To truly understand how to improve your scores on the golf course … you need to study your game. Because improvement goes far beyond hitting another bucket of balls at the range.
Yes, you probably know that you need to improve your Driver, or your putter, or your irons … but do you really know where you’re losing the most strokes?
Unfortunately, most Golfers do not understand where their Strengths and Weaknesses are … so their scores really never improve regardless of how many lessons they take.
Yet, when I ask most Golfers about their game … the answer I usually receive is: “yes, I know where I’m losing strokes.”
So I ask these Golfers for the number of Greens in Regulation they average per round to backup their reply. Yet, I rarely get a concise answer. It’s routinely something like: “Greens in Regulation? Hmmm, I usually have 5 or 6 per round. But, I’m not really sure since I haven’t been tracking them.”
Which translates into … “I really don’t know as much about my game as I think I do.”
I start by asking for Greens in Regulation because it tells me more about that Golfers true knowledge of their game more than any other stat. Why? Because it’s the easiest to track. You’re either on the Green in Regulation or your not.
The highest the number can be is 18 … yet, for 99% of Golfers it’s less than 8. So, it’s simple to track. If you don’t know how many Greens you hit … you really don’t know as much about your game as you think you do.
It’s as easy as putting a dot on your scorecard next to your score when you do hit the green. Really, it’s not as complicated as you may think!
For the Golfer that truly wants to improve their score … your first step in knowing where to start … is by keeping stats on your game.
And although, the “normal” stats some Golfers use are: Fairways Hit, Greens in Regulation and Total Number of Putts … those 3 stats alone don’t tell you much about your game. Plus, Fairways Hit is the most overrated stat of all … and I’ll show an example below that shows this. And Total Number of Putts doesn’t tell the whole story about your putting.
You can learn a lot more about the health of your game (Strengths and Weaknesses) using the stats below:
Greens in Regulation
Great stat … it tells you about your overall ballstriking from Woods to Irons
Putts per Green in Regulation
Tells you much more about your putting than Total Number of Putts. There are additional variables involved in Total Putts that have little to do with your putting.
For example – if you miss a lot of Greens In Regulation … you’ll have less Putts than a Golfer that hits more Greens. Why? Because the Golfer chipping near the green will probably have shorter 1st Putts than the Golfer hitting Greens from 150 yards away.
Thus, the Golfer chipping near the green will probably have more 1 putts than the Golfer hitting Greens. So if you want to improve your Total Putts Stat … the quickest way is to intentionally miss Greens. But, is that something you really want to do?
Keep track of Putts per Green in Regulation to get a true understanding of your Putting.
Of the top 10 Players on the PGA Tour as far as Fairways Hit … #3 Colt Knost, is the highest ranked as far as Scoring Average … he’s #43. And before his good rounds this past weekend … he was #61.
Think about that – of the Top 10 most accurate Drivers on the PGA Tour … the highest ranked is #43 in scoring.
#1 in Fairways Hit, Thomas Aiken … is ranked #132 in Scoring.
#1 in Scoring, Adam Scott is ranked #155 in Fairways Hit.
#2 in Scoring, Phil Mickelson is ranked #177 in Fairways Hit.
#3 in Scoring, Jason Day is ranked #150 in Fairways Hit
#4 in Scoring, Rory McIlroy is ranked #101 in Fairways Hit
This isn’t to say that the best Fairway’s Hit Players on Tour aren’t great … they’re amazing. It’s just to show that Fairways Hit has a lot less to do with scoring than you may think. It’s Lost Balls or Chipping out of the Trees that you should be more concerned about.
Because missing a Fairway by a few yards has little to do with a bad score.
Number of 1st Putts for Par or Birdie
Indicates how many times you have a chance for either in 18 holes. The higher the number … the better. By focusing on improving this number … you’ll actually play smarter than most Golfers.
As most Golfers are shooting for the flag or making illogical club selections … they often sabotage their round with blow-up holes.
However, when you’re more focused on improving this stat … you’re more likely to make better decisions which will equate to more Birdies, Par’s and Bogey’s … rather than Doubles & Triples.
The Value of Stats
All of the above are simple stats to track during a round … and yes, it’s much more effective in helping your game than not using stats at all or using the “normal” stats that include Fairways Hit and Total Number of Putts.
Once you start — after just 5 rounds … you’ll begin to really understand your golf game and where your time should be spent practicing.
The Monkey doesn’t know much about their game and doesn’t take the time to study it
The Player believes in having a tangible understanding of what part of their game is holding them back
Go ahead, become a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life
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