The watchword in virtually all sports right now is “analytics.” The statistical breakthrough by Bill James in baseball decades ago now governs decision-making by owners, general managers, coaches and players, no matter what game they play. But when it comes to women’s golf, there was one major obstacle: The absence of data on which to make analytical decisions. Thanks to KPMG, that problem is no more.
The third major of the LPGA Tour season – the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – will usher in a major addition to the women’s game this week. A bold, new platform will use data gathered by caddies at Atlanta Athletic Club this week to help bridge the gap between the statistical analysis available to LPGA Tour players and those on the PGA Tour.
“As part of our long-term commitment to elevate the game of golf for women, we're really pleased and proud to announce a new solution, a new data and analytics solution for the women's golf game,” Paul Knopp, KPMG U.S. Chair and CEO, said Tuesday at Atlanta Athletic Club.
“It's called KPMG Performance Insights,” Knopp said. “What's really powerful about this tool is that it's going to give the women that play this game the kind of data that they need to improve and diagnose their performance, and it's going to be the same type of data that the men have on the men's tour.”
The KPMG program will have caddies recording shots, club selections and the lie of every shot. They’ll turn in a special scorecard after every round and receive a stipend paid by KPMG.
“So for the first time ever, we're going to bring our business leadership to bear to capture this data, to process the data, put it in the hands of the women golfers so that they can improve their game,” Knopp said.
On the PGA Tour, ShotLink technology gathers data that allows for such analysis as strokes-gained in various areas of the game, like off the tee, from the fairway and on the green. Similar information will now be available to LPGA Tour players, thanks to KPMG, a company that is all about data.
“We were surprised at that disparity,” said Knopp about the data gap between the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour. “And we very much wanted to be a partner in wanting to do something about it.”
There will also be data on how players perform from 25-yard increments and on proximity to the pin from certain distances. Also available will be shot dispersion charts, average birdie putt length and performance indexing over time against the field.
Since KPMG and the PGA of America partnered with the LPGA Tour in 2015 to elevate the LPGA Championship, the event has grown in prize money, the quality of venues and the television exposure available on the various NBC platforms, including Golf Channel and Peacock.
Now, thanks to the ingenuity and financial support of KPMG, the event first created in 1955 has taken another major step forward for the LPGA Tour. The data gathered through the KPMG initiative will bring analytics to the women’s game, narrowing even more yet another gender gap.