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New WGT Calculator in Progress

Sun, Aug 2 2020 12:55 AM (53 replies)
  • Signet7
    4 Posts
    Mon, Jan 22 2018 1:24 PM

    Yeah, another one. Sorry. I only started playing here about a month ago, but quickly realized I'd need some kind of aid. Being an engineer (retired), I thought I might write a program or spreadsheet. Of course, I searched first, and found quite a few. Most with different answers to the same questions. So while I've looked at all the other resources, I'd like to do something a bit different. It's not ready to it post, or anything, but thought I'd discuss a few things here, to get information to help me.

    First, since I'm an engineer, while I like rules of thumb and such, I like to understand the physics behind things. So, where possible, I'm trying to start with the math and physics involved in something, then compare it to existing solutions, and try to adapt it.

    A prime area of interest (and confusion) is in how headwind and tailwind change a club's distance. Most calculators (for WGT anyhow) add or subtract normal yards by one or more constants, adding or subtracting from 0.38% to 0.56% per mph per yard head/tailwind to the distance. Making it directly proportional both the wind speed and carry distance. Yet real-world calculators come up with something completely different, a distance modification which is basically proportional to hang time, rather than distance. Take any of these real world programs, and it usually works out that the maximum change in distance from fairway shots is from a 7-iron, not a 3-Wood, and therefore not based on distance. And also that the wind effect is not linear, either.

    But, just because something's true in "Real Life", or in Theory, doesn't make it true in WGT. Who knows? They could be using really complex, real-life calculations, or very simplified calculations for all these values.

    Anyhow, the area I've found the most disagreement from theory and real-life to WGT is in wind-modified distance. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    BTW, please don't bother looking up my golf games, scores and statistics here, as a rating of my worth in discussing this; I'm just starting in WGT golf, but have been one helluva engineer for over 50 years.

  • YankeeJim
    25,575 Posts
    Mon, Jan 22 2018 1:56 PM

    Welcome to the addiction, this will definitely keep your mind sharp.There's only one real problem that you just can't predict and you can read about it here-SGTBilko's excellent post about deviation and such. Good stuff to know on your quest and I know you'll have a good time getting somewhere with it. (I'm a total feel golfer so this is just passing pertinent info on.)

    , I like to understand the physics behind things. So, where possible, I'm trying to start with the math and physics involved in something, then compare it to existing solutions, and try to adapt it.

    Read about VEM and understand this game is all math. Every time you click your swing you're sending an equation to WGT full of variables that you create by your choices, actions and the VEM/deviation influence. They send back the result and your screen renders it. Quite fascinating to me how it all works.

    Heh, I wasn't kidding about the addiction, either.  GL with your endeavor, looking forward to what you come up with. ;-)


     *edit-p.s., On the stats-you're in a good place for them to be relevant to your progress. Many of us are stuck with learning stats from many rounds with inferior equipment so they don't mean a whole lot.

  • drmoose
    3,449 Posts
    Mon, Jan 22 2018 2:04 PM

    One hell of a second post, FR sent. I get that you, as an engineer, want to recognize the games' nuances, inluences, etc. These are all very realistic, tangible things that can be accomplished. Then, there are the variables, which keep the game challenging. As you progress the difficulty factor does also. Within the games current parameters, some of us, seem to have reached stasis, while some continue to show unchecked improvement. There are many theories as to why this is, the most compelling being, some are just that good. At any rate, enjoy your time here. There are many who will offer assistance in any way that they can. Just have fun, and bring fun when you can, an' it's all good.

    Doc :)

  • Robert1893
    6,066 Posts
    Mon, Jan 22 2018 4:07 PM


  • JimbeauC
    5,791 Posts
    Mon, Jan 22 2018 4:38 PM

    headwind and tailwind change a club's distance

    What once worked quite well, but WGT messed with a few years ago: It's still a good starting point. 

    A shot must go 200 yards for the force of the wind in MPH to equate to equal yards of force on the shot. 

    Flat 200 yard shot into 10 MPH headwind = 210 yards of force needed. 

    Same shot with 10 MPH side wind = aim 10 yards into the wind with 200 yards of force on the shot. 

    100 yard shot: cut it in half. 

    Quartering winds: Right up your engineer alley. Apply two force vectoring. Ends up being a calculation of L/R and H/T as two sides of a right triangle given that the force and deflection of the wind is the hypotenuse. 

    Good luck with your endeavor. 


  • el3n1
    3,331 Posts
    Mon, Jan 22 2018 5:21 PM

    Welcome!  I got started about 11 months ago and like you struggled.  I didn't want to wait years to really grasp the game by feel, which is what it would likely take or playing thousands of rounds to learn all the various conditions and winds.  So...I turned to trying to find a workable spreadsheet like many others.

    As you discovered there are a number of spreadsheets, some may be regarded as cheat software, I don't know but from what I have read there is also "cheat software" that players use.  The latter is what has kept me from spending credits in WGT Ready Go tournaments where you are most likely to find such "aides" or players.  So, I leave such people to fight over their own credits not mine.  

    That said, regardless of what "spreadsheet" or calculations you use to enhance your need to put yourself in a position on the green where you have makeable putts.  Some people make subtle adjustments for their spreadsheets rather than following them strictly.  For example, no spread sheet is going to tell you don't go at the hole land 6 yards short on the slope and allow the ball to funnel to the hole which will give you the best putt.  If you go right at the hole and the ball releases it could leave you a 6 foot down hill slopey putt that you may make 1 out of 10 times.  This is poor course management not poor calculations being done.  No spreadsheet out there can teach you course management...that is experience alone.  But it is also where some of the beauty of the game and shot making comes in.  I would rather execute a tricky  shot and hit it to 3 feet for a good birdie than get a HIO in benign conditions because everyone else is doing that.  

    I haven't read about any "cheat aides" for reading lines and hitting putts and this is where the top players separate themselves from the rest.  They just putt lights out because they have played and hit thousands upon thousands of putts.  They have very good ideas what those putts are going to do.   I believe some have tried a dot counting method but that method still has to connect or resonate with what you are doing and the speed of your putt.  I have "tested" a couple such methods and it does not seem as simple as it is presented.  Some may have found it to work but I still believe it is experience on the greens, knowing or having an extremely good idea what that putt is going to do and then getting a good roll on it.  Even doing that, I have hit putts I know I hit on a good line and yet "variance" or "VEM" or I misread it or a software update made subtle changes in which the putt I thought I knew changes, which I have read some players suggest happens.  

    Regardless, best wishes and remember as long as it works for you and helps you shoot the scores you are happy with, it doesn't matter whether it works for anyone else.  You will find people using "the best" spreadsheets but shooting average scores.  So the game is more than just a spreadsheet and a few calculations.  Best wishes though!

  • jonny88
    60 Posts
    Mon, Jan 22 2018 11:51 PM

    Nice 2nd post.  I too love the math in this game being an avid chess player as well.

    Recently I have noticed a disturbing and unfortunate trend in my game.  

    It seems no matter what I try I end up with putts (only the Vem knows for sure) that are difficult for me to make more often than not.  Even the tap ins are getting tougher.

    Sure as heck the obvious is still there as well.  Make a birdie next hole gets hard.  Make two harder still. ( As in wind conditions you've never seen before get out the slide rule hard)

    Bless you my engineering friend for trying to analyze this phenomenon ............................ We call The Black Hole of WGT.  Every ball gets swallowed up into vastness of Space where time is irrelevant and only dark matter survives.

  • fantasy1
    1,221 Posts
    Tue, Jan 23 2018 6:24 AM

    A good starting point is to map out all your clubs what you are using,  and ball 1st of all, with full b/spin  1/4  b/spin half b/spin 3/4 b/spin no spin and the different t/spin to whatever, a practice round with lowest wind that you can get, that will help. 

    As you improve and maybe change the clubs and ball that you are using now, do it for those to

  • Signet7
    4 Posts
    Sat, Jan 27 2018 8:32 PM


    A good starting point is to map out all your clubs what you are using,  and ball 1st of all, with full b/spin  1/4  b/spin half b/spin 3/4 b/spin no spin and the different t/spin to whatever, a practice round with lowest wind that you can get, that will help.

    Yep, I've done that for my clubs. I've mapped carry and roll distance, from tee and from fairway, onto fairway (greens come up later), at 100%, 80%, 60%, 40% and 20% power. What I found is that with the Standard (rock) balls, topspin or bottom spin or no spin makes almost no difference (just a little with shorter irons). That will be one of my problems, because I can't afford to make all those shots with balls that cost real money, but have much greater spin characteristics. It's bad enough I've spent real money on clubs, and wouldn't mind it to much for matches, but certainly not for testing. ;-)

  • Signet7
    4 Posts
    Sat, Jan 27 2018 8:42 PM


    I'm not saying that you can't come up with something that's workable. As I wrote, I don't doubt your capabilities. But here's the salient question that needs to be answered: Will that calculator be significantly and substantively better than the ones already in existence?

    First, let me say that I never received notification that my post was approved (new member), so hadn't come back here before now. And again, these new posts are not approved, so don't know when they'll appear.

    I think so. For example, some calculators vary green distance change with slope as a constant, others vary it with Stimp #. Some add/subtract the same yards for wind, both headwind and tailwind, most vary it, but they're all linear, which real life data and calculators aren't (but who knows about WGT). Elevation changes are, for the most part, IMHO, pretty much all wrong. You can't have the same yard change for 10' elevation on a flat club like a Driver as on a Pitching Wedge, yet they pretty much all do.

    But again, what really matters is the code in WGT, and we don't know that, nor should we. My basic approach is to try to figure out, in theory, what should happen (in real life - there's a lot of that data out there too), then compare those results with both what other calculators give, and what happens in the game. I just have to think that WGT doesn't use simple rules like "Add a yard for every 3' elevation increase"; that only works for a 45 degree impact.

    I actually have a side software business (although I'll probably be using Excel files, with or without VBA) and can think of a number of features I'd like to see in the calculator. So, I may go through all this and abandon it, but I enjoy the research and programming as much as playing (sometimes more - I have more control over it). ;-)

    Thanks all for your thoughts. I'll be back when I know my posts are, uh, posting.