Think about it …
Tom Landry coached the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 t0 1988. In his 29 years of coaching America’s Team they won 60% of their regular season games.
Coach K has been the Head Basketball Coach for Duke University for 34 years. His Duke teams have won 78.7% of their games under his leadership.
Clayton Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace pitcher, helped his team clinch the NL West title recently. So far this season Clayton has won 87.5% of his starts.
But look at the greatest players in professional golf and you see something entirely different. Consider these statistics:
- Sam Snead => 585 starts / 82 wins / won 14% of the time
- Tiger Woods => 316 starts / 79 wins / won 25% of the time
- Jack Nicklaus => 586 starts / 73 wins / won 12% of the time
- Ben Hogan => 292 starts / 64 wins / won 22% of the time
- Arnold Palmer => 734 starts / 62 wins / won 8.5% of the time
- Byron Nelson => 269 starts / 52 wins / won 19% of the time
- Billy Casper => 584 starts / 51 wins / won 8.7% of the time
- Phil Mickelson => 507 starts / 42 wins / won 8.3% of the time
- Tom Watson => 615 starts / 39 wins / won 6.3% of the time
These great players teed it up thinking they would win and, yet, they lost most of the time. You would think that these guys win most of the time but, the fact is, they don’t.
Paul Azinger – great career? Yes, he won 12 times, including a PGA Championship.
He won 2% of the events he entered.
Jim Furyk – great career? Yes, he played on 9 Ryder Cup teams, 7 President Cup teams and won 16 PGA Tour wins including a US Open.
He won 3% of the events he entered.
Over their entire careers even the great players only win 3% to 8% of the time.
Every statement like this has an exception. Let’s look at our own Byron Nelson.
- Played actively on Tour from 1933 to 1946
- Played in 269 official Tour events, winning 19% of the time
- Won 52 official events over 12 seasons
- Won 4.33 events per season during his active playing days
- Won 33 events during his final three seasons, 11 per season
- Won 19 events in a single season (1945)
- Won 11 events in a row (1945)
- Broke the 72 hole scoring record three times in a single season
- Finished in the Top 20 in 113 consecutive events
Today’s PGA Tour professional would earn a nice living if he won 5 times over his entire career. Byron did a bit better than that.