Forecast for 2016 PGA? History says…

By |  July 12, 2016 0 Comments

We’re counting down the days to the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol (will we see you there?) and now the question is: how’s the weather out there?

We have reported before on a Kansas City weatherman who was making longterm predictions — up to 250 days out — by analyzing weather patterns. But now we have another longterm weather contender, but this one looks to the past to see into the future.

The folks at Tokio Marine HCC-MIS say the Atlas Travelcast “misery index” can give golf fans and golfers a long-range look at the weather for the world’s greatest golf courses. So we asked them to take a look at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., during the week of July 25.

Their prediction was for temperatures in the mid-70s, with a 37-percent chance of rain. History tells them that in the last 38 years, it has rained in this window only 14 times.

Elizabeth Fish, senior product development specialist for Tokio Marine HCC-MIS, says the key to Atlas Travelcast is the use of historical weather data to make their predictions.

“This is the difference of forecasting versus data analysis,” she tells Golfdom. “Our weather sources are extremely strong. Using those sources we can tell with great certainty how the weather will be for golf. It’s better than any long-range forecasting.”

Fish says Atlas Travelcast relies on sources such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and airport records. For golf courses, their records focus on 1,000 courses, mostly in the U.S. The misery index focuses simply on how enjoyable the day will be for a golfer, as opposed to specific weather conditions.

“It’s a one-to-ten scale, based on optimal versus miserable conditions,” Fish says. “And keep in mind, a very good day for golf at St. Andrews is different from a very good day for golf at Torrey Pines.”

The score for the PGA Championship: a six — “not a bad day for golf.” Let’s hope history holds true.

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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