Secrets and Advantages of The Open Winners | Past and Present

What’s the secret to winning at Royal Liverpool? The Open Championship is one of golf's most prestigious tournaments, attracting the finest golfers from around the world. The championship links course has witnessed some of the sport's most remarkable victories. From Tiger Woods' win in 2006, Rory’s triumph in 2014, and Brian Harman’s recent victory this past Sunday.

Let’s take it back to 2006 real quick.

The year before iPhones and when one of golf’s most notable players, dawning his signature red shirt and black slacks, sunk the final putt to win his third Open Championship. Tiger Woods had a very unique strategy at Royal Liverpool that year. Opting for control over distance, Woods made an unconventional decision to use his driver sparingly, only taking it out once during the entire 72-hole event. Instead, he relied heavily on his 3-wood and 2-iron, which allowed him to hit an impressive 85.71% of fairways. Avoiding the bunkers and maintaining precision off the tee were key factors to his win.

Before there was true data to back it up, Woods was ahead of the game. According to Arccos Data, on average an amateur will lose about a quarter of a stroke when in the bunker versus the rough from the same distance. Avoid the bunkers.

Fast forward to 2014.

Apple released its iPhone 6, strokes gained data analysis was starting to make strides in golf, Arccos Golf was in the early development stages and Rory McIlroy was vying for his third major title at The Open. During that week, Rory led in driving distance and 6th in driving accuracy at 66.1% to help secure his win. Rory’s secret for his win comes simple though, process. Emphasizing a consistent approach and staying true to his game plan allowed him to take home the Claret Jug. Check out some of Rory’s stats from the 2014 Open Championship below.

And now we’re in 2023.

Apple launched iPhone 14, Meta rolls out its Twitter counterpart, Threads. A.I. programs have become even more prominent, Arccos has tracked over 740 million shots, and Brian Harman wins his first-ever major at Royal Liverpool. Harman’s cheat code to the famous links course, hit driver all the time, when possible. Harman might not be as mesmerizing as Rory off the tee but he’s very accurate and that gave him the advantage he wanted at Hoylake. Get a more in-depth glance at Harman’s game against the field with this strokes gained analysis chart.

The evolution of golf statistics has been nothing short of remarkable. From a dearth of stats to basic data, and now to the intricacies of strokes gained analysis, the game has undergone a transformation. In the pre-Arccos era, such valuable insights were only accessible to elite players, with data gurus and shot trackers recording each shot at professional tournaments. However, Arccos has broken down these barriers, bringing on-course data and analysis that were once the domain of pros to the fingertips of everyday golfers.

Arccos is able to provide on-course tracking which will give you basic stats, like fairways hit or driving accuracy. But it will also take it a notch further, with where exactly you are missing your driver, insights into your approach game, broken down by distance brackets, bunker play, putting tendencies, and much more.

By analyzing past strategies from players and utilizing his own data to game plan. Brian Harman was able to find an advantage at Royal Liverpool. Looking at driver distance, Harman wasn’t the strongest of golfers, ranking 142nd. But when looking at tighter and more strategic courses, where players might not always take out driver, like Royal Liverpool, Brian can likely outperform other golfers who might opt-in for 3-wood or 2-iron against his driver. This gives Harman the advantage he was looking for.

Learn about the amazing features of Arccos to give your game an advantage like the pros.