Gregg Barsby: Master Of Throw-Ins

“I work on the shot a lot."

Gregg Barsby at the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen – PDGA

It was a battle to the very end. Gregg Barsby forced Paul McBeth to birdie the final hole of the 2018 Ed Headrick Hall Of Fame Classic in order to secure a victory.

Barsby was in contention at the tournament until the very end because he hit a lot of fairways and greens, and because he was first in the field in Circle 2 putting percentage at a jaw-dropping 63-percent (12 for 19). But to get to the pressure on the final hole, Barsby first had to nail a ridiculous 108-foot throw-in on hole 1 of the final round. Without it, McBeth’s birdie on 18 wouldn’t have been necessary, and the drama at the end of the event would have been greatly reduced.

Gregg Barsby Hall Of Fame Classic Final Round Hole 1 Throw-In

As far as throw-ins go, Barsby’s 108-footer should be no surprise. One needs to look back no farther than Pro Worlds, which Barsby won, where he hit three, yes three, shots from over 80 feet, two of which were over 100 feet and on back-to-back holes! More importantly, he needed all three of those throw-ins in order to beat McBeth by two shots.1

These throw-ins are no fluke.

“I work on the shot a lot,” Barsby said at Pro Worlds. “That’s kind of a shot than not a lot of players have something that they can be aggressive with.”

If we look back even farther, all the way to the start of the season, we can see that Barsby has been hitting these incredible shots throughout 2018. In fact, if we look at players who have participated in at least half of the events (11) with UDisc Live data, Barsby has the highest average throw-in rate for the entire season, and it isn’t even close!2 The next highest rate belongs to Nate Perkins, and Barby’s value is 47-percent higher.

Top 25 players in throw-in rate who competed in at least 11 of the 2018 tournaments with UDisc Live data. Greg Barsby’s value is in red.

All this means that Gregg Barsby’s 2018 has been an unmitigated success. And the above graph shows that he has succeeded in the best way possible for fans of the sport, with really exciting shots.

  1. This presumes that he saved one shot per throw-in, which seems reasonable as most pros should be able to get up and down from 100 feet. 

  2. I chose a cut off of 11 events because I wanted to include only players with a reasonably large sample size of events played. However, credit must be given where credit is due. Matt Bell participated in nine full events and his throw-in rate was only 0.0004 less than Barsby’s. 

  1. Aaron Howard
    Aaron Howard

    Aaron Howard is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Franklin & Marshall College. He loves to play disc golf and to think about things he loves quantitatively. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Instagram.

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