at last year’s Open. This year, Par would have won the British and the PGA, finished 3rd at the U.S. Open, and tied for 11th at the Masters.
The moral of the story: just shoot par, baby. Just shoot par.